Museums include the Royal Thai Decoration and Coin Pavilion (inside the Grand Palace), with fine displays of coins and currency, royal regalia, decorations and medals; Bangkok Doll Museum (855 Soi Ratchataphan, Soi Mo Leng, off Ratchaprarop Rd.), with a collecton of handmade and foreign dolls); the Stamp Museum; Science Museum (near the eastern Bus Terminal); and the Prasat Museum (No. 9 Krung Threp Kritha Road Soi 4, Ban Kapi, the eastern area of the city), a private museum with a good collection of porcelain and other objects from the early Rattanakosin period and examples of different kinds of architecture (admission is 1,000 baht or two people).

The National Art Gallery displays works by respected Thai and international artist, There is an exhibition of photographs and works by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Abbesik Busit Museum is a former throne hall converted into a handicrafts center under the patronage of the Queen Sirikit.

Royal Barge National Museum (on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River near the Phra Piu Klao Bridge, about 1½ kilometers northwest of the Grand Place) displays the Thai Royal Barges, which were formally used as war vessels but are now used in Royal Family River processions. The royal barges are rarely used by the royal family these days because of their age. A few of them are now preserved in the Royal Barge National Museum on. The eight long, narrow boats on display are intricately gilded and each need between 50 and 60 rowers to take their oars. The figure on the bow of each boat signifies whether it carries the King and Queen or other members of the royal family. The most important barge is the Suphannahong, exclusively used by the King. It is used during the Kathin Ceremony, usually in October or November, when robes are offered to monks. Narai Songsuban Ratchakan Thai Kao is the most recently-built barge. It was constructed in 1996 for the King’s Golden Jubilee. Location: Khlong Bangkok Noi, Bangkok, Thailand. Tel. (02) 424 0004. Website: Hours Open: open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission: 100 baht.

Children’s Discovery Museum (inside Queen Sirikit Park) was established under the royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen with the goal of making learning a pleasurable process for Thai children.The museum has exhibitions as well as fun activities for children related to human life, the sciences, culture, society, nature and the environment. Location: It is located inside Queen Sirikit Park 810 Phahonyothin Road, Khwaeng Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Bangkok, Tel. 0 2615 7333 ext. 102, 134, 148. Hours Open: The museum is closed Mondays and open during from 9:00am to 5:00pm weekdays and 10:00am to 6:00pm on weekends. Admission: Free Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Mo Chit.

Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum (Siriraj Hospital 2 Prannok Road Bangkoknoi) is not a place for the faint-hearted or people that get grossed out easily. Described as one of the weirdest places in Bangkok, it features dead, hand-dissected human beings with off their nervous and cardiovascular systems revealed. You can also see the preserved bodies of famous Thai murderers, suicide victims and accident victims. Among the murderes is Si Oui, a serial killer who ate the livers of his victims. In the Museum of Anatomy are embalmed legs, arms and internal organs from malformed humans. Don’t miss the Museum of Parasitology. Location: Siriraj Hospital 2 Prannok Road Bangkoknoi Bangkok 10700; Hours Open: open from 9:00am to 4:00pm on weekdays. Admission: The museum is free. Website: Official website

Siam Niramit (on Tiamruammit Road, off Ratchada phisek Road, about 100 meters from the Thailand Cultural Centre) is a 2000-seat theater that presents an award-winning world-class spectacular show that highlights Thailand’s rich artistic and cultural heritage. Featuring a gigantic stage and state-of-the-art special effects, the theater shows an 80-minute performance staged in three acts: ‘Journey Back into History’, ‘Journey Beyond Imagination’, and ‘Journey Through Joyous Festivals’. The show starts nightly at 8:00 pm., but gates open at 5.30pm for access to the onsite restaurant plus pre-show attractions, which includes a traditional Thai Village where you can experience the ambience of rural Thai life. There are also elephant rides and feeding, and outdoor performances of traditional Thai music and dance. Hours Open: Open everyday from 5:30pm - 10:00pm Location: 19 Tiamruammit Road, Huaykwang, Bangkok, Contact: Siam Niramit, Tel. +66 2649 9222.

