Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan
Sitting just a 40-minute drive from Bangkok, Samut Prakan province is perfect for a day-trip. Its many attractions range from incomparable temples, floating markets, to the world’s biggest outdoor museum, Muang Boran.
Another spot you should visit is the giant three-headed elephant Erawan Museum. The museum’s iconic three-headed-elephant rooftopper and stunning interior will surely stun your followers on Instagram.
The sacred place of the king of god Indra and his vehicle
Image credit: @v1rtualtravel
The Erawan elephant is believed to be and respected as the vehicle of Indra, the king of gods. According to Ramayana Legend, Erawan is a spotless white elephant with over 33 heads. Each head is said to have 7 ivory tusks, which filled palaces where gods and goddesses resided. However, most artists depict Erawan as a three-headed elephant.
Everyday, people from all over the country bring fruits to worship the sacred vehicle and to wish for success.
After praying, guests can float a little cup with a lotus flower on the pond; it’s believed that doing so will bring us success and happiness.
Before enjoying the temple grounds, visitors can pray to Erawan and Indra at two worship areas: outside at the entrance and inside in front of the statue.
Image credit: @peary_paw
Those who are interested in praying can get a free oblation – items to be presented to gods or deities – set upon showing their ticket.
World’s largest elephant statue and museum at Samut Prakan
This 43.6m high three-headed elephant is crafted from copper and divided into 3 main floors:
- Basement: Suvarnabhumi Kingdom exhibition
- 1st floor under the elephant: Human World
- Inside the elephant belly: Heaven
The Suvarnabhumi Kingdom exhibition is at the bottom of the intricate staircase – look out for a small wooden door
The exhibition showcases Thailand’s artistry and culture with porcelains and lacquer; the exhibition also presents Thailand’s international trade relations.
Image credit: พิพิธภัณฑ์ช้างเอราวัณ
Image credit: พิพิธภัณฑ์ช้างเอราวัณ
Note: Visitors are not allowed to take photos and videos inside the exhibition, these images are courtesy of the museum’s official website.
Mortal world: an Instagrammer’s dream
The area right under the elephant statue represents the human world; the main staircase in the front leads to a statue of highly revered goddess, Avalokitesvara or Guanyin.
There are stairways on the left and right side of the main staircase; one which is white, and the other is pink. If you take a closer look, you will see that the stairs are decorated in the classical Thai style with porcelain.
The stained-glass roof features a world map
Image credit: @drugoybangkok
Nirvana: Heaven for Buddhists
You will discover the blue hall’s roof is painted with a star map and various buddha statues. At the centre of the hall are the footprints of the lord Buddha.
The highest floor is decorated to represent what Thais believe to be heaven. This section is inside the elephant belly, which you can access via elevator or the spiral staircase.
Image credit: @antoni.united
There is a beautiful wall painting featuring Thai deities like the belief about heaven said.
Different sacramental statutes like Trimurti and Ganesha are located in the greenery garden outside of the building. The garden also has a small waterfall and sculptures of mythical creatures represented a magical forest.
The museum has audio learning tools available for those interested in learning the stories of each section; audio is available in Thai, English, Russian, Korean, and Chinese.
Locals believe walking under the elephant belly brings good luck
One-day trip to learn more about Thailand
Erawan Museum is easy to access via Chang Erawan BTS which takes just 40 minutes from the city centre. There are shuttle cars parking near the Exit 2 inside Kor Sor Nor Samut Prakan (กศน. อำเภอเมืองสมุทรปราการ).
Entry fees for Thai adults is ฿250 (~USD8) and ฿150 (~USD5) for children. For foreigners, the price is ฿400 (~USD13) for adults and ฿200 (~USD7) for children.
Ticket prices include an oblation – i.e. offering – set, with marigold garland, candle, incense sticks and a lotus flower in a cup.
Visitors should dress modestly: the place also offers a skirt and topcoat for visitors too.
With a convenient location and stunning architecture, Erawan Museum can be the perfect photogenic trip for this upcoming holiday.
Samut Prakan province is also equipped with other loads of attractions like Bangpu Recreation Centre to enjoy watching and feeding birds, floating market Khlong Suan, or the Naval Historical Park with a massive warship.
Step out from the vibrant city to explore more about Thailand here.
Address: 99/9 Moo1, Sukhumvit Rd., Bang Muang Mai, Meung, Samut Prakan 10270.
Admission: Thai Adult ฿250, Children ฿125 | Foreigner Adult ฿400, Children ฿200
Opening Hours: 9AM-7PM, Daily
Nearest Train Station: Chang Erawan BTS (Exit 2)
Telephone: +66 2 371 3135
Erawan Museum website | Google Maps
Check out other fairytale like attractions in Thailand:
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- 6 Best bubble hotels in Thailand to relax in nature and sleep under the stars
- There’s a stunning rainforest cafe in Chiang Mai that looks straight out of a Disney fairytale
- 11 Garden-themed cafes in Bangkok to escape the chaotic concrete jungle