The National Museum Of Thailand
| If you are an art and history aficionado, then the best place to get a real feel of art and history of Thailand is the National Museum on Na Phra That Road.
The museum houses one of the largest collections in Southeast Asia of all periods and styles of Buddhist and Thai art.
The National Museum was actually a palace which was built for Prince Wang Na in 1782, the same year that Bangkok was founded. During the reign of King Rama V, nearly a century later, the palace was converted into a museum, and this was Thailand’s first museum.
The National Museum houses the Phra Buddha Sihing. This is one of the most revered Buddha images in Thailand. This is a gold plated bronze image and was brought to Bangkok in 1795 by King Rama I. The Phra Buddha Sihing is housed in Buddhaisawan Chapel, which is an 18th century building and it displays the Rattanakosin style architecture.
The National Museum has a fine collection of sculptures, ceramic wares, mural paintings and decorative art. You will also find the 40 ton Vejayant Rajarot in the museum. This is a funerary chariot which was built in 1785 by King Rama I. Several other gilded teak funerary chariots are also on display in the museum.
The National Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 4 pm. There are guided tours available in different foreign languages for those who are keen to get a greater insight into Thailand’s magnificent history, art and culture.