In the centre of Bangkok, where tradition and modernity converge, lie three exceptional museums that provide a window into Thailand's past and present. With interactive displays, historical artefacts, and inspiring artworks, inviting visitors to the wonders of Thai culture and heritage. These three exceptional museums offer unparalleled experiences found only in Bangkok.
Museum Siam, located on Sanam Chai road in Bangkok, is a discovery museum established in 2007 within the former Ministry of Commerce building. Its main purpose is to educate visitors about Thailand's national identity, history, and its connections with neighbouring cultures. The museum's motto is "Play + Learn = Plearn," which translates to "joyously" in Thai, and it achieves this through interactive exhibits that showcase Thailand's development from the past to the present. The museum's original permanent exhibit, titled "Essays on Thailand," offers a diverse exploration of Thailand's history through various aspects. Each room in the museum is dedicated to a different theme, and visitors can also explore a map room and an immersive theatre featuring a long panoramic screen showcasing movies about Thailand's history. In 2017, the museum introduced its second permanent exhibit called "Decoding Thainess" which attempts to enlighten on the meaning of “Thainess”.
Bangkok National Museum is among the largest museums in Southeast Asia. It showcases Thai art and history and is situated in the former palace of the vice king, positioned between Thammasat University and the National Theater, facing Sanam Luang.
At present, the museum houses exhibits spanning Thai history from Neolithic times onwards. Notably, the collection includes The King Ram Khamhaeng's Inscription, which received UNESCO's recognition through its registration in the Memory of the World Programme in 2003 due to its historical significance. Alongside preserving and displaying Thai artefacts from the Dvaravati, Srivijaya, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya periods, the museum also boasts extensive collections of regional Asian Buddhist Arts.
MOCA is an art museum in Bangkok, Thailand and one of the largest contemporary art museums in Asia. Boasting an extensive compilation of work, it showcases creations from renowned Thai artists, among them Thawan Duchanee, Hem Vejakorn, Chalermchai Kositpipat, and Prateep Kochabua.
Within MOCA's walls lies a formidable collection of masterpieces crafted by celebrated Thai painters and sculptors. The museum's primary objective has always been to perpetuate and disseminate authentic Thai art and culture, both to its native people and to visitors from around the globe, with a particular focus on nurturing the creativity of the next generation. MOCA comprises five floors, each arranged to present distinct thematic displays of art. The first floor has four halls: two for temporary exhibits and two showcasing works by national artists and a sculptor of distinction. The second floor features artwork depicting modern-day life and social events. On the third floor, discover Thai arts and innovative pieces. The fourth floor displays a diverse collection by renowned artists, while the fifth floor focuses on modern art from various countries.
Ignite the spirit of exploration and creativity as you embark on a time-travelling journey through Bangkok's museums. Museum Siam, Bangkok National Museum, and MOCA Bangkok are cultural havens that celebrate Thailand's heritage, from its ancient roots to its dynamic contemporary art scene.
Broaden your horizons, and experience the wonders of Thai culture at these captivating institutions, leaving you with a profound appreciation for the art and history that has helped shape this nation.