30 Jan Rather Unusual Museums of Bangkok
Rather Unusual Museums of Bangkok
Bangkok is an exciting city that is known to be crowded, hot and never still, as it’s eight million plus inhabits go about their daily lives amongst the masses of tourists who descend here annually, to explore and discover more of this iconic Asian city.
Be their interest historic, cultural, epicurean, the vibrant nightlife or power shopping, this is a place that over delivers and the museum scene is no different, yet here there’s more than meets the eye, with some unusual offbeat and somewhat bizarre places to visit.
These are our recommendations for rather unusual Museums in Bangkok.
1. Bangkok Doll Museum
Opened by Khunying Tongkorn Chandavimol, a Thai woman who trained at the prestigious Ozawa Doll School in Japan and who has become Thailand’s most talented doll maker started this small museum in 1957. The museum has a collection of almost 500 hand made dolls and there is a heavy showcase of traditional Thai khon puppet characters from the Ramakien dance drama, along with dolls wearing costumes of the various northern hill tribes and ethnic groups, as well as the costumes worn throughout rural Thailand, as well as a section dedicated to traditional costumes from around the world. Best of all, the dolls are all for sale, so you can take homea souvenir home.
Address: Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
The Museum of Counterfeit Goods is one of the city’s more interesting museums and is well worth a visit. Bangkok is known to be one of the world’s capitals for counterfeit goods, as any walk through a market will show, and while the most of us might not think twice about buying a fake watch, or some perfume, this well laid out display that is part of the Tilleke and Gibbins law firm, promises to educate people about intellectual property and how destructive it can be for all parties involved. There are thousands of goods seized in raids, case study examples, and the law firm provides well-prepared free lectures and guided tours. Be sure not to wear a knock off Prada bag or Polo shirt.
Address: Supalai Grand Tower, 26th Floor, 1011 Rama 3 Road, Chongnonsi, Yannawa 10120
Visits by Appointment
3. Bangkok Forensic Museum
Not for the feint hearted, Bangkok’s Forensic Museum is found inside the Siriraj Hospital and offers a rather fascinating exhibition for travellers searching for something extremely unusual. The hospital features six distinct museums within two separate buildings, with the pathology and forensic rooms seeming to hold the most interest. There are some macabre displays, ranging from dead bodies and mummified corpses of murderers, to accident victims and genetically mutated babies that float in jars of formaldehyde. Body parts, skeletons and victims of various parasites round out the collection. The museum is fascinating, informative, and serves as an education lab for medical students.
Address: 2 Wanglung Road Khwaeng Siriraj, Khet Bangkok Noi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700
Also known as the Discovery Museum, the Museum of Siam offers a well designed multimedia exhibition that focuses on the questions of “who are Thais” and “what is Thai culture?” tracing Thai history from past to present. Going through a series of different rooms, you will uncover the different facets of Thai history, from Suvarnabhumi to Buddhism, to the founding of Ayutthaya and Thailand today, in relation to the world. In each room visitors have a variety of digital exhibits they can interact with, and video exhibitions that offer insight into “Thai-ness”, explaining the history and ethnography of the regions. Friendly staff greets everyone and the instructions are to please touch everything.
Address: 4 Sanamchai Rd, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, 10200
Aptly based at the Department of Medical Sciences in Nonthaburi, the museum lets visitors tour the lab where condoms are tested. It is no surprise that Thailand is one of the world’s largest producers of condoms and from just turning that into a joke, the Museum is an effort by the Ministry of Health to get Thais to overcome their negative images of condom usage. The museum is tucked into the back of the sprawling Ministry of Health complex, and has several small rooms that show the history of condom awareness and manufacturing in Thailand, with sizes, colors and flavors of every spectrum on display. There are even strength and endurance testing rooms, where staff will show you just how far they can stretch a piece of rubber. Giggling as you learn is certainly allowed.
Address: Ministry of Public Health, Building 9, Department of Medical Sciences, Bangkok