Good old stories kept alive in the new theme museums

Different stories, different kinds of arts, different times at 9 different museums in Bangkok.
Veena Thoopkajae




A fascinating multicultural city, Bangkok is home to a wide variety of museums focussing on a remarkable range of topics from national treasures to royal emblems, and from local flowers to the history of its famous red-light district. Here we take a look at 9 alternative museums in Bangkok that offer a different take on all things Thai.

The Bangkokian Museum 

Sometimes called the Bangkok Folk Museum, this museum is growing in popularity with both residents and tourists. The complex features two beautifully preserved wooden houses dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. 

The Bangkokian Museum consists of two, two-storey buildings which depict the lifestyles of residents during World War II.

Free admission.

Open: Tuesday-Sunday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 

273 Soi Saphan Yao, Si Phraya, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 233 7027

The Museum of Floral Culture 

Founded by Thailand’s celebrity florist Sakul Intrakul and housed in a 100-year-old teak mansion, this museum focusses on the country’s rich culture of floral art. A guided tour is available in Thai, English, and Japanese. Visitors are welcome to spend time in the garden and enjoy afternoon tea with freshly made scones and blends of tea specially selected by Sakul. 

The Museum of Floral Culture consists of a teak mansion which houses floral exhibits.

Admission: 150 Baht 

Open: Tuesday-Sunday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

315 Samsen Road, Soi 28, Yaek Ongkarak 13, Dusit, Bangkok 10300


The Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA Bangkok, is dedicated to the new era of nontraditional Thai art. Spread out across five floors, the large exhibition space makes it Thailand’s biggest art museum in Bangkok. The permanent display includes paintings by several national artists, among them the late Thawan Duchanee, Chalermchai Kositpipat and Panya Vijinthanasarn. 

The MOCA building, housing collections of contemporary art.

Admission: 200 Baht 

Open: Tuesday-Sunday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

499 Kamphaengphet 6 Road, Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 016 5666

Jim Thompson House Museum 

The Jim Thompson House Museum is made up of six traditional Thai teak homes that once belonged to American entrepreneur Jim Thompson, who is credited with making Thai silk famous around the world. The Museum showcases Thompson’s collection of artworks, porcelain, wall hangings and figurines, as well as Thai silk. Thompson went missing without a trace in Malaysia in 1967, and part of the Museum explores the various theories about this mystery. After an English language tour, visitors can enjoy authentic Thai cuisine, spend time at the Museum shop and stroll through the tropical gardens.

The Jim Thompson House Museum.

Admission: 200 Baht

Open: Daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

6 Soi Kasem San 2, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Telephone:  +66 (0)2 216 7368

Berlin Pharmaceutical Museum 

This museum is unique in that it presents the history of Western medicine in Thailand. Exhibits date back to the 17th century Ayutthaya period and include ancient medical scales, a vintage examining room, and drug compounding room. Originally called the Berlin Dispensary, it was founded by Shanghai-graduate Dr. Chai Chainuvati, who became known as Dr. Berlin, and was among the first private modern medical clinics in Bangkok’s Chinatown area.

Admission: 40 Baht

Open: Wednesday-Sunday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

359 Charoen Krung Road, Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 225 4261

Bank of Thailand Museum 

Located in Bangkhunprom Palace, the Italian-inspired residence of HRH Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand, this is the place to learn about the evolution of money in Thailand.  Guided tours take groups of visitors to admire Thailand’s early banknote printing facilities, old coins, and ancient “bank books”. 

The Bank of Thailand Museum.

The museum is open for a group of maximum 10 people by appointment only. 

Open: Tuesday-Sunday; 9.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.

Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 356 7766

Ancient City 

A very quick way to have a glimpse of Thailand is on offer at the 320-acre Ancient City in Samut Prakan province on the outskirts of Bangkok. The park houses the scaled-down replicas of cultural heritage; such as, prominent temples and monuments around the country. Altogether there are over 100 scaled-down attractions, making Ancient City one of the world’s largest outdoor museums. Visitors have choices of touring on foot, by tram, or on bicycles.

The Ancient City.

Admission: 700 Baht

Open: Daily 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Mu 7 296/1 Sukhumvit Road, Bang Pu Mai, Samut Prakan 10280

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 323 4095

Erawan Museum 

A visit to the Erawan Museum can be combined with a tour of the Ancient City. The Museum displays the rich art and heritage of Asia and Thailand, and many of the pieces explore spiritual development in Asia. One of the most popular artifacts is the giant three-trunked elephant in which the Museum itself is located. It’s 29 metres tall, 12 metres wide, 39 metres long, and weighs a whopping 150 tons. 

Admission: 300 Baht

OpenDaily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sukhumvit Road, Bang Mueang Mai, Samut Prakan 10270

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 371 3135

The Siriraj Medical Museum 

The Museum is located inside Siriraj Hospital, Thailand’s first hospital and one of Southeast Asia’s most cutting-edge centres of medicine. There are 6 museums located on the Siriraj Campus. Among them, the Ellis Pathological Museum exhibits human organs infected by various diseases and human physical disorders. Another museum is the Songkran Nilyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, which displays evidence handling and investigative techniques used in murder cases. The Anatomical Museum has 2,000 specimens of human anatomy including cadavers and organs of humans who have died from both natural and unnatural causes. 

The Siriraj Medical Museum.

Admission: 200 Baht 

Open: Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Wang Lang Road, Bangkok 10700 

Tel.: +66 (0) 2 419 2601


Veena Thoopkajae

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