Thailand World's biggest open-air museum (6)


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Thank you!
In many ways, Muang Boran is the best kept secret of Bangkok as few people know about it and even fewer travel guides mention it. Even many Bangkokians and local taxi drivers seem to have no idea where it is!
Shaped like the map of Thailand, the sprawling park houses more than 160 replicas, some of them full-scale, of ancient Thai architectural marvels found all over the country. And it's not just the outside of the buildings that look fantastic, the inside of the various palaces and villages are also immaculately fidel to details and decorations.
The Ancient City is the door opening to the heritage of Thai wisdom. With a wide range of architectural symbols combined with fine arts and craftsmanship, structural layout and natural environment that integrate harmoniously, The Ancient City creates kind of atmosphere that induces visitors to perceive and appreciate the continuity of history, cultures, religions, arts and customs of Thai people from dawn until now.

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  • Thank you Blanca for adding it to your favourites
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  • @johndemi3
    Thank you John. Lek Viriyaphant (1914 - 2000, sometimes referred to as Khun Lek) was an eccentric Thai millionaire and patron of culture responsible for the construction of Ancient City, Erawan Museum and Sanctuary of Truth.
    Please see again one of my old presentation:
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  • I would love to visit this park,although thanks to you Michaela we're getting

    to see how beautiful it is...... Great work..... Thank you Michaela.
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  • Gracias Pilar por la visita y por tus LINDOS comentarios sobre mis trabajos, y favoritos. Un abrazo
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  • Magnifico, la arquitectura es espectacular, que edificios tan preciosos.
    La escultura es protagonista en estos jardines, en las fuentes y fuera de ellas como los dioses chinos y el Jardin Ramayana, poco a poco me voy enterando de la historia, pero las imágenes son impresionantes.
    Gracias Michaela
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  • Ancient City - The Wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton, Sing Buri The Wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton has been an important historical site since the Ayutthaya period. In 1765 A.D., when Burmese troops invaded Ayutthaya and began raiding the surrounding countryside and exploiting the rural population, the people of Sing Buri became enraged and began to organize themselves into patrols to fight back the Burmese soldiers. On hearing the news of the fighting against the Burmese by the people of Sing Buri, Siamese people from all surrounding cities joined in and later established a fort at the wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton in Bang Rachan District, Sing Buri. The fort is very well-known today as the Fort of Bang Rachan. At the same time, the villagers invited Phra Thamachot, a Buddhist achariya, or venerable monk, from Wat Khao Nang Buat, Suphan Buri, whom the people believed to be well-versed in all magical incantations, to take up residence at Wat Pho Kao Ton. Learning that the Thai villagers had begun to fight against the Burmese army at Bang Rachan, the Burmese commander sent troop reinforcements. Trying to attack the village seven times, the Burmese troops, led by Suki (the Burmese commander), could finally overcome the Bang Rachan people in the eighth battle. Suki, who was a Mon citizen, had been a spy for the Burmese troops. Once living in Ayutthaya, he studied all of the Thai fighting strategies and planned the Burmese attack to defeat the Thai troops. Suki planned to block the Bang Rachan stockade and attack the Thai fortified village by shooting fireballs from the Burmese camp. The Burmese soldiers would not fight with the Thai army in the open field. Although having attacked the Burmese camp many times, the Thai army never succeeded partly because they had no cannon to strike back at the Burmese. The Burmese troops then tunneled under the ground and attacked the village by shooting fireballs from outside. The Bang Rachan village was finally destroyed by the sudden attack and the fireballs. The Burmese succeeded in overrunning the fort and massacring the in habitants within.
  • Three Pagodas Pass, Kanchanaburi The Three Pagodas Pass forms the borderline between the Siam Kingdom at Kanchanaburi Province and Burma at Tavoy. The pass is named after the three pagodas standing there side by side, one on Thai boundary, the other two on the borderline and within the Burmese boundary respectively. The three monuments date back to the Ayutthaya period. His Royal Highness Prince Damrong Rajanupab, a famous Thai scholar, believed that they were constructed during the reign of King Baromatrai Lokanat (1448-1488 A.D.) who had established a close relation ship with King Dhammachedi of the Hamsavati Kingdom. For centuries, the Burmese troops entered Siam through the Three Pagodas Pass to make wars with Ayutthaya.
  • crowned by four gargantuan faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokitessvara facing the cardinal directions .
