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“Old and in separate buildings, but not crowded”

The National Museum Bangkok
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Bangkok Half-Day National Museum Tour
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Full-Day Thai History Tour from Bangkok
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Bangkok Audio Tour
Ranked #62 of 557 things to do in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This museum, considered the largest in Southeast Asia, houses a vast collection of antiquities including prehistoric art, murals, bronzes, exhibits from other Asian countries and ceremonial carriages used by royal families.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Old and in separate buildings, but not crowded”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

The chapel and some ancient Thai anthropologic items are worth checking out, but the museum itself is of relatively poor quality versus other major metropolitan cities: the buildings are old and the exhibits are housed in separate structures so you have to walk outside to get from one part to the other. That said, it was nearly empty when we visited and for those interested in Thai culture, you can certainly observe and learn in peace. No food or beverage options as far as we found so come prepared.

Visited May 2014
Thank wxs2102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good Place to Learn About Thai History”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

For anyone visiting Thailand for the first, I suggest that they make this place as their first stop. The knowledge that you gain about Thai history puts your interactions with the Thai people in a different perspective.

For example, learning that the country was never colonised raised my respect for its people sky-high.

Unfortunately the museum is not air conditioned, which makes a visit very uncomfortable.

Hall 1 covers Thai history in great detail and chronologically. I was not too impressed by most of the other exhibits.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank MG10101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

If you are fond of connecting to a country for its culture, ancient and present, you must visit this place. It is near by a Tourist information centre, where they are very helpful in directing you the interesting places in Bangkok, with a much better map handout.The museum takes about 2 hours to finish if you like to see all of it, costs 200 bhat per head. There are many connections and similarities to stuff you see at Angkor Wat (cambodia)

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Suruchika S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
5,693 reviews
3,697 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12,199 helpful votes
“National Museum - A pretty good museum”
Reviewed 11 May 2014

The National Museum of Bangkok was founded in 1874 by King Rama V and is the largest collection of Thai art and historical artefacts in the country. Located along Na Phrathat Road, across from the Sanam Luang city park, this is a good museum for those eager to learn more about Thai history, culture and its people.

When you purchase entry tickets, it is important to take the paper brochure, which provides the museum layout. The museum occupies and is spread amongst several buildings of the former palace grounds of the Vice King. You'll need the map to know where to go to find the various artefact and art galleries.

To visit the entire collection leisurely, we would suggest allowing 3 hours for the National Museum. We arrived a bit late in the afternoon and felt that trying to see everything in an hour and 45 minutes was way too rushed.

Important buildings to visit are the Siwamokhaphiman Hall (Room 1) which provides a chronology of Thai history. This was a fair exhibition but overly reliant upon texty stories. The storyline is also difficult to keep up with for foreigners not familiar with Thai historical figures. At the beginning of this particular exhibition you can see the important King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription stone.

The Buddhaisawan Chapel (Room 2), which was built in 1787. It houses a nice golden Buddha image of which you will no doubt see many similar examples in other temples throughout Bangkok. Wall murals here are impressive. The Red House (Room 8) is a teak style house that was originally one of the private living quarters of the Queen. It is furnished in early Bangkok period style.

The rest of the museum, is more or less a series of gallery rooms, housing various historical artefacts. Of these galleries, we most enjoyed the Thai early art history rooms (300-308) and we particularly liked seeing the two 6th to 8th century 'Wheel of Law and Deer' monuments.

We also found the monk carriages and the elephant carriages used during ancient combat to be nice to see. These ere located in the Issara Winitchai Hall and Phra Wiman the Prince Residential Complex, which is the centre building of the museum.

Overall, we like the National Museum in Bangkok but can' help but feel that the collection should be located in a more modern facility like what you will find in similar museums in Singapore and Hong Kong. Otherwise, it is a good collection that will be appreciated by museum and history buffs as well as those curious enough to learn a bit about Thai's past and history.

Hint: There is no cafe at the National Museum so best to bring a bottle of water with you during your visit. It can get hot inside some of the rooms.

Visited May 2014
4 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Not in a hot day! ”
Reviewed 11 May 2014 via mobile

Like people said before me in previous comments, this is an old museum without any western known standard in terms if presentation to the visitor and even air conditioning! It's very hot in the buildings and over all quit disappointing. As a ״National museum you would expect more, much more. Don't go in hot days and only if you're Thai history enthusiast.

Thank Yaeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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