February 24, 2007-Inside the Elephant
Erawan Park, Samut Prakhan
Near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, some 30 kilometers down stream from Bangkok, lies the city of Samut Prakhan where Thai kings built forts on either bank to protect against invaders seeking access up the river into the heart of the kingdom.
We visited Samut Prakhan one Saturday and wandered for an hour around the old city and then through the wet market on the river front.
Hot and tired and dusty we found a coffee shop with air con and over a cup of espresso we looked at our map and tried to think of what to do next.
There was that museum with the big elephant, right? But it's not on the map! We got the name from the coffee shop owner after drawing a picture of the big elephant with three heads, and not knowing where it was, but armed with the name of the place (Erawan) in Thai, we caught a taxi. I waved the piece of paper with the Thai words at the driver and off we went. Soon we were in the shadow of the biggest elephant we’ve ever seen.
Of course it is a fake elephant. They don’t come with three heads and stand 50 meters tall. And what’s more, the museum is inside of it.
wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Inside the Elephant
We had to go in of course, and we walked up the stairs inside the right rear leg to the belly of the elephant to the shrine inside.
In the quiet, dark, and ice cold (due to the heavy air conditioning) eerie space inside the elephant’s belly we sat on the polished hardwood floor at the back and watched the tourists and give homage to the statues of Buddha. After all the tourists left we walked down slowly and looked at all the carvings on the walls, ceiling, and stairs of this interesting museum, and we were glad we came to Samut Prakhan and saw the giant elephant.
Click HERE and HERE to see more photos.
Fred & Judy, Bangkok