Bangkok Museums | The Guiding List You Need to Know

Museums are places you will find the history, artifacts, knowledge and other interesting things about those local cultures. Some of them are niche and unique representing an interesting story about one aspect of a subject or culture. In Bangkok, there are many Bangkok museums exhibiting the local culture, the history of Thailand and unique perspectives about subjects. Here is a list of Bangkok museums that will be helpful for you to choose which museum to visit.

Bangkok museumSiriraj Medical Museum. Photo credit: http://boonbudnet.com/

Bangkok National Museum

It is located in the area of the Bowonsathan Mongkok Palace or Wang Na (The Front Palace) in the first reign. It is the museum that displays Thai national history, art history and archaeology since the primitive age to the Rattanakosin period. Furthermore, there are art works expressing ethnology such as ancient objects, gold ornaments, silver ornaments, ancient cloth, actor’s mask, grand shadow play, and royal chariot.

This museum is very special because the exhibition buildings are ancient remains including the throne hall and palace. The Phuddhisawan Throne Hall is the architecture in the first reign of which Phra Phuddasihing, and an ancient stature of Buddha with Lanka has been placed there. Furthermore, there are beautiful mural paintings, small throne halls, Thai pavilions such as Sala Longsong, Sala Mookkamat, Mangala Pisek Throne Hall, Eak-alongkod Throne Hall, Patihan Tassanai Throne Hall, all of which reflect the uniqueness of the Rattnanakosin Period.

Remark:

The museum is located close to the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha which is within a short walking distant. Thus, for those travelers who plan to visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha, this museum will go well with your itinerary.

Location:

Na Phra That Rd., adjacent of the Thammasat University, opposite to the Sanam Luang.

Open: Wed-Sun 09.00 – 16.00 (closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays)

Fee: Foreigner 200 THB

Website: www.finearts.go.th

Museum Siam

The Museum Siam, or the National Discovery Museum Institute, is located in a hundred year old building which once was the headquarters of the Ministry of Commerce. Museum Siam is a modern museum with its distinct style of exhibition. by incorporating interactive multimedia andd valuable information, the exhibitions arranged at the museum narrate important topics interestingly. The learning becomes joyous and informative, as we could say that it is one kind of ‘edutainment’.

There are four kinds of exhibitions at Museum Siam: Permanent Exhibitions, Temporary Exhibitions, Moveable Exhibitions, andd special Exhibitions. One of the most interesting ones is the Permanent Exhibition named ‘riang Kwam Pra Ted Thai’ (Narrating Thailand), which brings us back to the early period of Suvarnabhumi, the rise of Siamese Kinddom and the birth of modern Thailand, by relaying reliable information in a comprehensive tone.

Location:

Sanam Chai Rd., close to the Wat Pho.

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00 – 18.00

Fee:Foreigners 300 THB, get 50% discount for a group of 5 people onward.

Website:

www.museumsiam.com

Pipit Bang Lamphu

This is the Treasury Department project in restoring the Kurusapa building and inaugurated in 2014. The two exhibition zones are divided according to the building layout. The modern building in the front acts as an introductory chapter telling the Bang Lamphu story that reflects the historical background and establishment of the city and the district.

Whereas the rear wooden building which is the highlight of the project and hosts the permanent exhibition telling the Bang Lamphu story especialy the olden colorful days that once it was a prosperous area and an important commercial center. It is also a center of multi-ethic grougs, art and culture especially that of the entertainment, fashion and food. There are mock-up of local popular food shops ranging from the coffee shop, Nopparat clothing shop and also that of the historical ‘trok’ (alley) such as Trok Kianniwas. Also there is a mock-ups of symbolic cork tree (Lamphu tree) both the old and the new ones which related to the origin of the name and the continuation of legends of Bang Lamphu.

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Location:

Phra Sumen Rd., close to Suan Santi Chai Praka.

