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Museums in Bangkok
A visit to the National Museum reveals the history of Thailand and how people lived during the different periods. It gives you a view through the windows of the past.
The National Museum, located on the opposite side of Sanam Luang to The Grand Palace, was established in 1887 by King Rama V. The foundation collection was previously stored at The Grand Palace.
The original building was formerly the palace of a vice-ruler. King Rama VII placed it under the administration of the Royal Institute of Literature, Archeology and Fine Arts which has evolved to be the Fine Arts Department.
This exquisite collection of traditional Thai house stands as a museum to the man who revived the Thai silk industry after the Second World War.
The story of James H.W. Thompson is one upon legends are made. After serving in the U.S.A. armed forces, Jim Thompson settled in Thailand and found the tremendous opportunity to re-establish the Thai silk industry.
In recognition of his services to the country, he was bestowed the royal award of The Order of the White Elephant.
The company he founded, Jim Thompson Thai Silk, is recognized worldwide for its brilliant creations. He was an avid collector of Asian artifacts and antiques and The Jim Thompson’s House is possibly the epitome of his collection.
Located on Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, one of the key city areas of heritage and cultural tourism, Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall is an interactive self- learning centre with state-of-the-art multimedia technologies giving information on history, arts, and culture of the Rattanakosin era (since 1782).
In a renovated building, there are 7 exhibition rooms each representing a part of the grandeur of Rattanakosin, the former capital of Thailand.
Visitors can view 4D multimedia spectacles, see the most perfect model of the Grand Palace and the animation illustrating the legend of the Emerald Buddha, or enjoy the 360 degree multimedia demonstration of various forms of entertainment in the Rattanakosin period.
The world 's favourite wax museum opened in Bangkok with over 70 wax figures and brimming with interactive experiences this is so much more than just a wax museum. Every figure can be photographed and you will be able to step the Royal room, mingle with the A-List on the red carpet, challenge your sporting heroes as well as get on stage with your favourite pop stars.
Located on the first floor of the Emerald Building next to the Department of Mineral Resources on Rama VI Road, the museum is attached to the Bureau of Geological Survey, Department of Mineral Resources, and was established in 1948. It exhibits minerals, rocks, fossils as well as ancient tools made from minerals and rocks in 3 sections.
The museum is located inside Queen Sirikit Park and was established under the royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen, in her realizing the significance of creating a pleasurable learning process for Thai children. Based on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administrations children and family activities, the Childrens Discovery Museum took shape in the form of 3 exhibition buildings and an open-air activity ground covering a total area of 5 rai.
Situated in the southeastern area of Vachirabenjatas Park (Railway Park), the garden covers an area of approximately 6 rai.
It comprises an activity ground, exhibition area, feed breeding room, embryo breeding room, scenic area, insectariums, butterfly garden and Lamphu tree ground.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhron, Executive Vice-President of Thai Red Cross Society urged them to build the museum of the society so as to celebrate the 72nd birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, who is the president of Thai Red Cross Society. The princess's desire is to establish a living museum similar to the museum of international Red Cross Society situated in Geneva, Switzerland.
The basement of 3-storey building of Thai Red Cross Society has two floors and there is a 6-storey supportive building located aside, all of which provides 11,500 square meters. As to interior maker, Nithi Sathapitanon, the national artist of the nation, designs the building's interior. The overall area comprises administration and exhibition sections. In the area of exhibition, there is a history of international and Thai committee of Thai Red Cross Society including its achievements. The area is composed of 7 rooms. Each room shows a principle of Dharma Mercy in which the philosophy is to help the people who lack opportunity or encounter with troubles. Moreover, each room is set to give children an area of activities of learning based on the concept edutainment.
A visit to this exquisite collection of traditional Thai homes, set in beautiful gardens, gives you an insight into the appreciation of art and gardening by members of the Royal Family.
Named after the cabbage patch (Suan Pakkad) which used to occupy this land, it was built as a weekend resort by HRH Prince Chombhotpong Paripatra of Nagor Svarga and his consort, Mom Ratchawong Pantip. They took up permanent residence there after World War II.
The main objective of the Museum is to preserve Thai currency, one of our important cultural heritages, as well as to stimulate the research and study on the history and evolution of Thai currency.
The exhibitions started from the prehistoric medium of exchange the ancient currency, used in different eras up until the present day. In addition, it also highlights the roles and responsibilities of the Bank of Thailand, the governors, as well as the history of Bang Khun Phrom Palace and H.R.H. Prince Baripatra Sukhumbhands life.
It was during the reign of King Prajadipok as King Rama VII that Thailand changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.
This museum presents the life and tumultuous times of The Kings reign.
The building, constructed in 1906, was initially an imported clothing store called John Simpson Store designed in the Neo-classical style by Charles Beguelin, a French-Swiss architect. It later became a hardware store and then headquarters of the Public Works Department.