  • Phra That Phanom has been highly revered as a sacred monument for both the Thai and Laotian people for centuries. The Urangkha That (the chest bone relics) of the Lord Buddha is be lieved to be housed in Phra That Phanom which is located at Wat Phra That Phanom, That Phanom District, Nakhon Phanom Province. The original shape of the upper part of the stupa is not known. Only the existing tower, before it collapsed, was essentially the tower built by Phraya Sumitratham and other local rulers who rebuilt the tower on its original site. Rebuilt in the square form, the tower is a large cubical lower half and a gradually diminishing tapering upper part. It can be reached on all four sides. The lower half of the tower is faced with carved bricks carrying vegetal and figurative ornaments : floral arabesques, cloud motifs, local people riding on horses and elephants. The carving is of Indian style and shares similarities with Amaravati art (2nd-5th centuries A.D.). Later, Phra Chaiya Chettha Thirat, the ruler of Vientiane had the tower built higher by adding the distinctive upper part. Although having been renovated many times during the past centuries, the tower has never changed significantly from its original form. Muang Boran constructed this stupa in its former style before in Rattanakosin period
  • 3. San Phra Brahm ‘ Abode of Phra Brahm’ This larger open-sided spirit house, often found outside big homes and offices, is the abode of the Hindu deity Phra Brahma, the God of Creation. If, after he has been invited to occupy it, it gains a reputation for being especially auspicious it may become a shrine, people flocking to pay respect to Brahma's divine grace and request help in their everyday lives (see Erawan Shrine). Each of its four open sides reveals one of the four faces of the statue inside, each in turn representing the virtues of kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality. 4. San Piyanda ‘ Abode of the eye level’ This is a temporary spirit house, with a simple form. It's especially important for Thais to recognize land gods when building, to ensure the workers are kept safe, and so this does the job until a permanent one can be erected. Making merit at a temporary spirit house, or existing one, on construction sites is often thought a better guarantee of personal safety than the hardhat.
  • 2. San Pra Phoom 'Abode of the Land's Guardian Angel' A 'San Pra Phoom' is a home for the guardian angel or spirit which inhabits the land. Mounted on a pedestal, it usually resembles a Thai Buddhist temple and is crowned by a Khmer style prang. The most popular kind, the 'San Pra Phoom' is not immune to city living trends and fads - those in downtown Bangkok come in all kinds of styles and materials, from modernist to sleek to hi-tech, if not wood, then concrete, stone or glass. It evolved from the 'San Jao Tii' (shrines for lowlier land spirits), when Hindu and Buddhist influences began filtering into Siam around the turn of the 1st Century. The single pillar is said to represent Mount Meru, the sacred mountain in Hindu and Buddhist ideology where gods reside. To reflect the hierarchal nature of the Hindu cosmos (which is absent from animism) it therefore stands higher, and prouder, than the 'San Jao Tii'. A figurine representing the guardian angel of the land usually appears inside. This is an image of Phra Chai Mongkon, a Hindu angel with sword in one hand and money bag in the other. He, it is believed, will look over and guard the property and its inhabitants. More often than not, a motley crew of attendants and animals accompany him. Unlike the 'San Jao Tii', this breed of spirit house represents the Thais' belief in forces higher than themselves, a cosmological hierarchy (though for Thais, unlike Hindus, the enlightened Lord Buddha surpasses all Gods). Therefore, aside from making offerings to the guardian angels, people may pray for help at a 'San Pra Phoom', and sometimes invoke Buddhist chants.
  • 1. San Jao Tii 'Abode for the Land Lord of the Place' The 'San Jao Tii' is for the lord spirits who inhabit the land. They typically have four pillars ground into the earth, and resemble an old wooden Thai house. Originating earlier than other kinds of spirit house, these embody indigenous animistic beliefs, the idea that invisible forces and spirits shape material reality. The landowner's relationship with them thus mirrors the mutually beneficial animistic tradition: the 'land god if we look after you and give you shelter, please look after us' philosophy. Its attendant land lords are usually represented by figurines of an old man and woman placed inside, and offerings like angels, dancers, elephants and horses included to entertain them. As ordinary animistic spirits occupy everyday material things - everything from rice fields, barns, temples, trees, bridges and gates - as well as humans, these kinds of spirit houses are places to appease the spirits rather than revere them. Expressions of devotion are reserved for celestial beings or Lord Buddha.
  • The floating market provides an ideal rural backdrop to the daily life of the people living on the banks of the river; especially the local life in the central plain of Thailand. The community relies greatly on water transportation; rivers and canals became the most important trade routes for people along the rivers. One result of their industry has been the gradual evolution of the floating food market. The lively picture of houseboats, boats carrying an assortment of goods and rice barges can be easily seen in the floating market community. The floating market at Muang Boran is a reflection of traditional Thai life along the river. The rivers and canals formed an important communication system that brought about social integration and prosperity to the community. The people on both sides of the river are connected by bridges and walkways surrounding the community. The floating market is an example of perfect social integration. Though the people are different in race, religious beliefs and culture, they can live in peace. As we can see, Buddhist temples, Christian churches, Islamic mosques, Chinese spirit houses and even local spirit houses stand in harmony in the same community.
