Exploring Modern History at The Bangkok Museum For The Thai Cave Rescue
For a moment, the world held its breath. The drama of the rescue effort to save the Thai football team, stuck underground in a flooded cave, gripped people across the globe. Now there’s a Bangkok museum dedicated to the famous Thai cave rescue.
It was a headline like no other. A youth football team out on a fun day’s exploration, suddenly trapped underground with water levels rising and the full monsoon on its way. This was a moment for heroes to shine, and Thailand didn’t disappoint. The whole nation pulled together to get behind the rescue effort, and the team who eventually triumphed was thousands strong and featured people from over 100 countries.
The story of the rescue is quite incredible and is well worth telling again and again. Luckily, a shopping mall in Bangkok has put together an exhibition titled ‘Tham Luang Incredible Mission: The Global Agenda’ to tell you all about the underground effort and the characters that saved the day.
It’ll make you FEEL like a cave rescuer.
The exhibition throws you head-first into the cave experience and many of the exhibits are interactive. Crawl through the 10-meter-long tunnel decked out like subterranean rock to feel what it must have been like to reach the boys. Touch the thick rubber of the wetsuit on the life-sized mannequin to imagine how cold it must have been swimming through the water for hours on end. Wrap yourself in one of the foil thermal blankets that the rescuers used to recover their body temperature and get a few selfies to send your friends!
If technology is your thing then check out the display section about the automated robots that the team used to scope out the underground river system to find the boys. They were an integral part of the success of the mission and were treated as team members in their own right!
If you’re a Tesla fan then you can also learn all about the transporter pods that Elon Musk sent to help bring the boys out of the air pocket where they were trapped. In the end the pods weren’t actually used, but their rapid construction and dispatch was just one part of this amazing rescue story.
The whole exhibition is watched over by a bronze statue of the rescuer who sadly lost his life, former Navy Seal Saman Junan. He died on the return trip through the cave complex to take much-needed oxygen and food to the boys, and is feted as a national hero across Thailand. You’ll spot his face as the biggest part of the mural that’s painted behind the exhibits and you can read the hand-written messages of gratitude and thanks that were sent to him after his death. The sincerity and warmth of the words will send shivers up your spine.
Where is the Thai Cave Rescue Exhibit?
The exhibition is currently located in the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok. The mall has its own BTS station so getting there isn’t a problem, and if all that heroism makes you hungry then there are a ton of great eating places and food courts in the main hall. Even by BTS, it’ll take about 30 minutes from Bodega Bangkok, so plan your visit out!
Check before you travel to Siam Paragon though, because this exhibition is so good that it’s going on tour! There will be multiple stops around the country so you might also catch it in Chiang Mai, Krabi or Phuket.