The Philatelic Museum takes you through the history of the postal service in Thailand and the world. There are displays of all the Thai stamps and First Day Covers up until today. There is also a collection of stamps from around the world.
The Royal Barge Procession is one of the most spectacular events in the world. It is performed occasionally during the Tod Kathin Buddhist Festival when H.M. The King delivers new robes to the monks at Wat Arun. It was also seen by millions of viewers around the world when it was specially staged for the 2003 APEC Conference in Bangkok and broadcast live to the participating countries. These ornately decorated boats are maintained by the Royal Thai Navy and docked at The Royal Barge National Museum on Bangkok Noi canal on the Thonburi side.The most impressive and important boat is the Kings personal barge, Suphanahong which was built in 1911.
The museum is situated in Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok Noi Distirict.
King Rama V founded Siriraj Hospital to provide modern medical treatment for Thai people. During the time when the hospital was being built, HRH Prince Sirirajgaguthapan, the first son of Queen Sri Bajarindra, fell ill and died of cholera. The King donated the wood used in the Prince’s cremation ceremony to the building of the hospital and gave it the name Siriraj in the Prince’s memory.
The hospital was Thailand’s first medical school, with books and medical specimens collected in several museums that were established in the hospital to help medical students with their studies and research projects.
Located in the same building as the Press Association of Thailand on Ratchasima Road, Dusit district (opposite Suan Dusit Rajabhat University), this is the first museum to have been established to enhance press occupation and be a source of study and information as well as valuable historical data about the Thai press from past to present.
The museum serves as a learning centre on ethnology, anthropology, and other fields related to Thai society and Southeast Asia, in order to instill consciousness and understanding of the Thai people in their history, nation, culture, and localities, as well as connect relative ties with neighbouring countries.
The Royal Thai Air Force museum was set up in 1952 with the purpose of collecting and restoring defense articles of different periods including equipments and aircraft in use during the early period of Thai aviation history up to the present. The RTAF museum was first located at a hangar west of Don Muang airfield and was not opened to public until 27 March 1959. The present musem was constructed in 1968 at a total cost of 6,635,000 Bahts.
The Kamthieng House is of great interest to all who have an interest in Thai society. It is the center-piece at the Siam Society, which promotes the preservation of heritage, culture, arts and the environment. This superb example of Northern Thai architecture is more than 160 years old and has been preserved in excellent condition.
The Bangkok Corrections Museum was built as a high security prison in 1890 on Maha Chai Road.
In 1939 a prison museum was established in Bangkwang Central Prison, (Bangkok Hilton).
1987 much of the prison was demolished to establish a park which is called Romanni Nart Park, what is left of the prison is now the corrections museum, this includes 2 watch towers, part of the prison wall, a cell block and 3 other buildings.
Bangkok Dolls & Museum
Bangkok Dolls have won several awards for their creations. A single-storey workshop and Doll Museum in the Chandavimol family compound at 85 Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng) in Bangkoks Makkasan district is the magnet for many visitors who wish to inspect these miniature creations in all their wondrous variety.
Open : Mon - Sat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2245 3008
House of Museums
The House of Museums is located at 170/17 Mu 17, Khlong Pho Land, Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Road, Thawi Watthana, Bangkok 10170. It is accessible by driving along Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road toward the railway track or Khlong Maha Sawat.
Open Saturday and Sunday 09.00 - 17.00
Museum of Thai Pharmacy
The museum is located on the third floor of the Pharmaceutical Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Building at 40 Soi Santisuk, Sukhumvit 38 Road (diagonally opposite Soi Thong Lo).
It was established to publicize traditional Thai medicine from past to present for later generations to learn and treasure.
The exhibition is featured by various topics; namely, the Birth of Pharmacy, the Evolution of Oriental Pharmacy and Basic Wisdom, the Evolution of Western Thai Pharmacy and the Evolution of Herbs and Natural Products.
Open : Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Advance contact in writing is required for a group visit)
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2391 6243, 0 2712 1627
National Gallery Museum
Situated on Chao Fa Road opposite the National Theatre, the museum exhibits traditional and contemporary works of art created by Thai artists.
Open : Wed-Sun from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission : 30 baht.
Tel : 0 2281 2224, 0 2282 2639-40
Science Centre for Education
Situated next to the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) on Sukhumvit Road, this is an exhibition centre on a variety of scientific interests.
Among the attractions are a planetarium, an aquarium as well as permanent exhibitions of sports science, communication technology and natural environment.
Open : Exhibition: Tue to Sun (except public holidays) from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.
Planetariam : 1-hour shows at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Additional shows on Sat & Sun at 10 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.
