Museums wouldn't exactly be at the top of our list of places to see in Bangkok, but there are a few "museum-like" places that you might want to put on your itinerary, listed below. In fact there are more than 100 museums in Bangkok, devoted to everything from past monarchs to forensic science.
The King Prajadhipok Museum
If you are visiting the Grand Palace / Temple of the Emerald Buddha, then time permitting we would recommend a look at the National Museum. Its just a short walk down the street going directly away from the main entrance to the Grand Palace.
Inside you'll find some ethnographic exhibitions as well as memorabilia from past kings and, our favorite, a large collection of funeral and coronation chariots. The huge gilded mobile thrones are pulled by teams of several dozen men.
Museums in Bangkok
We cover several Bangkok museums in more detail on this site. See below for the complete list. Also see our Bangkok Palaces for a list of royal residences also opened as museums.
- National Museum
- Housed in the former palace of the second king, the buildings of the National Museum are as much on display as the artifacts within.
- The Jim Thompson House Museum
- Take a brief tour of the house belonging to the king of Thai silk.
- M.R. Kukrit Hertage House
- The traditional Thai home assembled by statesman, publisher and former Prime Minister M.R. Kukrit Pramoj is one of the best examples of a true Thai house remaining in Bangkok.
- Suan Pakkard Palace Museum
- This residence consists of a collection of traditional Thai style houses bought together and turned into a museum by some minor royals.
- Arts of the Kingdom
- Housed in the magnificent Ananta Samakorn Throne Hall near Vimanmek Mansion, the building alone is worth the price of admission, but do take your eyes of the architecture to look at some of the finest examples of traditional arts and crafts that Thailand has to offer.
- The Ancient City
- Just outside Bangkok, on the old route to Pattaya, a Thai tycoon conceived a sort of "Cultural Theme Park" where Thais could learn about their country's architectural history. The huge outdoor museum easily takes a full day to visit and enjoy.
- Bangkokian Museum
- The Bangkokian Museum is a small collection of structures and artifacts that seeks to preserve a bit of pre-WWII Bangkok. The collection is all the work of a single family with a remarkable history.
- Bank of Thailand Museum
- Housed in the old princely residence of Bang Khun Phrom Palace, the museum displays a history of Thai currency, as well as many artifacts from the history of money in general. It's a fascinating display in a gorgeous 100 year-old building.
- Museum of Floral Culture
- This first-of-its-kind museum seeks to document the role of flowers and floral arrangements in Thai culture, as well as the history of floral arrangements and the cultures which influenced it, such as China, India and Bali.
- The Princess Mother Memorial Park
- This little park also has a museum dedicated to the late Princess Mother. One exhibition hall chronicles her life while another displays various aspects of her life and her many projects to help advance the poor of Thailand.
- Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
- New in 2010 museum near the Loha Prasat recounting the rich history of Bangkok's royal city.
- Royal Barge Museum
- Tucked away just inside a canal across the river from the Grand Palace is the Royal Barge Museum. Here are displayed just eight of the over 50 barges that make up formal processions.
- King Prajadhipok Museum
- King Prajadhipok ruled as Rama VII for just ten years, from 1925 to 1935, but his reign marked the end of the absolute monarchy. This makes the king an interesting subject and a new museum was open in 2001 specifically devoted to him.
- Erawan Museum
- It certainly qualifies as one of Bangkok's most interesting museums. The Erawan Museum is housed in a huge sculpture of a mythical three-headed elephant.
- Museum of Siam Discovery
- "What does it mean to be Thai?" That's the difficult, and potentially controversial, question tackled by Bangkok's newest museum, the rather redundantly named Museum of Siam Discovery Museum.
- Wat Traimit / Chinatown Museum
- In early 2010 the giant Golden Buddha of Wat Traimit got an impressive new home, which also houses a museum on the history of Chinatown, as well as an interpretive center for the Buddha image itself.
- Nonthaburi Museum
- The Museum of Nonthaburi was built in 1910 and originally housed a college based on the English public boarding schools. A big portion of the displays are devoted to one of Nonthaburi's most famous products, terra cotta pottery.
Bangkok is also home to an increasing number of both public and private art galleries, which were joined by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in 2009. We've compiled a short list of some of the more notable Bangkok art galleries.
- Thailand Museums
- Information about national museums throughout Thailand.
- Thailand Zoos
- Site covering several zoos in Thailand, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Sri Racha.
- Jim Thompson House
- The official web site of the Jim Thompson House Museum. Lots of beautiful pictures and information about special events.