Viharnra Sien, often referred as Wihan Sien, is a majestic three-storey Chinese temple and museum located about 15 km south of Pattaya. Set in a beautiful green area of almost 3 acres, the temple sits next to a beautiful lake within the Wat Yansangwararam temple complex. The Chinese official name of temple is Tah Phoo Ei, instead the Thai name Viharnra Sien, meaning ‘House of the Gods’, holds true with the fact that it is a temple to worship Chinese gods. The temple was established in 1987 to celebrate the King of Thailand’s 60th birthday. It took 4 years and 6 months to complete Viharnra Sien. On 24 December 1992, the King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself comes to officially open the temple. Viharnra Sien is made up of a three story central edifice in elegant Chinese style surrounded by a number of pavilion halls, however the real attraction of temple is the museum that lies inside the building. Officially appointed Anek Kuson Sala, name bestowed upon by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the museum exhibits a magnificent collection of rare and priceless Chinese artefacts and antiques donated by the Chinese government, which is believed to be one of the most extensive of this kind outside of China. Visitors will be able to find an area presenting Thai arts, including religious artefacts from Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist sects, the model of a Thai ship, wooden models of traditional Thai houses from the four regions, hand-carved wooden sculptures, Khon actor masks, and classical Thai instruments. A large number of Chinese mythological figures and two magnificent stone Peking lions guard the entrance to the Anek Kuson Sala. The highlight of the museum is the exhibition area, fashioned in the style of an ancient Chinese palace hall. Between the wide range of artefacts, it houses some soldier figures of the ancient terracotta army found on the original site of Xi'an China. The terracotta figures are preserved perfectly, and the detail on the faces is truly remarkable. There’s also a scale model of the original archaeological site for reference. In addition to the soldiers there are terracotta figures of horses and chariots, as well as the golden throne of Emperor Quin Shi Huang, which was gifted by the government of China. Other artefacts from ancient China include 18 statues of Shaolin Monks, each displaying the 1500-year-old martial art form, and a collection of fine Chinese pottery from several dynasties, one of them, the Shang dynasty, dating back at least 3,000 years ago.
Admission fee & Opening hours: The museum is open daily from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. Entrance fee is 100 baht per person.
Getting there: Viharnra Sien is located approximately 15 km south of Pattaya, within the Wat Yansangwararam temple complex. It can be reached by following the Sukhumvit Road southward until the km 160 marker where you have to turn on left. The best way to get there is by the local songthaew that can be rented as a taxi. Before leaving, make sure you agree on the price.Read More
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