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00-18.00

Fee:

100 THB

Website:

www.facebook.com/pipitbanglamphu

Coin Museum Thailand

In Bang Lamphu area not far from Pipit Bang Lamphu, there is “Coin Museum Thailand” that you can visit. The museum is also under the Treasury Department of Thailand. It exhibits the history of the Thai coins, the medium of exchange which has been used in the Thai economic system. The museum gives information about  cultural and economic history of Thailand from the early period to the present by telling coins’ stories. One of the museum’s remarkable is the 4D animation on 360 widescreen which present the content realistically. It is the first museum in Thailand using the technology.

Nitasrattanakosin

The museum is located in the first Ratchadamnoen building next to Chetsadabodin plaza. The museum provides a concise Bangkok history as its motto says “Values of the era in a day”. The museum consists of nine exhibition halls that display various exhibitions on the history of Rattanakosin Bangkok in many aspects; art, culture, commoners and courtiers’ way of life such as entertainment, royal ceremonies, urban legends etc., architectures of important temples, and royal duties of nine Chakri kings. There is also a temporary exhibition hall available for academia and private institutions.

Location:

Next to Chetsadabodin Plaza

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00-19.00. The tour session starts every  20 minutes between 10.00-17.00

Website:

www.nitasrattanakosin.com

King Prajadhipok Museum

Only a few minutes walk from Nitasrattanakosin, you will find King Prajadhipok Museum which is located near Panfa Leelard Bridge, the Neo-Classic building with domes and towers, decorated with Greco-Roman bas-relieves was built late in Rama V’s reign in 1906. It is the Department of Public Works and, Urban and Country Planning’s preservation site. Now it is converted to the King Prajadhipok Museum to display the personal collections of King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambai Barni as well as showcase photos, documents of royal family history and important events in Thailand from that time period.

Location:

At Panfa intersection

Open:

Tue-Sun 09.00-16.00

Fee:

None

Website:

www.facebook.com/kingprajadhipokmuseum

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Wang Suan Pakkad or Suan Pakkad Palace was the residence of Chumbhotbongs Paribatra, Prince of Nakhon Sawan and his wife. The residence is open to the public, and organized as a Museum by the Chumbhot-Pantip Foundation. The museum consists of a group of eight traditional Thai houses connected by bridges. Each house is an exhibition hall, displaying artefacts from all around the world. The museum is organized into Ban Chiang Museum, Khon Museum, and Silpa Nitas Marsi Exhibition Hall in Chumbhot-Pantip Gallery. Moreover, in Ho Khian, the house next to the lawn southward, there is the biggest Gilded Black Lacquer collection from the Ayutthaya Period.

Location:

Sri Ayudhaya Rd., close to the Phyathai Hospital 1.

Open:

09.00-16.00

Fee:

100 THB

Website:

www.suanpakkad.com/

Bangkok Folk Museum

With good intention, Ajarn Waraporn Surawadee, the owner of the house, decided to turn it into a museum containing valuable objects of her mother for later generations to study. The buildings were built with rare antique wood and have been kept perfectly. The various items in many rooms narrate how the middle class Bangkokians lived before and after the period of WWII. Later, the owner donated the museum to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, it became the pilot project of ‘One District, One Museum’ policy.

Location:

Charoen Krung Rd. Soi 43

Open:

Wed-Sun 10.00-16.00

Fee:

None

M.R. Kukrit Pramoj’s House Museum (Ban Soi Suan Phlu)

M.R. Kukrit Pramjo moved into this house in 1960. There are five Thai-style teak touses in different sizes, each of which M.R. Kukrit received from different occasions. For example, the big house in the middle was bought from Giant Swing area. Two others in central-Thailand-style houses were received from Pak Hai District, Ayutthaya. Among these Thai buildings are Bird Tower and the Buddha Tower. There were balconies which linked each of these buildings together. Apart from them is a big pavilion which was used for many activities. M.R. Kukrit was extendingthe buildings on his property for thirty years before his death in 1995. Now the Fine Arts Department has registered this place as a Historical Site, in the Important People’s Home catergory. M.R. Kukrit Pramjo’s House Museum has been under the care of the Kukrit 80 Project, a royal project by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Location: Soi Phra Pinij, South Sathorn Rd.