  • Thailand World's biggest open-air museum (6)

    1. 1.
    2. 2. Ancient Siam (formerlyknown as Ancient City)(Thai: Muang Boran) isa park constructedunder the patronage ofLek Viriyaphant in theshape of Thailand.Ancient Siam is dubbedas the worlds largestoutdoor museum. Three Pagodas Pass, Kanchanaburi
    3. 3. The Ancient City is the door opening to theheritage of Thai wisdom. With a wide range ofarchitectural symbols combined with fine artsand craftsmanship, structural layout andnatural environment that integrateharmoniously, The Ancient City creates kindof atmosphere that induces visitors to perceiveand appreciate the continuity of history,cultures, religions, arts and customs of Thaipeople from dawn until now.The entrance gate is crowned with the faces ofBodhisattva facing the 4 cardinal directions
    4. 4. Tiger Kings Palace,PhetchaburiThe teaching hall at WatYai Suwannaram, ornormally known as theTiger Kings Palace, wasonce situated in area ofthe Ayutthaya GrandPalace. During the reign ofKing Sanphet VIII (or theTiger King), he dedicatedthis teak palace to SomdejPhra Suwanna Muni (orSomdej Chao Tangmo), thesupreme patriarch of theAyutthaya Kingdom whocame from PhetchaburiProvince.
    5. 5. Tiger Kings Palace, PhetchaburiThis palace was dismantled and reconstructed at Wat Yai Suwannaram, the monastery where the patriarch had grownup and been educated.
    6. 6. Tiger Kings Palace,PhetchaburiMuang Boran hasreconstructed this teachinghall in smaller size
    7. 7. Tiger Kings Palace, PhetchaburiRoyal daybed
    8. 8. Tiger Kings Palace, Phetchaburi
    9. 9. Garden of the Gods, Vishnu (or Phra Narai) is asleep on the back of Naga Ananta
    10. 10. Garden of the Gods Fantasy Bridge and Pavilion
    11. 11. New structureof Hinduarchitecturebetween theGarden oftheGods andthe SulhothaiWihan
    12. 12. Garden ofthe GodsFantasyBridgeandPavilion
    13. 13. The Wihan of Wat Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai.Muang Boran had brought the ubosot from Wat Chiang Khong inChiang Rai (or the present Phayao Province).
    14. 14. The Wihan of Wat ChiangKhong, Chiang Rai
    15. 15. The Wihan of Wat ChiangKhong, Chiang RaiThe ancient wooden halllike this can hardly befound today. This decrepitgrand hall is in fact verystrong and stable.The building is easilyconstructed but only withskillful hands. The upperpart of the posts of thewihan are supported bybeams which are obviouslystrong that they help toprevent the whole structurefrom falling down, despitethe lower part of the pillarsbeing very decayed. Thestructure is roofed with thewooden tiles attached tothe ranaeng by hooks ofthe tiles. Without using asingle nail, the building iswell-established, large,elegant and entrancing.
    16. 16. The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai
    17. 17. The Thai Hamlet from the Central PlainsMuang Boran has re-erected a group of Thai Hamlets made of paneled teak surrounded by steady fences. The village isintended to portray the way of life of Thai farmers who live in the central plain area. Authentic rice cultivation andlocal farming tools are used.
    18. 18. The mondophousing theFootprint of theLord BuddhaSaraburi
    19. 19. The mondop housing the Footprint of the Lord Buddha Saraburi
    20. 20. I-Nao GardenI-Nao, one of the classical literature originating from the late Ayutthayaperiod, is believed to have been taken from Indonesian literature. Thestory tells of a complicated love between I-Nao, a young prince, andBusaba, a maiden. After living through many obstacles, I-Nao andBusaba were finally reunited and lived a blissful life ever after.
    21. 21. Lan Chang Styled ScriptureRepository and WihanThe northeastern community,established since the earlyBuddhist era, has created itsown unique artistic style thatis different from other types ofindigenous architecture. Theart became known as the artof Lan Chang.
    22. 22. Lan Chang Styled Scripture Repository and Wihan
    23. 23. Lan Chang Styled Wihan (detail) and the upper part of thestupa Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom
    24. 24. Lan Chang styledwihan ceiling
    25. 25. The Wihan at Sa-Moeng
    26. 26. The Wihan at Sa-MoengThe open-sided architecture as found in Sa-Moeng hasillustrated the unique architectural style of the ancient LannaKingdom in Northern Thailand.The word "Wihan" comes out from the Sanskrit and Palilanguages (Vihara) and means a "Buddhist monastery".