Suan Pakkad Palace

Suan Pakkad Palace (south of the Victory Monument on Ayutthaya Road) is a museum made up of five traditional houses containing murals with dancing angels and a fine collection of Ban Chiang pottery as well as numerous Dvaravati, Lopburi and Thai artifacts. The most impressive sight is the Lacquer pavilion, dating from the Ayuutthaya period, made entirely of gold leaf and black lacquer and surrounded by lsh vegetation. On the site of what was once a cabbage field (“suan pakkad”), Maj. Gen. HRH Prince Chumbhotpong Paripatra of Nagor Svarga and his consort, MR Pantip, built this palace as a weekend resort.

House 1 building contains images of the Thai Royal Family, model boats and six drums. The upper floor houses artifacts such as an image of the goddness Uma and Buddha images from the U-Thong period of Thailand, India and Myanmar. House 2 was originally a reception area. It displays personal possessions , such as ivory boxes and bowls inlaid in mother-of-pearl. In House there are Thai musical instruments, nielloware, Bencharong ceramics and a palanquin.

House 4 was originally a Japanese-style dining room. It features a mother-of- pearl inlaid door frame dating from the 17th century.On the lower floor is “the cave of Alibaba,” which displays Princess’s extensive mineral collection. The upper room of House 5 displays ancient Ban Chiang pottery. Downstairs are sea shell, rock and fossil collections. House 6 contains : Sawankhalok ceramics, ancient stone axes, earthenware utensils and figurines from the Sukhothai period. House 7 is the home of the Khon Museum with video presentations, masks, costumes, accessories, and a model of a Ramayana troupe playing a scene from the battle of Kumphakan.

The Lacquer Pavilion is regarded as the most exquisite building in Suan Pakkad Palace. Outside the pavilion are art carvings with lacquer patterns. Pictures in lacquer are inscribed inside the pavilion. The Marasi Gallery is located on the first floor of the Chumbho-Pantip Art gallery. Exhibitions are held regularly to promote contemporary art, photogragphy, ceramics, mixed media and performance art. The Ban Chiang Museum on the second floor features ancient artifacts and has an explanatory display about Ban Chiang art and culture. Hours Open: Suan Pakkad Palace is open daily from 9.00 am to 4.00pm. Information: call 66-2245-4934 , 66-2246-1775-6 Ext 229

National Museum

National Museum (on Na Phra That Rd. On the west side of Sanam Luang, opposite from The Grand Palace) is the largest and one of the finest museums in Southeast Asia. Housed in a palace used under King Rama I and Rama V, it displays over 1,000 artifacts, some of which date back to prehistoric times. Sculptures and murals make up the majority of the collection. English-language descriptions are available and free English tours are sometimes offered by volunteers.

The National Museum was established in 1887 by King Rama V. The foundation collection had previously been 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. New buildings were constructed in 1967 and other historical buildings relocated to the museum grounds.

On the museum grounds is The Buddhaisawan Chapel, a structure built in 1787 to enshrine a revered northern Buddha image called Phra Buddha Si Hing. The interior has exceptional murals, while the building itself is a fine example of Rattanakosin religious architecture. Tamnak Daeng is another building that has been moved to the Museum. This Red House was originally the residence of an elder sister of King Rama I. Furniture and other items are from early Bangkok times.

The National Museum collection encompasses a wide range of religious and secular art found throughout the country. Items from pre-historic times, through the Srivijaya, Dvaravati, Khmer Kingdoms and the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods of Thai history. These include Neolithic tools, painted pots and bronze objects unearthed in the northeast. Thai Buddhist art exhibits feature images in stone, bronze and terracotta as well as illustrated scripture books manuscript cabinets and votive plaques. The Museum also has a large collection of miscellaneous items such as Thai and Chinese ceramics, theatrical costumes, palanquins, weapons and assorted items used in royal households.

