ROYAL BARGE MUSEUM
The elaborately decorated and skilfully crafted barges used in royal pageants on the river are maintained in dry dock by the Royal Thai Navy alongside specimens formerly used in battle. The most glorious of the barges is the "Suphannahong", exclusively used by the king for the spectacular Kathin ceremony and river procession, a Buddhist tradition of offering robes to monks which generally takes place some time in October or November. Admission to the museum is 30 baht. Tel: 0 2424 0004.
MUSEUM OF IMAGERY TECHNOLOGY
The first camera and photograph museum established in Thailand and Asia is located in the same building as the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University. Historic photographs and imaging equipment tell the story of technological evolution. Examples of modern photographic art and photographic and printing technology are also exhibited. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Admission 100 baht. Tel: 0 2218 5583.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & PLANETARIUM
The subjects of astronomy, communications technology and biology are covered within this museum located next to the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) on Sukhumvit Road. Attractions include an excellent aquarium, computer world, a planetarium and numerous devices that combine scientific education with fun. Open daily except Mondays and public holidays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission 30 baht for adults and 15 baht for children. Tel: 0 2392 5952.
NATIONAL SCIENCE MUSEUM
Six exhibition floors are devoted to different aspects of science and technology, including traditional Thai technology. Visitors are encouraged to touch and play with exhibits as part of a handson educational approach. Located at Technopolis, Khlong 5, Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission 20 baht for children and 50 baht for adults. Tel: 0 2577 4172-8.
Within walking distance of the Grand Palace is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Southeast Asia. Bangkok's National Museum houses a vast collection of artefacts recovered from all parts of the country and dating all the way from Neolithic times, through the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods to the Bangkok era. The complex consists of several beautiful old buildings of colouii-nU1W.i design. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm, Admission 40 baht. Guided tours are given free by volunteers in English and French on Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 am. The tours in English are on Thai Art, Religion and Culture. Those in French are on Pre-Thai history, Thai Art and Culture. Tours are also given in German on Thai Art and Culture on Thursdays, and in Japanese (1st and 2nd Wednesday of the month on the Buddhaisawan Chapel; 4th and 5th Wednesday of the month on Pre-Thai and Thai Art). Tours in Spanish can be arranged. Tel: 0 2224 1333.
JIM THOMPSON'S THAI HOUSE
This remarkable Thai-style house is named after the man who created it from several exceptional examples of traditional Thai domestic architecture. The American Jim Thompson came to Thailand at the end of World War II and became famous for reviving the Thai silk industry before disappearing under mysterious circumstances somewhere in Malaysia. Now a museum, the house is located at the end of Soi Kasemsan 2, opposite the National Stadium on Rama I Road. On permanent display are Jim Thompson's connoisseur collections of Asian artefacts and antiques. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm with the last guided tour at 4:30 pm. Admission 100 baht. Tel: 0 2215 0122.
BANK OF THAILAND MUSEUM
Located in the former Bang Khunphrom Palace within the grounds of the Bank of Thailand on Samsen Road, the museum houses the nation's largest collection of coins. Open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Group tours only, minimum 10 people and book four to five days in advance. Tel: 0 2283 5265, 0 2283 5284.
A comprehensive collection of Thai and foreign stamps together with a well-stocked library. Stamps and accessories for stamp collection are also on sale. Located within the compound of the Metropolitan Postal Bureau behind Sam Sen Nai Post Office. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission free. Tel: 0 2271 2439.
HALL OF RAILWAY HERITAGE
Steam engines and model and miniature trains are exhibited alongside the story of the development of railways around the world. Located on the western side of Chatuchak Park adjacent to Kamphaengphet Road, the museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. No admission charge. Tel: 0 2243 2037-9.
KHAMTHIENG HOUSE, SIAM SOCIETY
This classic northern-style teak house, now located at 131 Asoke Road, was originally constructed in Chiang Mai over 200 years ago and donated to the Siam Society by its owners. With their fascinating variety of Thai flora, the gardens are especially lovely. Also on display are everyday items used by Thai farmers and fishermen. The house is open daily except Sundays and Mondays from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission 100 baht. Tel: 0 2661 6470.
No. 19, Soi Phra Pinit, South Sathorn Road, is the home of the late M.R. Kukrit Pramoj (1911-1995), a Thai Renaissance man, respected scholar and former Prime Minister of Thailand. The compound consists of five teak houses, a function hall and gardens. The houses are antique Thai structures painstakingly assembled under M.R. Kukrit's supervision over 20 years while the gardens are noted for their bonsai trees. A fine art collection is also on display. The house is open to the public on weekends and official holidays. Entry is 50 baht for adults and 20 baht for students.
THAI HUMAN IMAGERY MUSEUM
On show at this private museum, 31 kilometres west of Bangkok on Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisri Road, are lifesize fibreglass replicas of ordinary and famous Thai people. Both permanent and special displays. Open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm and from 8:30 am to 6 pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Tel: 0 2433 2607.
BAN CHANG THAI
Ban Chang Thai or House of Thai Artisans is where Thai puppets are made and displayed and occasional shows are held. The house also offers various craft courses such as puppet making, gilded painting, Thai motif designing, Thai-style painting, watercolour, oils and chalk drawing. The house is located at No. 38 Soi 10 Ekamai Road, off Sukhumvit Road. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.Tel: 0 2391 3807.
Located on Krungthep Kritha Road off Srinakharin Road, the museum houses a vast collection of artefacts from prehistoric times to the present Bangkok era. Reproductions of some beautiful examples of Thai architecture are scattered within the museum complex. Open daily except Monday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Admission 500 baht. Tel: 0 2379 3601, 0 2379 3607.
RARE STONE MUSEUM
The museum features a fascinating display of over ten thousand rare stones from Thailand and all over the world. Exhibits include precious stones, fossils, crystals, stalactites and more. The museum is located at 1048-1054 New Road, Bang Rak and is open daily from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Admission 100 baht. Tel: 0 2236 5666.
MINIATURE BOAT MUSEUM
Located at No. 2/173-7 Moo Ban Bua Khao, Soi 22, Ramkhamhaeng Road, Min Buri. Situated at the back of a housing estate, it is not so much of a museum rather a workshop-cumdisplay. Model boats are building from teak including the exquisitely crafted miniature rice barges and boats. Tel: 0 2517 0597.
BANGKOK DOLL MUSEUM
Located on Soi Ratchataphan, off Ratchaprarop Road, this museum exhibits dolls from many countries including hand-made Thai dolls in both classical and tribal costumes. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. Tel: 0 2235 3088.