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Friday, January 9, 2015

The Amazing Erawan Museum @ Samut Prakan, Bangkok

We decided to visit the Erawan Museum on the second day of our trip.  After lunch at MBK, we took the BTS to Bearing station.  We were supposed to take a cab or bus near the station to the museum but somehow, we missed the bus stop where we were supposed to take the bus. (Took a different exit).  We just walked down the road towards the direction of the museum.  We came across this signboard, took a snapshot and at this juncture, a bus passed by and a few people in the bus were waving and shouting, signalling to us to hop on the bus.  Haha... That was really impromptu.  We told them we were going to the Erawan Museum but everyone on the bus didn't understand English.  We assumed the bus driver knew where we were going as he used some hand gesture, showing movement of elephant trunk and laughing away.  
 Inside the bus.  All locals.  We were the only foreign tourists.  A guy came to us with a cylindrical metal container to collect our transport fares.  We took out a few dominations of coins and let him choose as we didn't know how much the fare was.  It cost only around 10 baht per pax.
 Our first time taking bus in Bangkok!
 We made an assumption.  We thought that the bus driver would let us know when to alight which he didn't.  I saw the gigantic three-headed elephant statue and was shocked that the bus driver didn't stop the bus and was heading to the highway.  Panicked, I quickly told my hubby to tell the driver to let us alight.  Yup, just in time before going up to the highway to no idea where. 

The entrance fee includes the rental of audio guide which was really useful, to allow you to understand the history of this museum and also the important details to notice when you tour the different levels.
We entered the musuem through the first level.  The centrepiece is the statue of Guanyin (Mahayana Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion) and the structure is supported by four huge pillars which each represent the religions of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity  We didn't manage to go down to the basement (Underworld) as I think it was closed for maintenance.
Impressive Stained Glass at the top of the first level.
Ceramics spoons, bowls were used to create these impressive art sculpture.

  We walked up the spiral staircase to get to the topmost level.
 Paintings of asparas seen on the wall as we walked up the staircase.  Alternatively, you can choose to take the elevator.

 Peeping out of the small window in the "elephant body".

 Continue to walk up the staircase and you will reach the Tavatimsa Heaven, where you can see a "walking" Buddha statue, housed in a concave wall with solar system paintings on it.  We see a fusion of Visual Art and Religion here.  

 Finally, hubby found a good spot for photo-taking, showing all the three elephant heads.

 Crossing the bridge to get to the bus-stop.

 We took the bus back to Bearing Station.

Erawan Museum
99/1 Moo Bang Muanmai (off Sukhumvit Rd), Samut Prakan
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 to 17:00
How to get there: Erawan Museum is located about five kilometres south of Bearing BTS station in northern Samut Prakan province. It can easily be reached from Bearing station by taxi or local buses #25, 102, 142, 365, 507, 508, 511 and 536. 

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