Open:

10.00-18.00

Fee:

Adult 50 THB

Website:

www.krukritshousefund.com

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

Jim Thomson House Museum

The Thai house compound on Khlong Saen Saeb was home to James H. W. Thompson or commonly known as Jim Thompson, the silk tycoon who made Thai silk globally renowned. The compund is made from teak wood. It was constructed in 1959 by unting six Thai houses relocated from various parts of central Thailand. After Thompson disappered the house was converted to a museum to display his own private collection. He had collected south-east Asian artifacts since the time they were neglected, especially Siamese and Burmese Buddha statues which are the majority of his collection. he also loved Thai paintings and made a huge collection of painting on various materials such as cotton, paper, and wood. The effort to preserve his house and his collection received honor from the Association of Siamese Architects.

Location:

Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Rd.

Open:

09.00-17.00

Fee:

Adults 200 THB. Under 22 years 100 THB. Under 10 years Free

Website:

www.jimthompsonhouse.com/

Plai Noen Palace Museum (Wang Plai Noen)

Somdet Phra Chao Boromma Wong Thoe Chao Fa Chitcharoen Krom Phraya Naritsaranuwattiwong (Prince Narit), who was hailed by UNESCO as the great craftsman of Siam, built the palace for temporary residence to recover his health. It is the two-story Thai conventional style stilted building with large space underneath. The plan was designed to shelter the houses from sunbeam, which is different from usual design tradition of Thai house.

Location:

Rama 4 Rd., near the MRT Khlong Toei Station.

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement. Tel. 02 249 4280

Ruen Ratchada Bodin

The Ruen Ratchada Bodin is one of three Thai-golden-teak-houses including Ruen Tan Chao Phraya (Non-reyal Duke House), Ruen Ratchada Bodin and Ruen Silpa Nitas. The Thai style house was built and enlarged with parts of the old Thai style house by contractors in the Ayutthaya Period. It is a museum in the Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) school. The Thai style house and school were named after Bodin Decha Non-royal Duke who was an important army leader in the early Rattanakosin period. He was good at military strategy, diplomatic relations, politics and economics. Ruen Ratchada Bodin exhibits a glorious biography of the school, important persons and the history of all branches of the school. Nowadays, the Bodindecha (Sing singhaseni) school is famous and there are many branches in Bangkok and other provinces.

Location:

In the area of Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School, Ramkhamhaeng Rd. Soi 43/1.

Fee:

None

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement. Tel. 02 538 3964, 02 538 2573.

Prasart Museum

Since a number of works of art and precious antiques were smuggled out of Thailand, Thai people have less chance to see exhibits of cultural heritage. Mr. Prasart Wongsakul began to gather and collect antiques for ten years and then he founded ‘Prasart Museum’ in order to be a learning resources and heritage of descendants. There are several interesting things in the museum including the Red Palace that is a Thai style house duplicated from the Tamnak daeng (Red Palace) in the Bangkok National Museum, Lanna Pavillion, European style building and garden with rare plants from Thailand and foreign countries.

Location:

Krungthep Kritha Rd. Soi 8 Alley 14

Open:

Tue – Sun. 09.00-17.00.

Fee:

1,000 THB, 2 persons or more 500 THB each.

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

Thai Bank Museum

As the first bank of Thailand with more than a hundred years of history, the Siam Commercial Bangk Public Limited (SCB) has archived a large number of historical documents and materials, worthy of exhibition. The narratives, concerning historical and monetary topics of bangking in Thailand, are partitioned to four zones; The Evolution of Money, The Evolution of Banking, The Prototype of Thai banks, and Siam Commercial Bank’s Advance to the present. Apart from interesting topics, the museum utilized multimedia creatively in the exhibitions. In some part, there is an interaction mode within the simulated surroundings and visions could be informed realistically. There is also the Ratchaharudaya Archives and library for academic purposes.

Location:

Thai Bank Museum Building. Ratchadapisek Rd.

Open:

Mon-Fri. 10.00-17.00. Close on National Holiday

Fee:

None

Website:

www.thaibankmuseum.or.th

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

The museum was established in 1952 to collect, preserve, and restore different airplanes and other equipment used by the Royal Thai Air Force as well as rare and interesting aviation equipment received frim foreign Air Force comrades. Anyone who is fasinated by these old flying machines can also learn the history of Thai aviation in this museum. some models are the last of their kind and restored into perfect condition such as bulky Vought Corsair V-93s, one of two remaining in the world Tachikawa Ki-36, and first plane designed and built in Thailand, the Paribatra.

