A Guide to Erawan Museum, Bangkok

A Guide to Erawan Museum, Bangkok

The Erawan Museum is a gleaming gem close to the bustling heart of the Thai capital of Bangkok. Filled with striking imagery and plenty of colour, it’s definitely worth taking a few hours to visit.

Located in Samut Prakan Province in the wider Bangkok area, Erawan Museum is easy to reach on a half-day-trip from the heart of Bangkok. The glorious building and grounds are much more than a typical museum, and there are plentiful opportunities for awe and terrific photo opportunities.

Here’s what you can expect from an outing to Erawan Museum:

A beautiful striking building

The main building of the Erawan Museum is a cylindrical dusky pink column with ornate details and traditional Thai designs. Look closely and you’ll spot bovine creatures and serpent-like nagas among the swirls. It is topped with a gigantic bronze three-headed elephant. The tusks reach out into the sky, the eyes ever knowing and wise, and the trunks curled, with the heads coming together to join at the thick, muscular neck. It really is an impressive and unusual sight.     

Representation of the world

The inside of the museum is meant to represent the world, as seen from a Hindu point of view. The lower section reflects the underworld, the middle part represents earth, and the upper level symbolizes heaven.

A grand entrance

guide to erawan museum

Image credit: Ddalbiez

Remove your shoes (racks are provided) and step through the inviting entrance to be blown away by splendour. Will your eyes be first drawn to the intricate columns, adorned with shimmering stones, mosaics, and plasterwork? Or will the grand polished wooden staircase with its gorgeous white banister with gleaming elephants at the end catch your attention first? Perhaps it would be the carvings that represent major world beliefs. Or, maybe the colourful stained glass ceiling will be the first thing to wow you.

In any case, it’s an entrance that is sure to dazzle you.

Fascinating interiors

As you climb higher up inside the pink column, you’ll encounter many interesting statues and sculptures, with Buddhist and Hindu themes both apparent. Serene images in pastel hues cover the walls beside the final staircase, which leads into a heavenly realm. The arched ceiling is deep blue and white, with colourful planets and yellowy-gold celestial bodies punctuating the darker and lighter shades. Atmospherically lit, the room inside the elephant’s belly has a stunning Buddhist shrine at the front and a revered Buddha’s footprint in the middle. There are ancient statues around the walls that date back to various time periods and that have been recovered from all around Thailand.

An underground museum

After you have explored the main part of the museum, step outside into the bright sunshine to pass through another door and descend into the lower part of the museum. The overall feeling is rather like being in a cavern, with low ceilings and alcoves. Here you’ll find an array of ancient artefacts, including religious statues, photographs, and precious rocks. (Do note that photography is not permitted in this part of the museum.)     

Sublime grounds and gardens

There are several stunning shrines throughout the grounds, dedicated to a variety of deities as well as the Lord Buddha. A pathway leads underneath large elephants in a variety of colours—listen for the sounds the elephants make as you pass through. Most trumpet loud and proud, but some sounds will surely surprise you!

guide to erawan museum

Image credit: A satan incarnate

Several bridges criss-cross the shimmering pond, with mythical beings and beasts seemingly rising from the still waters, creating a truly enchanting vision; do make sure you allow enough time to fully explore the tranquil gardens as well as the inside of the museum.

Practical information for visiting the Erawan Museum

Many visitors opt to take a taxi to the Erawan Museum from downtown Bangkok. It may be wise to arrange for the taxi to wait for you, or arrange a collection time, as taxis passing by can be scarce and, depending on the time of day, reluctant to make the trip back into the city. You can also catch the BTS to On Nut Station (on the Sukhumvit Line) and then catch a taxi for the remaining few kilometres.

The museum is open between 8am and 5pm each day. Admission costs 400 THB for adults and 200 THB for children. The entrance fee includes an audio guide (available in several languages) that explains the beautiful art, architecture, and philosophies.

guide to erawan museum

image credit: neajjean

The spectacular Erawan Museum is a fabulous attraction for anyone interested in religions, mythology, philosophy, art, architecture, or culture.

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.


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