Ancient city Samut Prakan, the biggest open-air museum in the world. I feel like this place deserves way much more attention than it gets. A place that is a wonderful and surprising discovery, and easy to access from Bangkok as there are public transports to get there easily. Ancient city Samut Prakan deserves a day trip from Bangkok, no doubt about it.
You might have already seen some pictures of some amazing temples that can be found within the city, but it is not very easy to understand exactly what the place is when seeing those pictures.
This place is surprising. It is a giant complex filled with many different temples in different architectural styles. I mean it. The place is huge, so big that you will not be able to explore it on foot. There are bicycles that you can rent inside the complex, electric motorbikes, or even carts in case you are going in a group. Of this fact, I think you can realize how big the place is.
And what is this ancient city exactly?
Well, they state it is the biggest open-air museum in the world, and as far as I understood you can find replicas of ancient temples from all over Thailand, copies of temples that are real but might be quite destroyed nowadays were “revived” in this Ancient city Samut Prakan and built as they would have looked many years ago. You can find temples from different parts of the country, is almost like you are visiting Thai architecture in only one place with the best examples of the beautiful architecture that can be found in the country and they are all brand new. Well, actually, they build up some ruins too but I don’t know where were they originally from. Aside from a bicycle or another means of transport to explore the Ancient city Samut Prakan, you can pay for an audio guide that I didn’t listen to. The place has so many things to explore that I decided not to have that extra. I already had many things ahead to entertain me…
I found the most diverse temples, they were jaw-droppingly beautiful. I’m not the kind of person that just looks at them very fast and moves on. I like to visit temples very slowly and appreciate every detail because I am an architecture lover. So, for me, it took a long time to visit the place, and I didn’t see all that was inside the ancient city. It took hours to explore and I only left because I had bought a combo ticket that included an entry to the Ancient city Samut Prakan and the Erawan museum that is on the way to the Ancient city, and not far from it.
From Bangkok to Ancitent city Samut Prakan
I departed early in the morning from Bangkok by BTS and my destination was the station called Kheha, the last one on the green line. From Bangkok to the ancient city Samut Prakan it will take about 2 hours, depending on the part of Bangkok where you are staying. So the first step of this journey is to get to Kheha BTS station. There, at the exit, you will easily spot some buses aka “Songthaew” with the number 36 clearly seen. That bus can stop right in front of the Ancient city of Samut Prakan. You need to ring the bell so the driver stops wherever you want. The bus cost is 8bhats and it doesn’t take long to take you from Kheha station to Ancient city Samut Prakan.
As mentioned, I already had my ticket that I bought online. Something that you should also do if you want to save some pennies because if you buy it directly at the place it will be more expensive- and significantly more. I paid 550bhats for a combo ticket to both places: Ancient city + Erawan museum, also because I really wanted to visit this museum and the combo ticket was the best deal.
The Erawan museum closed at 5 pm and that was the reason why I didn’t stay longer in the city. I spent many hours inside exploring beautiful buildings (more than 4h). You can spend a whole day here. Well, if you explore a faster means of transport than a bicycle, maybe it will not take that long, but still, I don’t think it is worth renting something faster because the buildings are so near each other that I was actually stopping too constantly. The problem is not the distance between constructions but the distance between the entrance and the very last building inside the Ancient city. When you go, have in mind you will spend hours there.
When I visited the Ancient city I took food and water with me and it was a great idea. There were a few places with food and beverages but they are pricier inside the complex so I made a good decision. Plus, I didn’t have to worry to find a place to stop and eat, I could just stop and eat anywhere I wanted.
There are more temples inside the city hat the ones I am sharing with you here in the pictures. I just missed finding the one that has a fish structure, but I guess that was the one that was under maintenance when I visited in June 2022. Be prepared to be surprised by the greatness of the place. I couldn’t recommend it more.
To get back to Bangkok I did exactly the same as I did to get to Samut Prakan, but I made a stop at the Erawan museum as I didn’t want to miss the chance to visit this gorgeous building. You can read more about the Erawan museum HERE!
Overall, I think the Ancient city Samut Prakan is a great day trip from Bangkok and that is easily done on your own.