Location:

In the area of Royal Thai Air Force, Phahonyothin Rd.

Open:

08.30-16.30. Close on Thai Army’s Day 25 Jan and public holidays.

Khun Luang Rit Narongron Museum

The museum is situated on the rit Narongron school Premises.  It was originally the house of Khun Luang rit Narongron (Jek saengmanee). The museum building was built in 1923 during the reign of King rama VI. The museum is a two story structure that’s half Thai and half European architecture, embelished with decorative motifs of a combination of eastern and western artistic styles. The prominent feature of the building is a teak winder staircase without a center pole.

Location:

Soi Uwittaya, Phet Kasem Rd. Soi 4

Open:

Mon-Fri 08.30-16.30. Close on National Holidays.

Royal Thai Naval Dockyard Museum

The museum was established to commemerate the 7th cycle Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2011; to serve as a center for learning and knowledge in history, and development and industry of shipbuilding in Thailand. The exhibit features shipbuilding such as the process and technology of warship building, ship repair and maintenance, intellectual heritage of artisan, protetion of national sovereignty over the sea, development of royal naval dockyard, including the building of Narai Song Suban Royal Barge as well as the repair and preservation of the royal barges. Furthermore, the exhibit aslospresents His Majesty the King’s intelligence, creativity and royal grace regarding shipbuilding such as the initiative to build coast guard vessels. The museum is situated in the Naval Dockyard Department and it has been selected by the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage to receive the 2014 Excellence Award in Architectural Conservation, in the category of institutional and public building.

Location:

In the area of the Royal Thai Navy Headquarters, Arun Amarin Rd.

Open:

Mon-Fri 09.00- 16.00 (Close on National Holidays)

Fee:

None

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

National Royal Barge Museum

Formerly it was a dock or a store of the ceremonial barge under the responsibility of the Bureau of the Royal Household and Royal Thai Navy. During WWII, Bangkok Noi was targeted and parts of the dock and the barges were destroyed. Later BRH and the Royal Thai Navy ordered the Find Arts Department to repair the destroyed barges.

Presently some parts of the barges are still shown in the museum as a memorial fo the War. The Royal Barges are important with a long history. They were delicatedly created by the country’s great artists. For its importance, the Find Arts Department registered it as a National Heritage and uplifted the dock to the National Royal Barge Museum in 1974 to reserve this precious heritage for the next generation.

Location:

At the bank of Khlong Bangkok Noi, Arun Amarin Rd.

Open:

09.00-17.00 (Close on New Year and Songkarn Holidays)

Fee:

Single ticket-foreigner 100 THB

Package ticket-foreigner 350 THB including the entrance fees to the National Museum, the National Royal Barge Museum and the National Gallery)

Website:

http://www.nationalmuseums.finearts.go.th.

Siriraj Medical Museum

Museums in Siriraj Hospital were established purposefully.  for medical students to study, analyze and practicee in their training course. Currently, there are six museums that open to the public: “Congdon Anatomical Museum”, established in 1927 by Prof. Edgar Davidson Condon from Rockefeller Institue. The exhibitions include more than two housands objects, such as fetus in development phases, abnormal bodies, etc.; “Ellis Pathological Museum”, Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum & Laboratory” exhibits human evolution, “Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum” exhibits the crime-related topics, forensic tools, evidences from well-known cases, Parasitology Museum exhibits venomous animals and parasites, and Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum which established on the occation of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital opening.

Siriraj Phimukhstan Musum

Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum is a new museum of Siriraj Hospital, which was built by thoroughly converting and reconstruction of the Bangkok Noi Train Station. At first sight, the museum welcomes visitors with trasitional ticket booth classic in style. The interior exhibits history and evolution of medicine in Thailand. Although it is the hospital museum, apart from exhibitions regarding history of the hopsital and development of medical treatment, there is an exhibition which narrates and informs the local history, insighful and complete in its contents. The narration relays its message through a ruined fortress, an ancient wooden boat, as well as many artifacts, all of which were discoverd by the time of the construciton of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital. Because the site of the hospital was once the Bowon Stanpimuk Palace or Wang Lang (the Rear Palace), the exhibition thus includes all of the historical traits into its contents to enhance the realistic presentations.