Admission : Exhibition and Planetarium - Adult 40 baht, Child 20 baht
Tel : 0 2392 5951-9
How to get there: taking skytrain to Ekamai BTS station or taking bus routes 2, 511, 48 or 508
Situated at 82/10 Sukhaphiban 1 (off Phetkasem Road near Lotus Supermarket), this is an private museum operated by Mr. Sunthorn Chunothaisawat. It houses invaluable antiques from different periods such as BMW Motorcycles in the World War Periods, various kinds and types of old clock, lamps, children toys made out of zinc, Radios, Irons, type writers, Fans and sewing machines which are still being maintained in good condition.
Open : Sat. from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Admission : 200 baht
Tel : 0 2802 0863-4
Website : www.sunthornmuseum.com
Museum of Imaging Technology
The first camera and photograph museum established in Thailand and Asia, is located at the same building as the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University on Phaya Thai Road.
Historic photographs and imaging equipment, as well as its technological evolution are collected and displayed. Modern photographic arts, techniques and printing technology are also exhibited.
Open : Mon - Fri from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Admission : 100 baht.
Tel : 0 2218 5581-3
Website : www.chula.ac.th
The State Railway Hall of Fame
This is a train museum where steam engines, train models, and miniature trains are exhibited along with the story of world railway systems. It is located on the western side of Chatuchak Park adjacent to Kamphaeng Phet Road.
Open : Sat. - Sun. from 08.00 a.m. - 03.00 p.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 08 1615 5776
The Museum of Buddhism Art
Located at 104 Soi 40, Phatthanakan Road, Suan Luang, Bangkok 10250, the museum features a large private collection of Buddha images and is operated by The Foundation of Thais Arts Preservation. The exhibition focuses on the art of Buddha images in accordance with Thai history, with an international standard presentation comprising light, sound (chanting), scent (incense) in an air-conditioned atmosphere. Besides Buddha images and artifacts of different periods, there is also an area allocated to be a shrine as well as museum of Kuan Yin and other major gods of various beliefs in Asia.
Open : Tue. - Fri. and Sun. (Advance contact is required.),
Sat. from 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Admission : 250 baht
Tel : 0 2321 0048-50, 0 2322 2434
Fax : 0 2322 2412
Mrs. Flowers Chocolate Mini Museum
One of the newest attractions for tourist travelling through Thailand from the oldest premium chocolate brand based in Bangkok: Mrs. Flowers Chocolate. Stop and learn interesting information about cocoa and Chocolate at this mini Chocolate Museum.
Mrs. Flowers Chocolate mini Museum is located on Romklao Road, 10 min from Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is not only a retail venue but is also a mini sightseeing destination. Over half of the space functions as the Chocolate Mini Museum. It showcases the cocoa trees and an interesting information about the cocoa history and the chocolate making process. That will sure to excite anyone: from the Asian tourists to the seasoned European chocolate lovers.
Bangkok Metropolitan Local Museums
The Bangkok Metropolitan aims to operate local community museums for each of its 50 districts. In order to develop Bangkok into a metropolitan cultural centre, each museum contains the cultural knowledge and local wisdom of its district.
These museums are peaceful little hideaways: charming as learning centres with warm community vibes standing out against the backdrop of Bangkok’s hectic bustle.
Each museum has displays on its district’s history, background, and important people, as well as the local way of life, specialties and tourist attractions.
This interesting information is displayed through models and multi-media.
Most of the museums are appropriately located in temple / school areas:
Suan Luang District – its museum is located at the Thai teak pavilion of Wat Tai.
Samphanthawong District – at Wat Tri Mit
Bangkok Noi District - Bangkok Noi Museum – Suwannaram Witthayakhom School
One highlight worth a visit is Phra Nakhon District’s museum. It is situated in a Thai house in front of Phra Nakhon District Office on Samsen Road. This elegant 2-storey house formerly belonged to nobleman Phraya Ammaretsombat.
It was built around 1914 and has been well maintained in its ancient and rare beauty.
The house itself is valuable heritage and worth admiring.The museum displays the story of Phra Nakhon District, the inner town on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Covering an area of almost 1400 acres, this is the centre of the Nation’s rich culture.
Moreover, many important historical attractions are located in this district, such as the Grand Palace, Rattanakosin Island, 23 temples, Muslim Mosques, and several shrines.
In addition, this district is the centre of many important governmental and private organizations.
The museum house building spans an area of 240 sq m, displaying the fine craftsmanship of the district in terms of the history of Thonburi and Rattanakosin.
In addition, visitors can admire the charming atmosphere of life in the palace, as well as Bangkok’s quaint old communities.
Moreover, visitors will appreciate photos depicting the Phra Nakhon’s timeless ‘Venice of the East’ canal and river scenes, as well as its lively traditional events and fairs.
Other exhibits include the background of the district’s renowned highlights such as the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the National Museum, and the World’s only Loha Prasat at Wat Ratchanadda.
Furthermore, the museum also provides historical information about the district’s moats, canals, walls, gates and forts.
History lovers will be very satisfied.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 4pm.
Admission is free.
For further information, contact Bangkok’s Office of Culture, Sports and Tourism, tel. 0 2640 6423.