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National Museum, Bangkok

Photo credit: Michael Gunther
National Museum, Bangkok
  • (worth a trip)
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  • Easy
  • Average
  • 3 hours
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Bangkok National Museum is South East Asia's largest museum

National Museum Bangkok Na Phrathat Rd, Phra Nakorn District Bangkok Thailand
Thailand is famous for its street food but this part of the city also offers a lot of variety in terms of international cuisine. Finding western restaurants such as Burger King and Star Bucks is really easy though it is best to stick to the local food which is delicious and pocket-friendly. While here, you should definitely try the Pad Thai and the world famous Bangkok street food comprising of fried chicken, sausages, and sticky rice with almost everything. The former happens to be a favourite in the whole country and the latter are definitely must-try things in Bangkok.
The twice-weekly english guided tours (free) are definitely the best way to explore the museum and its possessions.
The entrance to the museum is 200 baht.

Thailand is one of the cheapest countries not just in Asia but also the whole world. A delicious meal of Pad Thai with sea food should not cost more than 40BHT. A can of Singha or Chang (Thai local beer) costs between 39-45BHT. Travelling within the city using the songthaews is really cheap as well. A bottle of water costs 7BHT and using public convenience can cost 3-5BHT.

National Museum, also known as Bangkok National Museum, is a branch of National Museums of Thailand. In fact, it is not only the main branch but also the largest in South East Asia. The museum is dedicated to exhibits displaying Thai history and art forms. Located at the former Front Palace, or the palace of Vice King, on the northwest corner of Sanam Luang square, the museum was founded by King Rama V in 1874 to display the relics from the reign of King Rama IV.

 

To experience the museum at its best, it is recommended to join one of the two complimentary weekly guided English tours coordinated by the volunteers at the museum, on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 09:30 am.

 

The National Museum houses some highly impressive collections dating back to the Neolithic times in Thailand’s history. One of the major highlights include The King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme Register in 2003 in recognition of its world significance.

 

The facade of the Sivamokhaphiman Hall, one of the three main exhibition halls, is a Thai history gallery bridging the Sukhothai through to the Rattanakosin era. The Archaeological and Art History assortment exhibits objects from Thailand’s dawn of time to Sukhothai and Ayutthaya epochs right through to the contemporary Thai Kingdom, comprising several primeval effigies.

 

Other intriguing assemblies in the attractive arts and ethnological collection are Chinese weaponries, gold possessions, valuable stones, Khon masks, porcelains, apparel and fabrics, woodwork and traditional musical apparatuses from around Southeast Asia.

 

Exhibitions at the Museum include a memorial chariot hall, featuring carriages used for majestic cremations and several excellent specimens of Thai architecture. These comprise the Buddhaisawan chapel (second main exhibition hall), a teak or ‘red’ house called Tam Nak Deang, and many gorgeous pavilions.



Opening hours

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 09:00 AM to 04:00PM.

The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and some exhibitions/rooms maybe closed during lunch hours.

How to get there

There are several ways to reach the museum from anywhere in Bangkok. If you are a budget traveller (like me) you can take take a Chao Phraya River Express boat from BTS Saphan Taksin station, to Ta Phrachan Pier where you can walk. The museum is next to Thammasat University. Alternatively, you can choose to travel by bus: No. 3, 6, 9, 15, 19, 30, 32, 33, 43, 53, 59, 64, 65, 70, 80, 84; Air-conditioned bus No. 3, 6, 7, 38, 39, 80, 82, 91 Airport Bus No. A2.

If you don't mind splurging extra on transportation, taxi is probably the best way to go. Flag down any of the colorful Bangkok cabs and ask them to take ou to the museum. Ensure that you tell them about paying by the meter.

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