Bangkok Cultural Attractions

Bangkok Cultural Attractions

Bangkok has always been a city of cultural diversity, and that has long been reflected through a wide range of performing arts and entertainment, from the traditional 'Khon' (classical masked dance) and 'Likay' (Thai folk dance), to the glitz and glam of world-famous ladyboy shows - and even international Broadway productions. Bangkok has also played host to many big names in the entertainment business; the likes of concert pianists and prima ballerinas, soulful tenors and soprano divas... (see What's On Performing Arts for up-and-coming events in this vein)

National Museum

Na Phrathat Road

Established in 1926 in the reign of King Rama VII, it is located within walking distance of the Grand Palace next to Thammasat University, this is the largest and most comprehensive museum in Southeast Asia. It contains an 18th century palace and a group of well-designed buildings, housing Thailand's artistic treasures from prehistoric to contemporary.

Head of Buddha,
Ayutthaya Style
(15th - 17th centuries AD)

Entrance to the National Museum

The National Museum houses three permanent exhibition galleries as follows:
1. The Thai History Gallery
2. The Archaeological & Art History Collections
3. The Decorative Arts & Ethnological Collections

Tours conducted at 9.30 a.m. daily -- in English (on Wed and Thur), French (Wed and Thur), German (Thur) and Japanese (Wed).

For more information, call 0 2224 1333.

Open     Daily, 09.00 - 16.00
except Mon, Tue and public holidays
Admission fee     40 baht
Buses     3, 15, 30, 32, 39, 53, 59, 70, 201

King Prajadhipok Museum

Location: Near Phanfa Lilat Bridge, Lan Luang Road


The neoclassic building of the museum was built in 1906, towards the end of King Rama V's reign. Designed by a Western architect, the three-storey concrete edifice is decorated with Greco-Roman motifs and reliefs with a dome-shaped tower topping its front hall. It was originally known as the John Sampson Store, selling Western clothing and custom-made suits.

In 1933, the Public Works Department took over the building as its headquarters. In 2001, King Prajadhipok Institute received the sanction of the Public Works Department for use of the building as the museum.

Permanent Exhibition Halls
Located on the 2nd and 3rd floors, the halls display the royal regalia and personal effects of King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and photographs, documents and films concerning the King's life and the two historic events, in which the King played a leading role -- the 1932 Revolution and the Conferment of the first Constitution of Thailand.


For more information, call 0 2280 3413-4

Open     09.00 - 16.00 hrs, Tuesday - Sunday
Admission fee     40 baht

National Theatre

Location : Na Phrathat Road

It is located next to the National Museum near Sanam Luang Ground. The theatre features performances of khon, a Thai mask dance drama, on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month, at 13.30 and 17.00 hours. And on the last Friday of every month at 17.00 hours, Sisuk Nattakam Group of the Fine Arts Department stages lakhon, another type of Thai classical dance drama.

Interested persons please check the programme at tel. 0 2224 1342 or 0 2221 8191.

Buses     3, 15, 30, 32, 39, 53, 59, 70, 201

Joe Louis Theatre

Location : Suanlum Night Bazaar, Rama IV Road

Here is the only place in Thailand to view hun lakhon lek, a Thai traditional puppet show, the last surviving art of its kind in the country.

Hun Lakhon Lek
Interested persons should make reservations in advance, tel. 0 2252 9683-4.

Show time     Daily 19.30 - 20.45
Ticket fee     Adults and children (over 120 cm height): 900 B
Children (not over 120 cm height): 300 B
Buses     50, 14, 47, 17, 115
BTS Skytrain     Saladaeng station, then bus no. 115
MRT Metro     Silom station, then bus no. 115

National Art Gallery

Location : On Chaofa Road opposite the National Theatre

The National Art Gallery exhibits both classical and contemporary arts of renowned Thai artists. His Majesty King Bhumibol's oil paintings are also displayed. For more information, call 0 2281 2224, 0 2282 2639.

Open     Daily, 09.00 - 16.00
except Monday, Tuesday, and official holidays
Admission fee     30 baht
Buses     3, 6, 9, 19, 30, 32, 42, 64

The Queen's Gallery

Location : Ratchadamnoen Klang Road (near Phanfa Bridge)

The Queen's Gallery Foundation was established in August 2003 in response to the gracious wish of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit to provide a permanent home for the exhibition of a wide range of Thai visual arts especially paintings and sculpture.

queens gallery bangkok
queens gallery bangkok

This five-storey building displays the following works of art:
• Paintings and works of art by young artists and artists from the SUPPORT Foundation and embroidery designs
• Paintings and sculptures by His Majesty the King and members of the royal family
• Paintings by National artists and contemporary masters

Visitors can enjoy shopping for souvenirs especially designed by leading Thai artists, T-shirts, postcards, posters and books at The Gallery Shop.

For more information, call 0 2281 5360-1.

Open     Daily 10.00 - 19.00, except Wednesdays
Admission fee     20 baht

Suan Pakkad Palace

Location : On Si Ayutthaya Road

Suan Pakkad Palace, built by Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nakhon Sawan, consists of five traditional Thai houses overlooking a beautiful garden. They were moved from Chiang Mai in 1952. The palace, which has been turned into a museum, displays works of art, antiques and everyday objects such as perfume bottles, betel-nut boxes and musical instruments.
Ban Chiang House The house keeps pottery and bronze jewellery discovered at Ban Chiang, an important Bronze Age settlement in Northeastern Thailand, dating from around 1666 to 500 B.C. The ground floor houses a large collection of minerals and sea shells.
Lacquer Pavilion The remarkable gold and black lacquer murals exhibiting here depict events from the life of the Buddha and the Ramayana epic.
For more information, call 0 2245 4934, 2245 6368

Open     Daily, 09.00 - 16.00
Admission fee     100 baht
Buses     14, 17, 18, 38, 58, 62, 72, 77, 79

Khamthieng House

Location : Siam Society on Asok Road (Sukhumwit 21)
    Located in the compound of the Siam Society on Asok Road, this authentic northern Thai teak house was built in Chiang Mai in 1848. It was moved in perfect condition to Bangkok in 1963 in order to keep a specimen of the Lanna Thai style architecture for the younger generations.

Khamthieng House: On display are equipment and tools used daily by farmers and fishermen in the North.

Tel.     0 2260 2830-2
Open     Daily, 09.00 - 17.00
except Sunday and Monday
Admission fee     100 baht
Buses     38, 98, 136

Thailand Cultural Center

Location : Ratchadaphisek Road

This is an ideal place to view all forms of cultural performances, both national and international. Symphony orchestra concerts are also held here regularly. In the large area of the centre, there are information office and rooms for organizing seminars, conferences, and other activities related to education and culture. Besides, the centre has a hall featuring a permanent exhibition on the history of the Thai people, their lifestyles and culture. Interested persons may inquire about the performance programmes at tel. 0 2247 0028 or 0 2247 3201.

Open     Monday-Friday, 09.30 a.m.-04.30 p.m.
Buses     73, 136, 137, 206

Jim Thompson's House
Location : On Soi Kasemsan off Rama I Road

jim thompson house bangkok
    This remarkable Thai-style wooden house once belonged to the late Mr. Jim Thompson, an American silk entrepreneur. The house, now a museum, displays Mr. Thompson's splendid collection of Asian artefacts and antiques.

Tel     0 2216 7368
Open     Daily, 09.00 - 17.30
Admission fee     100 baht
Buses     11, 15, 47, 48, 73, 93