Have you gotten your MUSE pass yet? This 199-baht pass offers access to 20 museums in Bangkok and its vicinity. Available from Thai Ticket Major outlets, as well as at participating museums, passes are sold until 31 December; they are good until March 2015. Below are some of our favourite family-friendly museums covered in this promotion:
Museum Siam is wonderful for children of all ages. Spread on three floors of a beautiful building that used to house the Commerce Ministry, the museum features hands-on exhibits that encourage kids to explore Thai culture and history. Highlights include an ancient battle game, a room full of traditional Thai toys and a mock archaeological dig site.
Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall showcases Thailand’s artistic and cultural legacies of the Rattanakosin era through interactive exhibits arranged as two separate tours (each are about two hours long). Children will especially enjoy playing with hand puppets, learning khon (Thai masked dance) gestures and watching the vintage photography exhibit. On the fourth floor of the building, visitors can admire magnificent views of old Bangkok, including Loha Prasat.
NSM Science Square is a small museum in Chamchuri Square that is well worth a visit. Highlights include simple hands-on science exhibits, a skeleton and fossil exhibit and an area for younger children to play with various educational toys. Older kids can experience a pitch-dark world in the ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ exhibit, learning how to navigate using walking sticks and gaining insight into the challenges of being blind.
National Science Museum, located in Pathum Thani, features three distinctive buildings comprised of cubes balancing on their points. Here, families can spend the day learning about the science behind electricity, heat, magnetism, light, sound, energy and more. There are also a couple of floors dedicated to Thailand, including its geography, geology and ecology, as well as a Thai Art and Craft Centre.
Natural History Museum is located in the same compound as the National Science Museum in Pathum Thani. Exhibits introduce the evolution of life through four time eras and showcase the diversity of living things, from single cell organisms to members of the animal kingdom. Children will get a thrill from the life-sized dinosaur models, as well as the taxidermic models of Thailand’s indigenous animal species.
Krungthai Art Gallery houses the private art collections of Krungthai Bank in a historic Yaowaraj (Chinatown) building. Getting there is an adventure in and of itself! The art ranges from masterpieces by leading Thai artists to award-winning works from the annual National Exhibition of Art. The venue also features an exhibit about and resources related to the fascinating history of the Chinese community of Yaowaraj.
Other museums covered by the MUSE pass, which may be of interest to teens and adults, include:
- Bangkok Folk Museum, displaying artefacts reflecting an upper class Bangkok lifestyle during the pre- and post-World War II periods
- Praisaneeyakarn, commemorating the history of the Thai postal service
- Sam Sen Nai Philatelic Museum, appealing to stamp collectors everywhere
- Siam House of Bizarre Creatures, housing a small collection of stuffed and real animals
- Phya Thai Palace, offering genteel, old world charm
- Police Museum, exhibiting the history of the Thai police since the 16th century
- King Prajadhipok Museum, commemorating the life of King Rama VII
- IT Museum, documenting the evolution of information technology
- Siriraj Medical Museum, exploring the world of parasites, pathology, forensics and anatomy (Note: some exhibits, including mummified human remains and preserved conjoined twins, will be too scary for young children)
- Thai PBS Museum, displaying a range of media-related exhibits
- Silapa Rattanakosin Resource Center, focusing on changes in Thai culture
- Thai Film Archive, preserving Thai film history
- Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center, showing local and international works of contemporary art in various mediums
- The Queen’s Gallery, showcasing the work of Thai national artists, among others