Erawan Museum Bangkok; The 3 Headed Elephant Museum in 2023
UPDATE 2023: Bangkok never fails to impress me. So many tourists, backpackers and holiday-makers pass through for a day or 2, get stuck in tourist traps and tell the world how horrible Bangkok is. I get it, I used to be one of them but now having lived here, bought a place here, and studied the language, I appreciate it more and more every day. It took me 5 years of living here before I finally went to see the huge 3 Headed Elephant, and now I recommend the Erawan Museum Bangkok to everyone who visits the city.
Visiting Bangkok, Thailand
If you come to Thailand, make sure you allocate AT LEAST 3 days for Bangkok and it’s surrounding areas. Actually, you could spend a whole 2 weeks and have the most amazing time imaginable if you factor in little 1/2/3 days trips all the things to do in Kanchanaburi (just 2 hours from Bangkok), Ayutthaya Day Tour, MaeKlong Railway Market, Khao Yai, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Samet, Amphawa, Siam Amazing Park or a Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour and then all the stuff to do in the city from Khao San Road, to the various temples!
So my mum was back in town to visit me in Bangkok, and I wanted to explore my city furthermore, I had heard of the giant 3 headed elephant statue a few times over the years but I had heard it was far away, difficult to find, underwhelming etc, so never bothered. Time to put that right, let’s see what the Erawan Museum is all about.
The Erawan Museum, Bangkok
The Erawan Museum Bangkok has been made famous by the iconic GIANT 3 headed Elephant statue, almost 50m high and 150 tonnes in weight. More than that, you actually go inside the elephant to access the museum. And it’s nothing short of amazing as soon as you step foot inside.
As soon as you enter the Elephant you see 2 huge dragons wrapping themselves around the interior. Their bodies winding around the double access staircase leading up to the elephant’s belly. Ornate doesn’t even come close. Every tiniest detail has been obsessively carved and painted.
As you climb further, the massive stained-glass window reveals itself as a huge world map, you continue to climb the steps, past more carvings, all the while making your way higher into the elephant, using the dragons ‘body’ as the staircase until you reach a small elevator, or a narrow winding staircase. Once up that, you’re literally inside the elephant’s belly. Here you see a huge Buddhist shrine. It’s cold, dark, mysterious. The Thais who visit pay their respects to Buddha while my mum and I stood silently, awestruck at the whole thing.
After 10 minutes or so we left, wandered around the grounds, hopped in a taxi and joined back on the BTS. We were just so pleasantly surprised at just how impressive the Erawan Museum was. And I was left confused as to why it wasn’t more famous!
The grounds of the Erawan Museum are worthy of a visit in themselves. It’s a nice place to escape Bangkok’s madness, the grounds are full of greenery, very well manicured and jam-packed with Asian and Thai folklore statues. There’s a stall where you can buy lotus flowers, once purchased you ‘set it free’ amidst the stream running around the elephant statue, such a peaceful contrast to the rest of the city.
Where is the Erawan Museum, Bangkok?
It’s in Bangkok (strictly speaking it’s in neighboring Samut Prakan, but for our purposes, it’s essentially still Bangkok!), so you don’t have to leave the city. You can either take a taxi, or public transport.
TAXI: Use my google map below to help you. If you’re in the city centre, it’ll be about 150THB ($5) to get there.
BTS Skytrain: Jump on the Skytrain (BTS) and ride it to ”Chang Erawan’, the nearest BTS stop to Erawan Museum. It’s then 800 meters from the Erawan Museum BTS stop (Chang Erawan) to the actual Erawan Museum
How to get to the Erawan Museum, Bangkok
Erawan Museum Tickets and Price:
It’s a private temple, so the tickets are a little bit pricey, but worth the visit – 300THB ($9) for foreigners, or 150THB for Thai nationals. If you speak a little Thai though, chat to the ticket vendor and he’ll give you the Thai price.
Erawan Museum Opening Hours
9am to 7pm every day.
I can’t believe it took for 5 years of living in Thailand on/off to reach the Erawan Museum finally. I was secretly expecting to be underwhelmed, but quite the opposite was true. This place is amazing, and worth a visit for anyone who finds themselves in Bangkok.
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