Location: Na Phrthat Rd., Phra BorommaharachawangSub-district, Phra Nakorn District,Bangkok 10200, Tel. 0 2224 1333, 0 2224 1370, Hours Open: Closed Monday and Tuesday. Open from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Admission: 200 baht. Guided Tours are given free by volunteers in English and French starting at 9.30am on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tours are also given in German on Thursdays and in Japanese on Wednesdays of the first & the third week of each month. Guided tours in some other languages can be arranged. Getting There: Next to Thammasat University. The most enjoyable route is to take the BTS Skytrain to Taksin Station. From here take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Tha Phrachan Pier. Walk straight from the pier to Sanam Luang Park and turn left past Thammasat University to the museum. By Bus No. 3, 6, 9, 15, 19, 30, 32, 33, 43, 53, 59, 64, 65, 70, 80, 84 Air Condition Bus No. 3, 6, 7, 38, 39, 80, 82, 91 Airport Bus No. A2 . Nearby Places and Attractions: Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew), Phra Athit Road, Khaosan Road Website Official website Wikipedia

Zoos and Snake Farms in Bangkok

Dusit Zoo (in the Dusit Palace area between Chitlada Palace ad the National Assembly Hall) covers 19 hectares, is home to 1,600 animals and welcomes 2.5 million visitors a year. Zoo. You can see monkeys, gibbons, banded langur and rare animals such as serow, gaur, banteng and rhinoceros as well as the only albino barking deer in Thailand. Among the 1343 species of animals, are 331 different kinds of mammals, 170 reptiles and 842 birds. In night-time wildlife tour you can see interesting nocturnal wildlife such as bats, binturong and brush-tailed porcupine, A monkey show, parrot show, macaw show, hawk show are held Monday – Friday : 11am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and Saturday – Sunday : 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm.

Location: 71 Rama V Road, Chitrlada Sub-district, Dusit District, Bangkok 10300, Tel. 0-2281-2000, 0-2281-9027-8 Fax 0-2282-9245; Hours Open: The zoo is open 8:00am to 6:00pm everyday. Admission: The admission fee at the the zoo for foreigners is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. The animals shows cost 20 baht for adults and 10 baht for children. Getting There: Transportation: Bus No. 18, 28, 108, Air-conditioning Bus No. 528, 515, 539, 542.; Website: Official website

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute Snake Farm (MRT Sam Yan Station) is the second oldest snake farm in the world, after one in Sao Paulo. Founded in 1923 and formally known as the Pasteur Institute' Snake Farm, it contains thousands of some of the most venomous snakes in the world, including king cobras and all sorts of vipers, as is associated with the Red Cross and the royal family. Serums and antivenoms are produced from the venom that is extracted in the daily venom milking demonstrations at 10:30am and 2:00pm weekdays and 10:30 om weekends and holidays. The handlers also play around with pythons. There is also a museum, and lectures are given. Location: 1871 Rama IV Rd, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Tel: +66 2 252 0161 Hours Open: Open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays and 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on weekends. Website:

Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park (BTS Skytrain Silom Line, Sala Daeng Station or MRT, Lumphini Station and Si Lom Station) covers 360-rai (57.6-hectares, 142-acres) and is one of the rare open public spaces in Bangkok. The largest and most popular park in the capital, it embraces trees, playgrounds and an artificial lake where visitors can rent a variety of boats. Paths around the park totalling approximately 2.5 km in length are a popular with for evening joggers. In the morning Chinese gather to do tai chai and vendors set up tables for selling snake blood and herbal remedies. Kite flying and fighting is done from mid February through April. Officially, cycling is only permitted during the day between the times of 10am to 3pm. There is a smoking ban throughout the park, and dogs are not allowed.

Lumpini Park was created in the 1920s by King Rama VI on royal property. A statue of the king stands at the southwestern entrance to the park. It was named after Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal, and at the time of its creation stood on the outskirts of the city. Today it lies in the heart of the main business district and is in the Lumphini sub-district, on the north side of Rama IV Road, between Ratchadamri Road and Witthayu Road. It has Bangkok's first public library and dance hall. During winter time, the Palm Garden of Lumphini Park becomes the site for the annual Concert in the Park festival featuring classical music by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and other bands.

