Travelers interested in Thai history and culture shouldn’t miss the Bangkok National Museum. Housed in the 18th-century Wang Na Palace, with its ornately decorated buildings, the museum is as beautiful as it is educational. There’s information in English, as well as guided tours in multiple languages. The Basics
The Bangkok National Museum was established in 1874 around a private royal collection of artifacts. Now, it’s one of the largest museums in Southeast Asia and contains an extensive collection of objects from Asian history and culture, including paintings, sculptures, bronzes, and prehistoric art. There are three main buildings displaying permanent collections, as well as a chapel building with well-preserved murals, and areas for temporary exhibits.
The museum is near the popular Wat Phra Kaew temple and the Grand Palace, so a visit to the museum can be combined with these sights. Visitors can tour independently or join a guided tour of Bangkok that stops at the museum. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Non-Thai visitors must pay an entrance fee to the museum.
- Photography is not allowed inside.
- Free guided tours in English, French, German, and Japanese are offered at set times throughout the week.
Reach the museum by taxi from anywhere in Bangkok, or if you’re exploring the riverfront area, take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Maharaj, Chang, or Banglampoo Pier, then walk for about 20 minutes.
When to Get There
The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday, as well as most national holidays. It’s usually open from 9am until 4pm, with last ticket sales a half-hour before closure. Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Not far from the Bangkok National Museum is the unmissable Wat Pho, otherwise called the Wat Phra Chetuphon, or Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in Bangkok, and the centerpiece is the 150-foot (46-meter) long golden Buddha, which is in a lying down posture. Combining visits to the museum and the Reclining Buddha would make for a good day of sightseeing.