This blog post was updated on September 27, 2019.
Of course, Bangkok is famous for its vibrant nightlife, lush gardens, and fantastic food, and they are key reasons that people keep coming back on cheap international flights every year. But, did you also know that Thailand’s capital city is home to some pretty incredible museums? Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or counterfeit goods aficionado (read on, trust us) there’s sure to be a museum you should add to your list of must-see Bangkok attractions.
Bangkok National Museum
This stunning museum is located on the former property of the Wang Na Palace, which dates back to the 18th century. It’s the place to go to see Thai art and artifacts and understand them in their historical context (descriptions throughout the museum are written in English, so you don’t need to read Thai to understand the significance of what you’re looking at). The museum’s impressive collection includes antique weapons, traditional musical instruments, artwork in solid gold, traditional masks, puppets, and paintings. Be sure to save some time to tour the stunning grounds.
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Art in Paradise Interactive Art Museum
For a completely unique artistic experience, head to Art In Paradise, a 3D art museum. This innovative center is comprised of six permanent exhibition spaces located inside the Esplanade Shopping Mall. Instead of sitting back and admiring paintings from afar, Art in Paradise is set up for you to jump right in (literally) to over 150 paintings and interactive spaces. Photos (and social media posts) are highly encouraged.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok
A must-see for contemporary art lovers, Bangkok’s MOCA is home to the largest collection of modern paintings and sculptures in the country. The museum’s robust collection was acquired over a period of three decades by Thai telecommunications mogul Boonchai Bencharongkul. Some of the most impressive pieces are sculptures installed around the outside of the building. The interior galleries contain a mix of traditional and contemporary Thai art pieces to highlight the evolution of Thai aesthetics and themes over time.
The Tilleke & Gibbins Museum of Counterfeit Goods
One of Thailand’s more unique museums, the Tilleke & Gibbins Museum of Counterfeit Goods contains over 4,000 goods that have been confiscated because they infringed upon existing trademarks, patents, or copyrights. The museum’s impressive collection includes food, household products, office supplies, tools, perfume, clothing, and even alcohol. As is the case with most museums, the Tilleke & Gibbins Museum of Counterfeit Goods has an educational purpose: to deter visitors from creating counterfeit products and teach them about the dangers associated with buying counterfeit products. As serious as these situations are, the museum is admittedly very engaging and entertaining to visit.
Bangkok Dolls House and Museum
Even if dolls aren’t your thing, it’s hard not to be impressed by the intricate creations at the Bangkok Dolls House and Museum. In addition to the dolls themselves, you’ll find miniature replicas of Thai homes, temples, gardens, and other Thai and Bangkok attractions. The museum is owned by famed dollmaker Tongkorn Chandavimol, who has been delighting tourists with her products since 1957. There’s also a shop so you can take home your own handmade souvenir doll.
If you think that Bangkok is just all about partying and shopping, then think again. The next time you book cheap international flights to Bangkok, make sure to add these unique museums to your list of Bangkok attractions.
Have you visited any interesting museums in Bangkok? Which ones were your favorites? Let us know in the comments section.