The Ancient City – also known as the world’s largest outdoor museum – is the best place to pay a visit to get an summary of the Thai way of life and the historical past of Thailand in a day. Within the park there are over 100 constructions of Thailand’s prominent monuments plus architectural sights. Several of the buildings are life-sized replications of present or past sites, while some are scaled down versions.
The replications were created with the help of professionals of the National Museum to guarantee historical exactness. Remarkable works include the original Grand Palace of Ayutthaya (sacked and burned down in the Burmese invasion around 1767), Phimai Sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Wat Khao Phra Viharn on the Cambodian border.
Having lots of architectural designs coupled with great arts and craftsmanship, structural layout along with surroundings which integrate harmoniously, The Ancient City brings about a sort of ambiance that causes people to understand as well as appreciate the continuity of history, beliefs, cultures and practices of the Thai people from the ancient past up to now.
Information: Mueang Boran is situated in Samut Parakan – an hour’s drive outside Bangkok. Admission is 100 Baht for adults 50 Baht for kids, in addition 50 Baht if you drive your own vehicle. You can also find bicycles and golf carts for rent there.
Getting there: Because it is quite far outside Bangkok a taxi or your own vehicle is recommended. Although it costs more than public transport, the benefits of saving time as well as the added comfort fully over-shadow the cost. If you want to take a bus take the 511 out of the Southern Bus terminal at Paknam to the end of the line. Take the 36 mini-bus from here to the entrance of the Ancient City.
KM 33 (old) Sukhumvit Road
78/1 Democracy Monument
Tel. 0-2224-1057, 0-226-1936-7
Built in 1908, OP Place is really a historic showpiece in itself with added classic style like its Neoclassic architecture and the manually operated lift. The complex has several storeys of art galleries and stores offering superb antiques of all shapes and forms.
Enthusiasts of unique crafts and other collectibles will likely be amazed because of the large collection of Asian handicrafts, antiques, carpets, jewelry, fabrics, artwork, and Thai silk.
Situated next to The Oriental Hotel, OP Place also has a third floor that is a floor dedicated to The Ashwood Gallery which is an attractively arranged gallery of antique arts, crafts as well as furniture. It’s very well laid out and is essential for antique enthusiasts or just people who want to own an item of some excellent Asian heritage.
The OP Place Asian Heritage Centre has been very well designed and oozes the feeling that everything must be expensive which is normally the case. There’s car parking but there aren’t a large number of spaces available. On the other hand, it is possible to park in the Oriental Hotel’s car park which costs 40 Baht an hour.
Like with all antique shopping you have to know what you’re doing. Having said that, there are many very nice items on display and if you like Oriental furniture and items of art, OP Place will surely not dissapoint you.
If you keep walking around this area you’ll find an array of jewelry stores as well as shops dedicated to foreign trade. There are some good deals on offer if you look hard enough. A branch of Chitralada shop, a project initiated by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, can also be found here.
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 18:30
Location: 30/1 Soi Charoen Krung 38 (behind the Oriental Hotel)
BTS: Saphan Taksin
Tel: +66 (0)2 266 0186