The Erawan Museum, Thailand


Towering above the treetops in Bangkok’s suburbs, this 17-storey three-headed elephant is enough to make any passer-by feel like part of a Stephen King adaptation.

The copper giant forms the exterior of The Erawan Museum, dreamed up by late Thai millionaire Lek Viriyapant. The eccentric art lover designed it as a place to preserve his antiques and encourage a love of Thai culture. Work began in 1994 and took a decade to complete.

The three levels inside represent the underworld, the human world and Tavatimsa Heaven. They incorporate a stained-glass ceiling, sweeping staircases and a hand-painted solar system.

Outside, faithful visitors float lotus flowers in the stream around the museum, while others try to spot the mythical beasts dotted around the leafy grounds.

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