Ancient Siam - History and Facts | History Hit

Ancient Siam

Samut Prakan, Samut Prakan Province, Thailand

Ancient Siam is the largest outdoor museum in the world and recreates many of Thailand’s historical treasures. Whilst not technically historic in its own right, it offers great replicas of real sites.

Peta Stamper

14 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Ancient Siam

Ancient Siam or Muang Boran in Thailand is a privately owned museum park and reportedly the world’s largest outdoor museum, spreading over 200 acres. Shaped like Thailand, Ancient Siam is almost an entire recreation of the country with miniature replicas and reconstructions of most of its important sites in the correct locations.

Whilst Ancient Siam does contain some original artefacts, the appeal of this little known attraction lies not in its authenticity, but in its overview of Thai history and the attention to detail in recreating national treasures.

Again, Ancient Siam is not truly a historical site in the traditional sense, but it is a great way to discover Thailand’s history in a pleasant, tranquil setting.

Ancient Siam history

Lek Viriyaphant was an eccentric businessman and millionaire had a passion in art which inspired him to establish the Ancient city of Siam. Originally his plan was to create a Thailand-shaped golf course with miniatures of ancient sites for tourists.

However, once he started doing research, Lek found that many ancient sites had been left to decay and so altered his plan so the focus of Ancient Siam was education. The Ancient city of Siam therefore chronologically displays significant architectural styles from Thailand’s different eras, from the prehistoric through to the Ancient Khmer and Dvaravati.

The park was completed in 1963.

Ancient Siam today

Today, Ancient Siam is a time-machine back into Thailand’s ancient past, combining replicas of known significant sites with original structures moved there for preservation. Amongst its recreations, visitors can see the Tiger King’s Palace of Phetchaburi, Preah Vihear, the Ancient Theatrical Pavilion, The Royal Stand and many more.

The entire layout of the park creates the shape of Thailand, and sites are placed corresponding to their real geographical locations. Wander through beautiful landscape gardens full of native flowers and trees, streams and lakes, dotted with toilet facilities and shops.

Each site has a sign with a detailed English name, history and location. A particular highlight at Ancient Siam is definitely the Sumeru Mountain; a golden walkway leads across a lake to an island shaped like a giant serpent, its mouth gaped open.

Getting to Ancient Siam

On the outskirts of Bangkok, the faux ancient city is easily accessible from Thailand’s capital. Open between 9am and 6pm daily, you can get a taxi to Ancient Siam after getting the BTS to Kheha station (which takes 7 minutes).

Otherwise, the free shuttle part leaves BTS Bearing Station at 11am each day and stops at the museum, or take Orange bus number 511, getting off at Paknam and getting the 36 mini-van where you pass the Ancient Siam entrance.

Featured In

Thailand Historic Sites

From the sumptuous Temple of the Reclining Buddha to the iconic Kwai River Bridge, explore the riches of Thailand's history through our guide to the 10 best historic Thai landmarks and monuments.