The Ancient City or Muang Boran is a huge open air museum shaped in the form of Thailand where you can see many important buildings like temples, palaces and the ruins of ancient cities from the history of Thailand from early history to present day.
The buildings are replicas of the originals scaled down to about one third of the original, some buildings however are the original that were demolished and build up again in the ancient city Muang Boran.
In the vast park located in Samut Prakan some 30 kilometers from Bangkok you can follow Thai history and culture from the different empires and Kingdoms that existed here, like Lanna, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin.
Preserve Thai national heritage
The ancient city was created by Thai millionaire Khun Lek Viriyaphant, who also created the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan and the Sanctuary of Truth temple in Pattaya. Khun Lek build Muang Boran to preserve the Thai national heritage for the future. The number of historic sites spread over Thailand is huge and distances considerable. The ancient city Muang Boran is the place where you can get an overview of Thai history, its architecture and culture in just one day.
Be sure to bring your camera, there are many beautiful pictures to be made here. Muang Boran is a peaceful, tranquil place with the feel of a large archeological site where you can easily spend a full day.
South part of the Ancient City
Starting in the Southern part of the park not far from the entrance you will find the old market town. Here you can see a replica of a small rural village and get an impression of traditional life of ancient times. The traditional town houses you can see here are real, they were taken from Yan Nawa, one of the older districts in Bangkok.
Central part of the Ancient City
In the central section of the park you will find buildings from the Rattanakosin era, like the Dusit Maha Prasat Palace (which is in the Grand Palace in Bangkok). A little North of that you will find the Wihan of Wat Phra Si Sanphet from Ayutthaya, the Prang Sam Yot from Lopburi and many other structures from different era.
An important building from the Ayutthaya empire you can see here is the Sanphet Prasat Palace. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed during the Burmese invasion of Ayutthaya in 1767. In the ancient city Muang Boran the Palace was rebuild bases on ancient records.
North part of the Ancient City
In the Northern section you will find structures from the Sukhothai era, like the Noen Prasat and the Grand Wall of Wat Mahathat. Some good examples of typical Northern architecture like the Ho Kham and the Wat Chong Kham in Lampang can be found here as well.
At the floating market in the Northern part of the ancient city park you will get a good impression of daily life how it used to be around the waterways, the khlongs. The waterways were the main ways of transport back then and people used to live around the khlongs as well. It is a colorful and fun place too, you can order Thai noodles or buy fruit from a boat or have lunch in one of the restaurants. There are still large markets around today, the best known being the Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa close to Bangkok.
North East part of the Ancient City
In the North Eastern section of Muang Boran you will find ruins of the Khmer empire, like the Phimai historical park in Nakhon Ratchasima and the Phanom Rung historical park in Buriram, both in architectural style that reminds of the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
In total the ancient city of Muang Boran has more than 115 buildings spread out over a huge area of some 240 acres.
There are several ways to get around in the ancient city. In the morning you can join a tram tour that will take you around comfortably, however it follows a predetermined route. If you want to explore the site on your own you can rent a golf cart at 150 Baht per hour or ride a bicycle available for free at the entrance. The area is too large to explore on foot. Don’t forget to put on sun block and wear sunglasses.
How to get there
Muang Boran is located in Samut Prakan province just South of Bangkok. Distance from the Bangkok riverside area is about 40 kilometers. A taxi will take at least one hour one way depending on traffic and cost about 900 Thai Baht round trip.
The ancient city opens daily from 9 am until 7 pm.
Ticket prices at the ancient city Muang Boran ticket counters are as follows.
Visit between 9 am and 4 pm:
Adult 700 Baht per person
Child 350 Baht per person.
Entry for car or van 400 Baht.
Visit between 4 pm and 7 pm:
Adult 350 Baht per person
Child 175 Baht per person.
Entry for car or van 200 Baht.
Children aged 6 - 14 qualify for child rate, entrance for children under 6 years old is free.
Included is this rate is an audio guide service in English, Chinese, Thai, Korean or Russian.