    27. 27. The Courage of the People of BangRachanDuring the late Ayutthayaperiod, in the reign of KingEkathat, Burmese troops invadedAyutthaya Kingdom and subduedSiamese. They raped, pillagedand burnt peoples houses. Theincident made the people of SingBuri angry and began toorganize local militia to protecttheir community which wasknown as Khai Bang Rachan orBang Rachan Fort.They had fought with the Burmeseinvaders eight times before theywere finally defeated. TheBurmese laid siege to thestockade with cannons. Failed intheir appeal for a cannon fromthe capital and their own attemptto cast a cannon, the BangRachan people becamediscouraged.
    28. 28. Although they had fought steadfastly for 5 months, the camp waseventually over run and its defenders massacred on Monday in theeighth lunar month on the second day of the waning moon in 1766A.D.Although the village was entirely destroyed, the exploits of everybrave Thai defender continues to be rekindled by the recollection ofthe Siamese people. The unwavering courage of the villagers is one ofthe greatest heroic deeds recorded in Thai history
    29. 29. The RamayanaGarden
    30. 30. The Ramayana GardenRamayana or the Tale ofRama is an ancientIndian epic telling thestory of the migration ofthe Arayan people into theGangetic Plain ofnorthern India which,according to Buddhismlore, is known asMatayama Pradesh whilein Hinduism, it is calledParata watra. The leaderof the Arayan, Phra Rama,was the commander wholed his ravaging troopsthrough the southernregion of India andoccupied Ceylon, the city ofthe Dravidians at thattime.
    31. 31. The Ramayana Garden
    32. 32. Many evidences such as sculptures and carvings found at many historical sites in Thailand expressed that Siam derivedRamayana from India for many hundreds of years ago. During the Ayutthaya period, a number of episodes were adaptedfor the royal play, namely Khon, the masked dance-drama, and Lakorn theater. The Thai version of Ramayana is knownas the Ramakien. The original Ayutthaya version was entirely destroyed in 1767 A.D. by Burmese soldiers. It was not until the reign of King Rama I that a new version was composed by the King and the court poets.
    33. 33. TheRamayanaGarden
    34. 34. Ceiling detailThe Palace GardenPart of a group ofbuildings believedto have originallybeen in the palacegarden of KingRama II.It was in thegrounds of theRoyal GrandPalace and wasused as privatequarters for theKing.
    35. 35. The garden wasdismantled and manybuildings were given totemples during the reignof King Rama III.Muang Boran broughtall of the originalbuildings from Wat PhaiNgoen in Yan NawaDistrict, Bangkok;they show considerableinfluence of Chinese artin the Thai court duringthe early Rattanakosinperiod.
    36. 36. The garden of the Chinese gods
    37. 37. There are four kinds ofspirit house seenaround Bangkok, themost common beingthe San Jao Tii andSan Pra Phoom,which often appeartogether in pairs1. San Jao TiiAbode for the LandLord of the Place‘2. San Pra PhoomAbode of the LandsGuardian Angel‘3. San Phra Brahm‘Abode of Phra Brahm’4. San Piyanda‘Abode of the eye level’
    38. 38. The Shrine Housing the CityPillar is another kind ofsacred site that reflects thebelief of local Thai villagersin supernatural power.A Lak Mueang or City pillaris found in most cities ofThailand, usually housed ina shrine which is alsobelieved to house the cityspirit deityAccording to an old Thaitradition, a city pillar hadto be built upon theestablishment of a new city.
    39. 39. Phra Kaew pavilionand Khun ChangKhun Phaen garden(Khun Chang KhunPhaen is an epic Thaipoem which originatedfrom a legend of Thaifolklore and is one ofthe most notable worksin Thai literature)
    40. 40. Wat ChongKham,LampangThe excellentwork ofnortherncraftsmanshipcan be seenfrom theequalemphasis tothe split-levelroofs and therythmicspacing ofcarveddecorations
    41. 41. Wat Chong Kham, LampangThe building, made of teak wood, combines wihan, sala and monks living quarters in one building.
    42. 42. Wat Chong Kham, Lampang
    43. 43. Wat Chong Kham, Lampang
    44. 44. Replica of TheSukhothai VihanSukhothai Wihan atMuang Boranreconstructed basedon archaeologicaland historicalevidences showsunique details ofSukhothai art andarchitectural style
    45. 45. Replica of TheSukhothai VihanSukhothai Wihan atMuang Boran wasreconstructed based onarchaeological andhistorical evidences;the wihan isconstructed based onthe wihan of PhraBuddha Chinarat ofWat Phra Si RatanaMaha That inPhitsanulok Province
    46. 46. Mondop Phra Si ThitBuilding principalBuddha images facingthe 4 directions of thecompass is a traditiondated bank to theDvaravati period.
    47. 47. Red bridge, FolkMuseum in background
    48. 48. Text & Pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda FoişoreanuSound: Thai Traditional Music