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When I was in Bangkok recently, I made the hour and a half commute south of town (in the process finding out that the pick-up trucks that are called "buses" here are immensely better than similar ones in Myanmar, being newer, better built, and bigger) to Muang Boran, aka "Ancient City." Imagine 330 acres of land roughly shaped like Thailand. Now scatter over this space scale models of 120 of the country's best known monuments. Don't think of Las Vegas or Disneyland, think instead of an enormous outdoor museum of architecture. These are excellent scale renderings, often done with appropriate materials (ie. stone, teak, plaster) in exquisite detail. A few are recreations of places that now lie in ruins. They've tampered with the scale in a few places, most notably to allow normal humans to climb the stairs. I was tempted to use the word "surreal" to describe the place, but I've already overused that word in this blog. Instead, how about this: disconcerting, beautiful, impressive, and definitely worth seeing. You'll appreciate the bike they give you with your entrance ticket.

Image 20051206-BangkokMuangBoran1.web.jpg, size 68948 b
Image #20051206-BangkokMuangBoran1
Photo © 2008, Giles Orr 
Last modified: 2008-05-17 by giles