In the former grounds of the 18th Century Wang Na Palace, The Bangkok National Museum houses the largest collection of Thai art and artifacts in the country. It's definitely worth a visit, especially if visiting nearby Wat Phra Kaew or the Grand Palace.
Opened by King Rama V to exhibit the antiques and gifts bestowed to him by his father, it once held a reputation for being an ill-organised gathering of dusty relics. That has now changed, with exhibits now arranged into three areas consistent with Thai history, and good English-language descriptions available.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
The front of the Sivamokhaphiman Hall is a Thai history gallery spanning the Sukothai through to the Rattanakosin periods. The Archaeological and Art History collection showcases items from Thailand's prehistory to Sukhotahai and Ayutthaya eras right through to the modern Thai Kingdom, including many ancient sculptures.
Among scores of interesting collections in the decorative arts and ethnological collection are Chinese weapons, gold treasures, precious stones, Khon masks, puppets, ceramics, clothing and textiles, woodcarving and traditional musical instruments from around Southeast Asia.
Other exhibits of interest at the Bangkok Nationla Museum include a funeral chariot hall, featuring carriages used for royal cremations, and many excellent examples of Thai architecture. These include the Buddhaisawan chapel, a teak or 'red' house called Tam Nak Deang and various beautiful pavilions. Free English-language tours given by volunteers are available and also conducted in German (Thursdays), French and Japanese (Wednesdays).
Bangkok National Museum
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 (Wednesday - Sunday)
- Location: Na Phrothat Road, near the Grand Palace
- Tel: +66 (0)2 215 8173
- How to get there: Taxi is probably the best way to go. Or embark the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Maharaj Pier, then walk about 20 minutes.