Bangkok’s old town has an interesting history, and the most entertaining way to discover more about it is with a visit to the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall. Here you will get to experience the many things that make Bangkok great through a series of film, music, computer displays and a guided tour. If you have ever wanted to have more understanding of the palace, temples and neighbourhoods that make up Rattanakosin Island, this is the exhibition to visit.
Located on Ratchdamneon Klang Avenue, there is unfortunately no sky train or metro station nearby, so the easiest way to get there is either by taxi from Hua Lamphong (15 minutes if no traffic) or take the boat from Sapphan Taksin to Tha Thien Pier (number 8) and take a Tuk Tuk.
Outside the museum, two statues similar to the ones you will find at the Grand Palace welcome you in, and in the lobby is the first of many interactive displays: a skyline of the old town that sends flocks of birds flying as you walk past. Entry to the museum is 100 baht, and you are required to join the two hour tour. This is conducted mainly in Thai, with a special audio headset in English. I recommend sticking close to the guides as you wander around. They speak excellent English and will give you extra descriptions and stories. After a walk down a short corridor that displays a historic timeline, into the first of the nine halls, that displays a 360 degree account of the development of the area.
One of the most interesting displays explores life at the palace, and if you are planning or have visited the Grand Palace, it helps to bring royal customs alive, taking you into parts of the palace that are not usually accessible to the public, with realistic looking statues, music and touch screens There is also a circular room which brings the different trade streets to life, from the monk’s bowl workshops of Baan Bat to the foodie lanes than run alongside the canals. Kids will love the walk through Bangkok life, where you get the chance to superimpose your own image on a Bangkok street scene. After your two hour tour you may be feeling a little tired, so head up to True Coffee on the 4th floor where you can enjoy panoramic views of Loha Prasart Temple and the Golden Mount Temple.
Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
- Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 – 20:00 and Saturday-Sunday 10:00 – 20:00
- Address: 100 Ratchadamnoen Klang Road
- Tel: +66 (0)2 621 0044
- Price Range: Entrance Fee: 100 baht, free for students