A Brief History Of The Bangkok National Museum

Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya/Courtesy of Pixabay
Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya/Courtesy of Pixabay
Photo of Kelly Iverson
22 August 2016

If you really want to learn about Thai culture, art and history, we know just the place to visit. Some of the best artifacts in the world can be found at the Bangkok National Museum. Fairly close to the legendary Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, you can make this museum one stop on your itinerary that will have you feeling like you understand and know Thailand a bit better than the average tourist.


The building that now is the museum was originally constructed in 1782 as a palace for Prince Wang Na. In 1884, King Rama V turned it into a museum. It originally opened as a place to keep the many gifts and antiques King Rama V was given by his father. What was once considered somewhat disorganized and simply a holding place for artifacts to gather dust, is now one of the best museums in Thailand. The museum is home to a plethora of artifacts you cannot find elsewhere, but it also gives you an unseen glimpse into Thai architecture throughout the museum. You would have to search Bangkok high and low to find architecture this historical. Instead, it can be seen all in one place at the Bangkok National Museum. There is a ฿200 entrance fee.

What to Expect

Artifacts from across the Land of Smiles come together to tell Thailand’s intricate story at the Bangkok National Museum. Some of the most popular artifacts include Chinese weapons, golden riches, exquisite stones, clothing, textiles, wood carvings, ceramics, Khon masks, musical instruments and even puppets from across Southeast Asia. The museum also houses a large collection of royal funerary carriages. Each one of these artifacts has a fairly good English description.

How to Get There

Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get to the Bangkok National Museum. There is not a close BTS Skytrain stop nearby. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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