Finally a deserved place to showcase the treasures of Thailand
Honestly, I had never been proud of museums in my home country. I actually had a very bad impression on the most important one.
After ending up at the National Museum Bangkok many years ago, I was so shocked and totally desperate. So I was never there again. The National Museum Bangkok was in its worst condition, with artifacts poorly displayed in neglected humid rooms.
And everything changed, two years ago. After the long renovation that took almost forever, we got a new revamped one.
Bring Back the Glory of Wang Na
The National Museum Bangkok is located in Wang Na, or the Boworn Sathan Mongkhon Palace, or the Front Palace which was the palace of the prince viceroys in the past. The term Wang Na signified the prince viceroy title as well. But after seeing that the prince viceroys had tendency to die before becoming the kings (some said the title was cursed), the title was cancelled during the reign of King Rama 5. The palace then turned into a museum to house the palace’s artifacts and antiques. After the renovation, the beauty of this former palace is revived and complemented with a careful curation of Thailand’s treasures. The tour usually starts at the Gallery of Thai History. Then you can venture around. I recommend visiting Putthaisawan Throne Hall which has fantastic Buddhist murals.
Fresh take on Thai history
The highlight is the new exhibit space in the buildings at the back. The Siwamokkhaphiman hall and other halls in Moo Phra Wiman come with new interiors and much better lighting, so you can take time to appreciate the exhibits. The artifacts are very diverse, from fashion to chinaware and armours. They are Thai, but at the same time they are not Thai, as you can see the connections with other countries in the region. So even for a Thai, it is a cool and interesting place to visit. The only thing I don’t like is there are so little descriptions. But all the 3D visualisations help a lot too.