There is much for you to discover in Thailand

National Museum

Thailand’s national museum is originally built on royal collections from the 19th century to cover many aspects of the country’s historical and cultural heritage. The museum stores gold treasure, mother-of-pearl inlay, musical instruments, wood carving, entertainment articles, textiles, ceramics, royal regalia, palanquins, old weapons and stone inscriptions.

National Museum

The largest museum in Southeast Asia, it is an excellent place to learn something about Thai arts. The Museum was converted from a royal residence of a crown prince of King Rama V (1853 – 1910 AD) to display the private collection of antiquities of the king. In 1926, it was subsequently developed into the National Museum Bangkok when it came under the administration of the Department of Fine Arts in 1934.

A presentation of Thai history begins with Sukhothai (widely believed in Thailand as the first Thai kingdom), Ayutthaya, Thonburi to Rattanakosin period. A collection of pre-Thailand, Thai sculpture, as well as pieces from elsewhere in Asia is featured in two large modern buildings. The history of Thai art is displayed in the north wings of the Sivamokhapiman Hall. This houses the museum’s most famous exhibit, the Inscription No.1 from the Sukhothai era (between 1238 and 1438). This stone inscription is believed to be the first evidence of Thai letters supposedly invented by the great King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai kingdom.
The museum’s southern wing features one of the earliest images of the Buddha from Gandhara in India, which is influenced by classical Greek sculpture. Other artifacts including Royal Cremation Chariots and Ceremonial Objects are exhibited in other buildings within the palace compound. Another historic item displayed in the museum is Phra Buddha Sihing, which is one of the most revered Buddha statues in Thailand. The 15th century bronze statue is enshrined in Buddhaisawan Chapel (known as Wat Buddhaisawan).

Other highlights of the museum are recovered jewelry and traditional costumes, ancient currency, religious sculpture, giant shadow puppets, weapons, ivory, royal possessions, musical instruments, Asian arts and antiques. The museum is open everyday from 9 am to 4 pm. Guided tours by volunteers in English, German, French and Japanese are available upon reservation.