Morning at the Museum

Been to Bangkok so many times but never made it to its national museum.  I always make it a point to visit a country’s cultural repository and now I can’t remember any reason why I overlooked Thailand’s.  Perhaps, because after seeing all the glorious architecture and images at Bangkok’s temples and palaces, visiting its museum may seem anti-climactic.

Granted, Bangkok’s National Museum pales in comparison to the national museum’s of its ASEAN counterparts, it still merits a look. Hopefully, the continuing renovations improve it considerably.  Formerly the National Palace, the museum is spread out in different buildings in the complex some of which are inaccessible due to the ongoing renovations.

This red building was once the residence of a former queen.  It was dismantled from its original location and brought to its current location.

Most impressive of the open galleries is that of Thai History.with its collection of antique religious sculptures some spaning different historical eras from the Dvarvati to Ayyuthaya to Bangkok. Highly recommended to watch the short video on Thailand’s different historical periods  first to better appreciate the figures.

An impressive towering bronze figure

This giant Buddha head is massive.

A bronze drum. Thailand’s link to Vietnam’s Dong Son culture.

Very impressive are the gold figurines in a gallery housing the museum’s most important collections including royal palanquins, howdas  and  thrones.

Most poignant however is an airconditioned tent that had been set-up near the entrance showcasing photographs taken during the king’s funeral rites.

I admit being a bit teary-eyed seeing how much the Thais love their king.  The photographs are magnificent and you get a free postcard reproduction of one of the photos.

The museum was quite underwhelming considering Thailand’s heritage but hopefully the renovations will one day give it the merit it deserves.

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