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Bangkok's most Interesting Museums

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  • Bangkok's most Interesting Museums

    Most interesting museums to visit in Bangkok

    Bangkok is home to so many interesting places. And for those who like a bit of history, its museums don’t disappoint. From outdoor wonderlands with rich, cultural finds, to indoor adventures into Thailand’s past, there’s something for every kind of traveller. So, if you’re visiting Bangkok and want to explore a museum, we have selected some of the city’s top museums in which to see.

    National Museum
    King Rama V founded the National Museum back in 1887, and it is now Southeast Asia’s largest. The museum is housed in a former palace. Full of artefacts that display Thailand’s historical roots, it’s definitely a place in which to discover many lesser known facts about the country formerly known as Siam. From Ayutthaya and Sukhothai periods to the modern age, the largest collection of Thai artefacts can be found here. And, for an easier browsing experience, the museum is divided by subject matter.
    • Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 09:00 – 16:00
    • Address: 4 Na Phra That Road Phraborommaharatchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200​
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    Erawan Museum

    Just entering this museum will surely transcend visitors into Thai culture. The decorative arts and sculpture-filled gardens, along with intricate designs make this museum a great place to see how Thailand’s style has survived throughout many years. A massive, 44 metre and 150 tonne 3-headed copper elephant marks the entrance, yielding a bit of what to expect next. The psychedelic feeling visitors get upon visiting will undoubtedly serve as a memorable experience.
    • Opening hours: Daily, 09:00 – 18:00
    • Address: 1 99 Kanchanaphisek Rd, Bang Mueang Mai, Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan 10270​
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    Muang Boran

    This sprawling, outdoor museum is great way to spend the day among the 240 acres of pristine grounds. In this Bangkok museum, you can see the greenery sculpted to resemble the country, with over 100 mini replicas of famous Thai temples or sites. What’s even more intriguing, is that they place the replicas in geographic preciseness to their real counterparts. Thus, if you don’t have time to check out the real ancient cities, you can definitely get a feel for them here.
    • Opening hours: Daily, 09:00 – 18:00
    • Address: 296 Sukhumvit Rd, Bang Pu Mai, Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan 10280​
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    Tilleke & Gibbins - Museum of Counterfeit Goods

    Located on the 26th story of the imposingly grand Supalai Grand Tower, the Museum of Counterfeit Goods shares a floor with its creators, the working law firm of Tilleke & Gibbins. It's hidden and nowhere near the middle of the city—you won't just stumble upon it by chance. The exhibition consists of 500 counterfeit items (from the firm's thousands, all confiscated) ranging from clothes to food to medication. It's very cool to see, but there's a much larger purpose: To educate the public about copyright infringement.
    • Opening hours: Advanced booking required​
    Museum of Siam
    The next Bangkok museum you need to visit is Museum of Siam. Also known as Discovery Museum, features many digital exhibits that serve as interesting, interactive learning sites. Great for families, kids will also take delight in the entrance sign that says ‘please touch everything.’ From skeletal remains of many animals and humans, the museum is a fun and educational experience for kids and adults alike. The museum also focuses on the question of what it means to be Thai, as it traces the country’s history and ethnography. Bangkok certainly has something for everyone when it comes to its unique museums. From a taste of ancient Thai culture, to modern displays of illegal activities, museums hold the key to understanding a country’s past, present, and even future.
    • Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00
    • Address: 4 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200​
    Last edited by Barfly; 09-15-2022, 07:21 PM.

  • #2
    Bangkok Secret Nightlife – Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

    Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

    From CIA agents to David Bowie, there’s more to Bangkok’s most notorious red-light district than meets the eye. Today we take you on tour showing you Patpong’s 140-year history, from its humble beginnings as a banana plantation, to a high-powered business district and a hub of CIA activity during the Chinese Civil War and Vietnam War eras.

    In 2019, the Patpong Museum opened in Patpong Soi 2, Bangkok, Thailand. Once you step into the museum, the visit starts with a step back to 1882’s China. We follow the story of the Patpong dynasty founder, who emigrated to Siam and created a successful business that allowed him to buy the land Patpong built. Then his son, Udom Patpongpanich, who had studied in America and worked for the Office of Strategic Services (which became the CIA), developed the area by constructing shophouses and inviting multinational companies to set up here.

    Companies like IBM, Shell, Air France, and companies owned by the CIA soon established their offices in Patpong. Ideally located, Patpong became a nerve centre for covert operations during the Cold-war period. With the economic outgrowth and the arrival of the American soldiers in Bangkok, Patpong became an important place for business by day but also for entertainment by night. The first Go-Go bar opened in 1969, quickly followed by many more. Soon the district became famous as celebrities started to come party in Patpong.

    The exhibition’s second part is dedicated to Patpong’s further development into one of the world’s most famous entertainment areas and eventually red-light districts. Superstars like David Bowie, Robert De Niro, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Christopher Walken visit and film in Patpong, marking its presence in popular culture. An interactive wall of fame introduces you to the colourful characters that make up the area’s rich story.
    Also, with its collection of pictures, videos, and newspaper articles, you can experience how Patpong’s exposure and celebrity changed its image and made it enter the pop culture.

    There is also an interactive wall of fame that introduces you to the colourful characters that make up the area’s rich story, of the evil US marine and CIA agent, Tony Poe—is said to be the inspiration for Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz. The famous series on Netflix, ‘ The Serpent, ‘ also was part of the vibrant history of Patpong and is featured in the museum. Tickets cost B350, which grants you access to the museum with a guided tour, as well as a drink at the fully operational bar housed within.

    The bar is a reincarnation of Patpong’s original Grand Prix (1969-81)—the first go-go bar in Asia that birthed Patpong as we know it today. But due to displays of erotic artwork and some slightly risqué interactive games, beyond this point, it’s over 18s only. Overall, the museum’s silver lining is that it never falls into voyeurism or cliche. You can understand why the Patpong area is under such fascination and interest. The Patpong Museum aims to show you much more than you usually know about Patpong. As a Thai person, visiting the Patpong museum is truly an eye-opening experience.