2011 September Travel: Bangkok Day 2 – Ancient Siam

On our second day, we are set for an adventure in Bangkok. It’s our cultural field trip! It’s the day we will learn and explore the culture of the Kingdom.

To start, we went to the Ancient City. Actually, it’s not in Bangkok, the place is located outside of Bangkok, Samut Prakan province.

How to get to Ancient City

Note: This depends on your location in Bangkok.

We walked from our hotel going to the nearest BTS station, Ratchathewi. The station is similar to MRT less the number of passengers (but during rush hour, the train can be jam packed like we usually experience locally where we feel that when we get off the bus our faces will be interchanged).

ratchathewi

We have to ride the train up until On Nut station (based on the information we found in the internet). So we bought a ticket in the counter and instead of giving us the pass, she gave us coins for us to use in the machines very similar to LRT2 (purple station) system.

ticket booth

ticket booth

bts

similar to LRT2 one day pass

Our first fare for the day is Bht 40 for the train ride. Later we realized, we should’ve ridden the train up until Bearing station. They have 5 new stations after On Nut station with the same fare (Bht 40) and our bus ride fare should’ve been less than expected.

trainf fare info

Anyway, we got off On Nut station. Upon exiting, you must remember to keep Right. Exit to the right always and then wait for a bus with number 511. Bus 511 will take you all the way to Samut Prakan. You have to pay Bht 17.

As for the landmarks, it’s really hard to say since the marks we thought were accurate were really not actually. So to be sure, just ask the driver to drop you off to Samut Prakan and you’re going to Ancient City. They are really very friendly and you’ll feel that you are truly in the Land of Smiles.

multicab

When we got off the bus, face to the right and walk through that direction. As you walk, be mindful of the white multi cab that you’ll see on your left side. Make sure that the number is 36. Again, inform the driver that you’re going to Ancient City. Multi cab 36 fare is Bht 8.

inside the cab

inside the multi cab

From there, you’re safe. The park is a bit far from the station and it will take you roughly about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic. No need to look for landmarks, the multi cab drops you off inside the Ancient City. You have to go down first and go to the passenger’s seat to pay for the fare (left side because they are right hand drivers).

In summary, you have to take a train to Bearing (Bht 40), a bus 511 (Bht 17) and a multi cab (Bht 8 ) to get to the place. Going back, you have to do the same thing but in reverse. However, you have 2 options after taking the multi cab: 1) Take the Bus 511 until Pratunam (our place), 2) Take the Bus 511 and then take the Train again.

Option 2 is faster if you’re in a hurry but if you want to take your time, Option 1 is okay. Another thing, we noticed 2 kinds of Bus 511. If you’re going to take Option 1, look for the Yellow signage as it will take the Express way. If you’re going to Option 2, look for the Blue signage as it will take you to the train stations.

bus

Bus 511

Yes, this is really tiring but fun. You can always hire a taxi from your place, tour the Ancient City and back (est. Bht 1000/day). However, since we’re on a budget we’re looking at the cheapest alternative as possible.

 

Ancient City (Muang Boran)

Ancient City, covering about 320 acres, is the world’s largest outdoor museum, and presents about 100 scaled-down replicas of Thailand’s historic monuments and works of art. The structures are sited orderly in accordance with their geographical locations from the northern to the southern parts.- by Thaiways Magazine

ancient siam

Ancient Siam Gate

It was formerly called Ancient Siam. As far as I can remember in my history class, Siam is the previous name of Thailand but they are officially known as Kingdom of Thailand. The park was also created in the shape of Thailand. If you see the map, it shows the different sites you can see around the area. Each spot you see in the park is situated geographically as if you’re touring the whole of Thailand.

map-2

Map comparison of Thailand and Ancient Siam

We rented a golf cart because we don’t have our umbrellas with us. It’s too hot and we can’t imagine touring the place just by walking or biking. Though bikes are free as you enter and a tram is also available, we wanted to try the golf cart. Hahaha! Entrance fee cost Bht 400.

guide info

Tourist Info

Note: Be sure to bring your driver’s license when you opt to use the golf cart.

golf

Golf Cart rental

You can also bring your own transportation inside the park for a fee of Bht 200 in addition to your entrance fees.

First part, we went to the West first and took pictures of Thailand’s Creative Designs.

west side of the Kingdom

west side of the Kingdom

Next stop would be Lunch in their mini Floating Market. We never visited the actual floating market but the site is almost the same less the bad smell so it was okay for us. We ate in a restaurant called Rim Nam since that’s the only place where we found foreigners eating.

floating-market

Our lunch for the day, Pad Thai (Bht 50) for me and Fried Rice (Bht 50) and Milk Tea (Bht 20) for Reg.

lunch

After lunch we headed to the sites where the replica of the country’s original monuments were mounted. It’s now my turn to drive the golf cart too.

East side of the Kingdom

East side of the Kingdom

This park reminds us of Nayong Pilipino where we used to go in elementary as our field trips since there were students on an educational tour that time. I wonder what happened to Nayong Pilipino, is it still open to the public? Last I heard they are under renovation and was thinking of relocating the place to Subic.

I’m sure that actual temples and monuments are way nicer than these replicas, it’s one good way to see the totality of the Kingdom. There are so many sites to visit and we didn’t take pictures in all the monuments and statues since we’re running out of time. Not to mention the weather was humid and it’s literally hot. All in all, it was quite an educational experience.

We went back to our hotel very exhausted because of the commuting but we have no choice but to take a shower and be ready for our next activity for the night, the best cultural show in Thailand. See? It’s really a cultural day for us! ^_^

You can check out Ancient Siam in Wikipedia for more information.
*photo credits: Regireg Roque

Next post: Siam Niramit: Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam

Check out the summary of our September 2011 Travel: Bangkok, Thailand.

2011 September Travel: Bangkok, Thailand

True to my goal this year, I wanted to visit Bangkok! Luckily, my friend Reg booked a low fare flight in Cebu Pacific that made our trip possible. Again, as usual our trip was a DIY plan so we were able to experience the joy and difficulty of commuting in Bangkok.

bangkok trip 2011

Bangkok Itinerary
4D/3N

September 18: Evening flight to Bangkok

September 19: Half day City Tour (free), Gem/Jewelry Shop, Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha; The Grand Chao Phraya River Cruise at night

September 20: Whole day adventure to Muang Boran: Ancient Siam; Cultural Show: Siam Niramit at night

September 21: Whole day shopping adventure and Swensen’s Bangkok

September 22: Dawn flight to Manila

Guest House: Four Seasons International House (will eventually be called “Four Seasons Plaza)
Tour Guide: Nittaya Paneechart (NIM) of Acer 88 Travel
Taxi (can be hired to tour around Thailand): Mr. Suwit – Mobile: 089-2213435