Inside the Best Museums in Bangkok: Local Art and History Await
Gone are the days when the idea of visiting museums in Bangkok would leave you cold. These days we’re not talking about dusty rooms full of forgotten antiques, but instead a fascinating set of venues that entertain and inform. Even better, museums in Bangkok are often housed in some pretty impressive buildings so fans of unusual architecture will be happy too! Here’s our pick of the best in the capital.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
As the name would suggest, MOCA is a mecca for fans of all things modern in the art world. The building itself is a masterpiece, built in gleaming white and designed to enhance the 800 exhibits inside. If you like your art diverse and interesting then this is the place for you! It’s actually a private collection rather than a public enterprise, and the founder, Boonchai Bencharongkul, has gone out of his way to make sure that the full range of modern Thai talen is represented here.
Address: Off Vibhavadi Road, Chatuchak (easiest to access by taxi)
Cost: 250 baht (about $8)
Hours of Operation: 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 6pm Saturday & Sunday
Bangkok National Museum
We can’t talk about museums in Bangkok without mentioning the National Museum. This is the big hitter for all things traditional, and houses literally thousands of historic Thai artefacts and paintings. King Rama V set this place up and the government has been careful to keep it well-maintained ever since. Items are labelled in Thai and English and the building is pretty cool, as the main exhibition hall is the center point of the Wang Na Palace built in the 18th century.
Address: Na Phra That Alley, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Road, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200
Cost: 200 baht (about $6)
Hours of Operation: 9am – 4pm Wednesday to Sunday
Yes you read that right, Bangkok really is home to a museum entirely dedicated to condoms! No, we’re not talking about Cabbages and Condoms, the condom-themed restaurant – but an actual museum! It seems like an odd concept but it was actually set up by the Ministry of Health to try and demystify them, and promote the fact that they’re a normal thing to use. Weirdly, what might start out as a joke visit actually turns into something pretty interesting. Thailand produces a huge number of the world’s condoms and the journey from rubber plantation to chemists’ shelf is actually a fascinating one. Recommended for a visit before a night out in Patpong!
Address: Tiwanon Road, Tambon Bang Khen, Amphoe Mueang Nonthaburi, Chang Wat 11000
Hours of Operation: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday
Siriraj Medical Museum
If you like macabre oddities then you’re going to love the Siriraj Medical Museum. Packed full of exhibits like distorted skeletons, mummified bodies and various weird body parts floating in formaldehyde, it’s a must-see for medical students or anyone who secretly wants to be a murderer. The hospital itself is still a functioning treatment center with a good reputation worldwide so you can rest easy knowing that some of your entrance fee has been reinvested into helping people get better.
Address: 2 Wang Lang Road, Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok Noi 10700
Cost: 200 baht (about $6)
Hours of Operation: 6am – 5pm daily
A Great Addition to Your Bangkok Sightseeing
When the temples and tuktuks all get too much, a trip round one of these Bangkok museums is a great way to unwind. Whether you choose oil paintings at the National Museum or pickled lungs at the Siriraj Medical Museum, entertainment is guaranteed!