Visiting National Museum of Bangkok

by / Monday, 13 April 2015 / Published in Museum
Bangkok Best Museums Tours by Rock Around Asia
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Visiting National Museum of Bangkok

Information & Booking

  • This tour belongs to the program “Bangkok Best Museums Tours” by Rock Around Asia


The National Museum in Bangkok houses a vast collection of artifacts and antiques from all over Thailand of all different eras. These include Neolithic tools, pottery, gems, bronze and iron objects, and Buddhist sculptures in stone, terracotta, as well as illustrated scripture books manuscript cabinets and votive plaques. The visit aims to fly over Thailand history since Ban Chiang Era to present time.

The National Museum of Bangkok houses the largest collection of Thai art and artifacts in the country of Thailand. Opened by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the National Museum aims to exhibit the antiques and gifts bestowed to him by his father.

The National Museum is located at the Palace of the Front or Wang Na (near Ratchadamnoen Nai Road), which was constructed in 1782, the same time as the construction of the Grand Palace, which marked the beginning of Rattanakosin Era. Over the 2 last centuries, the palace walls were nearly all demolished, leaving only the south wall at Thammasat University. During the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the title of Palace of the Front was abolished after the death of Wichaichan, last Viceroy ever and oldest son of King Pinklao. The Palace of the Front was then abandoned. In 1887, the King decided to move the Royal Museum, which had been at Concordia Pavilion in the Grand Palace, to its present location Siwamokkhaphiman Audience Hall, Buddhaisawan Chapel and Issara Winitchai Throne Hall, all of which are in the compound of the old Palace of the Front.

In 1926, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) gave all the buildings in the Palace of the Front, to be converted into the National Museum of Bangkok. The Siwamokkhaphiman Audience Hall was used for the display of ancient inscriptions, manuscripts, and textbooks and was named the Vajirayana Library. King Rama VII presided over the opening ceremony of the National Museum of Bangkok on November 10th, 1926. After the Revolution of 1932 which marked the end of Absolute Monarchy, the Government founded the Fine Arts Department in 1933. Since then, the National Museum has been under Fine Arts Department responsibility and was officially proclaimed National Museum in 1934.

In 1967, the National Museum of Bangkok constructed 2 additional exhibition halls on the North and South of Phra Wiman, which is now the central palace building. Present King Rama IX presided over the opening ceremony on May 25th, 1967.

Exhibits are arranged into four areas consistent with Thai history

 Gallery of Thai History

The first building to be visited (Siwamokkhaphiman Audience Hall) introduces Thai History. Visitors will discover the origins of ancient Thai communities, which evolved through the eras until the first Thai Kingdom of Sukhothai emerged. Explore significant incidents in Ayutthaya and Thonburi periods and learn about the foundation of the Chakri dynasty of the Bangkok period (Rattanakosin era) and the works and talents of the former Thai rulers.

Thai Art History & Archeology

Second buildings to be visited are Pavilions Maha Surasinghanat South Wing and Praphat Phiphitthaphan Nort Wing. Those 2 exhibition halls house study styles and development of art and archeology throughout the many art-historical periods and areas in Thailand:

  • Pre-historic Ban Chiang pottery, bronze, gems.
  • Pre-Thai Dvaravati Art
  • Srivijaya Art
  • Ancient Hindu sculpture
  • Lopburi Art
  • Sukhothai Art
  • Lanna Art
  • Rattanakosin Art

In addition, the history of Thai money.

Thai Handicrafts

The inner Pavilion Phra Wiman, which had been the residence of several Viceroys, introduces some masterpieces of fine arts. This permanent exhibition is divided into categories, such as palanquins and howdahs, golden utensils, the theater arts of puppetry and masked dance, ivory, porcelains and ceramics, arms and armors, royal and ecclesiastical mother of pearl inlay lacquers utensils, wood handicrafts, stone inscriptions, royal textiles, Buddhist monks utensils and musical instruments.

Historic Monuments

The National Museum of Bangkok is a lot of historic buildings, sort of masterpieces that show the fine style architecture of Rattanakosin Era. The Buddhaisawan Chapel houses the Phra Buddha Sihing, the second and most respected and sacred Buddha since ancient times. Here, also, one can marvel at the most spectacular murals of the early Bangkok period. One can also enjoy the Siwamokkhaphiman Audience Hall, the Red House, Samranmukkhamat Pavilion, the Long Srong Pavilion, the Mangkhalaphisek Pavilion, the Patihan Thatsanai Pavilion, the Issaret Rachanuson Hall. Western Chinese style residence of King Pinklao, the Nukitratchaborihan shrine the one and only Chinese architecture left in the Palace of the Front, the Storehouse of the Royal Funeral Chariots and the Spirit House.


Bangkok Best Museums Tours Program


Photos Gallery

  • Provided by Eric Monteil Photography ©



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