Phaya Thaen Public Park – Nai Mueang, Thailand - Atlas Obscura
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Phaya Thaen Public Park

Nai Mueang, Thailand

Its tremendous toad is actually a five-story museum and viewing platform. 

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Located in the Phaya Thaen Public Park is a huge toad, warts and all, overlooking the Chi River. This peculiar structure is actually home to a five-story museum featuring information on both traditional Thai folklore and animal biology.

Expect to see life-size replicas of the different species of toad while reading about Thai mythology and superstitions. Once you reach the top of the attraction, you’ll find yourself standing on a viewing platform in the toad’s mouth. This is the perfect time to gaze out upon the Chi river and take in the fresh views.

If you’re wondering why a giant toad is this park’s main attraction, it all goes back a Thai belief. Phraya Khan Khak translates to “the Toad King,” a noble amphibian spirit whose presence is linked to rainfall.

To pay their respects to this spirit, the Isan region of Thailand holds a yearly rocket festival in mid-July, coinciding with the pre-farming season. Niter-and-charcoal-filled rockets are fired into the air, asking the holy spirit to let the rain pour down from the heavens and ensure a bountiful harvest. So, next time you see a toad hop across your path, it may be forecasting the beginning of a storm!

The giant toad is not the only attraction to check out. Be sure to grab a photo among the statues of dancing Isan women and relax in the quaint gardens nearby. Or, you could visit their other museum, which, this time, is inside a huge building shaped into a roaring, serpent-like creature.  

 

Know Before You Go

Take a plane from Bangkok to the Ubon Ratchathani district, then you can get a bus or taxi ride to Yasothon town.

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