Location:

In the area of the Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, Wang Lang Rd.

Open:

Wed-Mon 10.00-17.00 (Close on Public Holidays)

Fee:

Foreigner 300 THB including the entrance fees to the Siriraj Medical Museum and Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum)

Website:

https://www.facebook.com/siriraj.museum

House of Museums

The house of museums was built in 2001. Anek Navikamook is a well-known academic and collector who once said, “collect today, tomorrow it grows old.” Together with his colleagues he established ‘House of Museums’ to collect everyday objects, that came from private collections and donations. House of Museums consists of two buildings. The exhibition inside the hall were designed and planned as row houses in an old market. It narrates Thai urban life from circa 1957. Thee are drugstores, clothes shop, toy shop, barber, convenience shop, cinema, gold shop, gramophone record shop, coffee shop, camera shop, etc., and there is also a reproduction of a floating market atmosphere too.

Location:

Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Rd.

Open:

Sat-Sun 10.00-17.00

Fee:

Adults 30 THB. Children 10 THB

Erawan Musuem

A private museum founded by Lek Viriyaphan, a Thai bussinesman who spet his own wealth to construct the museum. He also the founder of the renown Ancient Siam and Sanctuary of Truth which are also very interesting and unique to that is worth a visit.

Although the Erawan Museum is not in Bangkok, it’s very easy to travel to and close to Bangkok. The museum can be conveniently reached by the BTS Sky Train from the central part of Bangkok. This is the reason why the museum is included in this list of Bangkok museums.

The museum took nearly 19 years to complete and was open in 2013.  The main highlight of the museum is the largest giant three-headed sculpture made of copper that came from Hindu mythology. The sculpture is 43.6 meter in heights, 12 meters in width, 39 meters in length and weight 150 tons.  The elephant can be seen from a distant.

The museum building is also beautiful decorated that represents the Underworld, the Earth, and the Heaven in Buddhist cosmology.

The first floor of the building decoratively represents the underworld. The level exhibits ancient artifacts collected by the founder such as ancient tea sets vases and bowls from the Dynasties of Ming and Qing from China. Furthermore, there are many mythical creature statues displayed who are believed to be the guardians of the underworld such as a half Naga-half human.

Next level, the second floor representing the earth. The collections of antique displayed at the level are divided into three types; Thai ceramics, stained glass and potteries made from Western culture. The level is a hot spot for photography with the stained glass as the main background

The top level represents the Mount Meru, the highest place where the Hindu gods live. The mural painting, painted by a German master, depicts the universe in the Buddhist Cosmology. The chamber also exhibits ancients Buddha statues and relics from different period.

If you want to get away from touristic attractions, this museum could be the one you’re looking for.

Location:

99/9 Moo 1, Sukhumvit Road, Bang Meung Mai, Samut Prakan

Open:

Every day from 09.00-18.00

Fee:

Adult 400 THB. Child 200 THB.

Website:

https://www.muangboranmuseum.com

Baan Kudichin Museum

A hidden museum in the Portuguese Community close to Wat Arun in Thonburi showcases you the history of the Portuguese living in the area and their relationship and contribution related to the period of Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Bangkok.

The museum has a small garden on the first level with a small cafe where you can order some drinks and snack especially the Sappayak Bun, a Portuguese snack that you can not find anywhere else in the city.

On the second floor, there are collections of antiques of the locals used in the old day display as well as pictures that depicts the story of the Portuguese.

Going up to the roof, you will be able to photograph the community and the Chao Phraya River in 360′

No admission fee to enter the museum. However, the museum needs fund to keep it running. A little purchase at the cafe would be appreciated.

Bangkok has 50 districts in the city and each district is distinguish and unique in its own culture. The Bangkok  Museums that I wrote here represent their own stories that contribute to the overview picture of Thailand history.  With this list of Bangkok museums, I hope it will help you choose the right museum that suits your goal and itinerary. Have a nice museum day!

 

 

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