• Legend Siam is set to become a new Pattaya landmark that welcomes visitors with a magnificent arch at the entrance guarded by statues of Totsakan and Sahassa Decha.
  • Siriya Thepcharoen poses with two Ramakian characters during the opening of the Legend Siam event in Shanghai.

Ancient Siam gets a modern makeover

lifestyle October 12, 2018 01:00

By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
THE NATION

4,267 Viewed

The soon-to-open Legend Siam cultural park in Pattaya aims to attract Chinese tourists



Residents and visitors to Pattaya will have a new attraction to enjoy at the end of the year – the first cultural theme park the city has ever seen.

Known as Legend Siam, it is designed to immerse the visitor in a Thai experience from past to present all in the space of a few hours. 

 

“We will provide exciting activities for adults and those of retirement age from Monday to Friday, as well as on the weekend. We have many foreign retirees coming on holiday to Pattaya and are delighted to offer them an alternative way to spend their time. Here they can learn about Thainess and Thai way of life as well as practise meditation in the quiet of our replica of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the temple on the site of the old royal place in Thailand’s ancient capital of Ayutthaya. This explains dharma through a 3D projection mapping showcase and invites visitors to pause and be mindful for three minutes,” says Siriya Thepcharoen, the chief executive of Nusa Legend Siam, who recently led members of the media on a trip to Shanghai to publicise the new attraction to the Chinese tourist industry.

 

Siriya admits that she originally planned to create a new water park with a Thai theme but changed her mind after realising that Chinese tourists preferred learning about Thai culture to splashing around on water slides, while Western visitors were more interested in meditation.

Costing around Bt4 billion, the park has been created by Nusasiri Company and brings together Thai history, arts and culture and shopping under one roof. Legend Siam is spread over 10,000 square metres and features three zones. “Siam Vilize” showcases the Siamese civilisation; “Araya Thai” presents Thai traditions and culture; and while “Bhumi Pan Din” focuses on local wisdom.

Visitors enter through a magnificent arch where they are greeted by mammoth statues of Totsakan and Sahassa Decha before making their way to “Siam Vilize” where the glories of old Siam are showcased through historical architecture and the stories of Indra and the Erawan elephant are told through the "Legendary Royal Elephants” parade, which portrays ancient Thai ceremonies.

 

Visitors can enjoy with the amazing “Legendary Royal Elephants” parade in the Siam Vilize zone of Legend Siam.

“This zone underlines the prosperity of Siam. Visitors are transported back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom. There are two-storey houses in the Lanna style and an entrance like Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Temple). Beliefs, culture and the old ways of life are the highlights of this zone, so we have built a statue of Indra, the king of the Tavatimsa Heaven riding Erawan the elephant god,” explains Siriya.

 

Araya Thai brings the fun of the temple fair to visitors.

“Araya Thai” focuses on the traditional Thai temple fair, mythical creatures from Thai literature, and Wat Phra Si San Phet from the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which has been brought back to life through a 3D experience. There’s a floating market and a traditional market offering locally produced goods and, for a hair-raising experience, a recreation of the home of Mae Nak, the legendary female ghost from the classic love story “Khlong Phra Khanong” (“Phra Khanong Canal”).

 

The battle of Bang Rajan is recreated with stuntmen and explosions.

“The market has products from all 77 provinces. In this zone, which is subdivided into the four regions, visitors can enjoy a foretaste of what these areas have to offer – the traditional houses, important monuments and the Thai way of life,” Siriya explains.

“And while the focus is on the past, this is brought to the visitor through the very latest in technology. In the first zone, tourists travel back through time through a 3D mapping showcase. The second zone is equally as interactive with Mae Nak’s house providing the shivers and a recreation of the battle of Bang Rajan complete with stuntmen and explosions. The temple fair meanwhile incorporates the creatures of forest of Himmapan,” she adds.

 

The romantic legend of Mae Nak is told interactively in the Araya Thai zone.

The last zone is called “Bhumi Pan Din” and invites visitors to learn about sustainable agriculture under His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s philosophy of a sufficiency economy through a hands-on experience. There’s also the chance to witness the glory of the legendary royal elephants in an ancient tradition no longer practised today.

 

Legend Siam presents local products from all 77 provinces of four regions of Thailand as well as a floating market.

Located at kilometre marker 162 of Sukhumvit Road in Na Jomthien and just 20 kilometres from South Pattaya, Legend Siam has been built with Chinese tourists in mind and meets their interest in Thailand’s architecture, culture, food, and local souvenirs. It is expected to attract 20,000 visitors per day. Visitors can enjoy the atmosphere around Legend Siam seated on a vintage train or take a river cruise.

 

“You could easily spend more than a day visiting all of Legend of Siam but it can be covered in five to six hours without any activities,” says the chief executive. 

“We have Thai costumes to serve at least 5,000 visitors a day much in the same way as the Japanese offer national costumes such as kimono or yukata.

“At Legend Siam, we are delighted to welcome all tourists, whether from China or elsewhere, with the Thai smile and an experience they will never forget.”

Back to the future

- For updated information on Legend Siam, check out its social media sites as well as www.LegendSiam.com.