Bangkok Culture Guides


The Museums and Galleries of Bangkok

Bangkok Culture | Bangkok museums and attractions

The art galleries and the museums of Bangkok are numerous; they offer an escape from the heat of the city and the visitor has the opportunity to see the strong cultural legacy, which saturates the whole area.

One of the most well known of the museums and galleries of Bangkok is the National Museum. Established under the reign of King Rama IV, it was originally used to house his vast private collection. Because of its location beside the Grand Palace, it was also used during the time of King Rama IV as the Privy counselor's home. The museum now houses the greatest collection of art and historical displays in the area. The guides and the staff are extremely helpful and all the exhibits have information in English. The display of the ancient musical instruments, some really incredible woodcarvings, and statues from all time eras of Thailand history are the highlights of the museums.

One of the other well known museums and galleries of Bangkok is the National Gallery. The National Gallery is a must see for true art lovers and you will find it located near the Grand Palace. The gallery is divided into two separate sections to house the finest collection of traditional and contemporary arts. One section is the home of the traditional art and contains art pieces from the Ayuttaya style of the 17th Century and the 19th Century Bangkok style. The other section is the home of the contemporary art pieces, which contains examples of cubism, surrealism and modern art.

Another one of the popular museums included in the museums and galleries of Bangkok is the Royal Barges National Museum. Located across the river from the Grand Palace in sheds, the Royal Barges National Museum is the home of the barges used only for Royal processions on the river. All of the barges have been created using great skill and care. Some of the larger barges are as huge as 50 meters and there is a mythical head at the bow of each barge.

The museums and galleries in Bangkok are numerous, but the museum of Jim Thompson's Thai House is one of the most popular museums in Bangkok. It is located near the Siam Square, but it is tucked down a lane beneath the National Stadium BTS station. Jim Thompson was a legendary businessman and pioneer in the silk industry. Jim Thompson served in the Army during World War II and after the war was over he found his way back to Bangkok. Jim Thompson played a very important role in re-starting the Thai silk industry. He helped bring it back the silk industry back to its global prominence. On the property is a chain of traditional Thai houses, which was joined into one large structure. This structure was a prominent location to many renowned social soirees during the 1940s and 1950s. There are some amazing pieces or art and a vast amount of information. There is an adjacent museum selling all manner of top-quality silk.

Another one of the great museums and galleries of Bangkok is the Vimannek Mansion Museum. The Vimannek Mansion Museum is located inside the Dusit Palace grounds. The three-story building housing the museum is the largest building created from golden teak. The museum is a version of the conditions the Thai Monarchy lived at the turn of the twentieth century and houses incredible architecture and art. Contained in the 81 rooms are some of the finest collection of Thai art and furniture. In some of the buildings close by visitors can see the collected works of King Bhumibol's photography and Queen Sirkit's collection of rural hand made crafts.

The world's largest outdoor museum of the museums and galleries of Bangkok is the Ancient City. This museum features an incredible collection of historical reproductions in a massive park, which resembles the shape of Thailand. The museum is the home of large recreations of Thailand's most well known buildings and area. This is a method for visitors to see all of the historical sites and witness the culture all in one day. Guests are able to reach the Ancient City by automobile or bicycle with the numerous ponds and gardens. The Ancient City is located in Samut Prakarn, which is a 45-minute drive south from Bangkok.

Another one of the museums and galleries of Bangkok is the Philatelic Museum. This museum displays a large collection of Thai and foreign stamps for the avid stamp collector in your group or family. Some of the displays are for sale.

The Rare Stone Museum is another one of the museums and galleries of Bangkok. This charming museum displays some odd-shaped stone, a small collection of ashtrays and cigarette labels. Bangkok is known for its "gem scams", because it is the center for gemstones from Burma.

The Nelson Hays Library is one of the museums and galleries of Bangkok and is definitely worth a visit because of its fascinating history and its art gallery. The library was built as a tribute to commemorate the life of Jennie Neilson Hays who was a Protestant missionary. She arrived in Thailand in 1881. It houses a cherished but extremely fascinating display of art from all over the world. At times the artist will visit and is willing to talk about his art displayed.

The Prasart Museum, another one of the museums and galleries of Bangkok features a vast collection of historic artifacts. These artifacts cover Thailand's history from pre-historic time to the Bangkok era. However, it is located some distance south of the CBD in Bangkapi.

Last Updated: 27 Feb 2008