Royal Parks in Bangkok

King Rama IX Royal Park (Sukhumvit Soi 103 (Udomsuk) on the Eastern outskirts of Bangkok near Bangna) is expanse of gardens and paths surrounding a lake and buildings. Created to commemorate the 60th birthday of the king in 1987, the park has a peaked rotunda-style building that is dedicated to the king's work. The botanical gardens are a beautifully designed stretch of lawns and flowers surrounding this serene site, and the paths take you around the 200 acres of land. A lake within the park features a huge fountain, which can be enjoyed from afar on the bank, or up close in a paddle boat. The park features six different areas, including The Garden of the Great King, a wetlands area, and an open field where festivals and concerts are sometimes held. There are also seven international miniature gardens that were created with the help of experts from each of the regions represented.

The best time to visit is near the King's birthday in early December. During this time Rama IV Park hosts a Flower show. The flowers through out the park are so plentiful and gorgeous. Saturday and Sunday mornings, just outside the western entrance to the park (between the park entrance and Paradise Mall) is a locals market with all sorts of foods and goods. Entrance fees are low (5 baht for Thai or 10 baht for foreigners + 20 baht if you park a car there.)

Wachira Benjatat Park (Suan Rod Fai) and Queen Sirikit Park are two other Bangkok public parks. At Suan Rod Fai you can rent a bicycle and ride to the Hall of Butterflies and Insects at the far end of the park. Bicycles in all sizes and colors are available in front of the park and the rental fee starts from 20 baht. The bigger the bike, the higher the fee. Visiting the park in the early morning when it is not too hot is a pleasure. The Hall of Butterflies and Insects is housed in a giant dome with net cage on your left.

Sanam Luang

Sanam Luang (next to the Grand Palace) is a large park and open ground upriver from the northern wall of the Grand Palace and the eastern wall of the former Viceroy Palace or Wang Na. Situated in front of Thammasat National University, it is the site of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony and has been the place where royal cremations took place. Kite fighting can be seen in March and April. Other sports are played through the year.

At the time when Bangkok was first established Sanam Luang was a rice field and over the centuries has been used as a location for a royal crematorium, The park is sometimes called Thung Phra Men which means “crematorium ground” in Thai. The place has been used as the crematorium ground for kings, members of the royal family and nobility, in addition, to being a royal sporting ground. The king also had 365 tamarind trees planted around it.

The last royal funeral was in January 2008 for King Bhumibol’s elder sister Princess Galyani Vadhana. King Bhumibol’s mother was cremated at Sanam Luang in 1996. In 1976 cremations were held for Thai students killed in demonstrations that year.

Parks and Weird Sculptures on the Outskirts of Bangkok

Wat Phairongwua (near Bangkok, next to a canal) is the home of Thailand's largest and most unusual sculpture garden. Describing it, Roger Warner wrote in Smithsonian magazine, "Wat Phairongwua is a disconcerting place, and the most unsettling thing about it was that its pieces didn't seem to add up to a coherent whole. Buildings in eclectic styles memorialize the landmarks in the Buddha's life, like the palace he lived in as a youth and the site of his first sermon, but the architecture is not in any apparent relation to the plan. Statues abound, some of them in metal, such as peasants toiling to push forward a wheel, and others made of concrete and painted in loud south-Indian colors.

"For me the most disturbing section of Wat Phairongwua is the one with figures called the “pret”, or "the damned," who suffer in the underworld for sins they committed on earth. The pret are deformed and in postures of agony, impaled on spikes or with their faces fused with their intestines. Larger statues nearby are similarly dramatic, like thorn trees on which men and women climb, bleeding, with a dog snarling at the base and an eagle waiting to devour them at the top."

Nonthaburi (10 kilometers north of Bangkok) can easily be reached by express boats on the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok. It is nice place to go to escape from Bangkok Attractions include traditional “hun lakorn lek” puppetry shows, and take boat trip through a network of canals to Kohh Kret, an island or artisans with a large community of Mon people.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: Tourist Authority of Thailand, Thailand Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books and other publications.

Last updated August 2020

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