Bangkok National Museum
Bangkok National Museum, Na Phra That Alley, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
+66 2 224 1333
9am - 4pm Wednesday to Sunday - Monday to Tuesday Closed
The Bangkok National Museum can be found inside the beautiful former Wang Na Palace, which is at 4 Na Phra That in Bangkok. This museum was founded by King Rama V and opened inside the palace in 1874. While the original exhibits included items from the reign of King Rama IV, there are many other items on display today.
This museum was the very first public museum within Thailand and it was first known as the Wang Na Museum, before having its name changed to Bangkok Museum and most recently the Bangkok National Museum. There are currently three permanent exhibits within the museum including the Thai History Gallery, the Archaeological and Art History Collections, and the Decorative Arts and Ethnological Collection.
All the exhibits go in chronological order and they each have fabulous descriptions in the English language next to them. This allows tourists to learn more about the history of this country during their visit. Most visitors love walking through the decorative arts collection, because this is where they see the collections of Kohn puppets, ceramics, Chinese weapons, precious stones, woodcarving, musical instruments, and even gold treasures.
No one can leave the museum without stopping into the Buddhaisawan Chapel, which is where Phra Buddha Sihing, the important Buddha image can be found. The chapel was constructed in 1787 specifically to house this image and all the murals that were completed inside share the life of the Buddha.
The Red House is a teak house that was moved to this location from the old palace that was located in Thonburi. Queen Sri Suriyendra lived in this house and some of her belongings can still be seen there amongst other early Bangkok furnishings.
One of the buildings that features the best in Thai architecture is the funeral chariot hall. While visitors are trying to spot as many of the unique details as possible, they will also have the opportunity to see the carriages that have been used for numerous royal cremations. Visitors can watch a video of one of the funeral processions, so they can see the entire process from the palace to the crematorium.
While everyone can wander through the museum on their own, it is always best to participate in one of the guided tours. These tours are available at designated times throughout the week and they are the perfect way to learn more about the history of Thailand, the palace, and the people who lived there. Visitors will love their time at this museum, and they will be excited to learn even more as they continue to explore this fascinating country.
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For more information, travel tips and advice about Thailand’s capital city Bangkok, start here at our Bangkok travel guide.