One of Thailand’s most extraordinary structures, the 144-foot-tall (44-meter-tall) Erawan Museum features a 275-ton (250-metric-ton) copper statue of a 3-headed elephant. Inside, there’s a ceramic museum, a pavilion with art, and a replica heaven, all richly decorated. You can climb or ride the elevator right up to the elephant’s tusks.The Basics
The Erawan Museum takes its name and concept from Airavata (Erawan in Thai), the multiheaded elephant that carries the Hindu god of the heavens, Indra. It sits among lush gardens just south of Bangkok, and travelers overwhelmingly visit from the city. Many combine their Erawan Museum tour with a trip to the Ancient City Museum, created by the same visionary.
Tickets are priced similarly to foreigner-focused Bangkok attractions, with significant discounts for travelers who arrive towards the end of the day. Guided tours run roughly hourly throughout the day, while audio guides in five languages, including English, are included in the admission fee.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Erawan Museum is a must for photographers, Instagrammers, and anyone with an interest in design.
- This is a religious site, so dress respectfully, covering shoulders and legs above the knee. (Sarongs and scarves are available at the museum.)
- You’ll need to remove your shoes to enter the museum.
- Don’t confuse the Erawan Museum with the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok.
- Float the lotus flower you receive on arrival on the water to pay your respects to Erawan.
- The Erawan Museum is not wheelchair-accessible.
The Erawan Museum stands in northern Samut Prakan province, about 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of downtown Bangkok. The easiest way to get here is to join a tour, but you can also catch the BTS skytrain to Pu Chao (on the Sukhumvit line) and walk about a mile (1.5 kilometers).When to Get There
The Erawan Museum is open from morning until soon after sunset, seven days a week, with discounted admission for visitors who arrive late in the day. It can be busy on weekends. If you’re not on a budget, come in the morning so that you can enjoy the gardens before it gets too hot.The Spiritual Meaning of the Erawan Museum
Like Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth and Bangkok’s Ancient City Museum, the Erawan Museum springs from the fervid brain of millionaire Lek Viriyaphant. The structure is designed as a journey through the Hindu universe. You start in the underworld, with ceramics and a mythical guardian. Next, you arrive in the human world, surrounded by art and antiques. Finally, you ascend into heaven, in the belly of the elephant.