Bangkok's Boutique Museums
So you’ve ticked off the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the Jim Thompson House, and are wondering where to go next for your Bangkok culture fix? From showcasing the Queen Dowager’s fabulous frocks to a trad teaky house chock-full of antiques, here’s a selection of the best boutique museums in the Big Mango.
Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles
Part of the Grand Palace compound this collection of textiles and fashion, related to Thailand and the Royal Court, is well worth a visit – and not just for the air-con relief. Sumptuous Thai silks, traditional costumes and the Queen's frocks are beautifully displayed, alongside the exhibition ‘Fit for a Queen’. Focusing on the 20-year relationship between Her Majesty and French couturier, Pierre Balmain, it’s a one-of-a-kind showcase of period photos, 30+ daytime and evening ensembles, plus Balmain’s original design sketches. qsmtthailand.org
The Museum of Floral Culture
Founded by Thailand’s celebrated flower man Sakul Intakul, this small but cute museum provides a guided tiptoe through the Thai tradition and culture of… well, flowers. Occupying a 100-year-old colonial-style teak mansion in the quiet, regal nabe of Dusit, the museum is surrounded by a lush Thai-Zen garden. Exhibits feature beautiful floral arrangements and insights into the floral cultures from across Thailand and Asia. Once you’ve taken in all the green-finger inspo, relax with a cuppa in the Dok Mai Thai Salon du Thé. Book in advance for a one-on-one tour with Sakul himself. floralmuseum.com
Opened in 2016, this striking, glass-fronted Modernist manor in lush sculpture-dotted grounds is an architectural surprise in the upcoming neighbourhood of Yenakart. It’s host to rotating contempo exhibitions spanning all disciplines from painting and photography to video art by established and emerging Thai talent, plus a handful of artists with connections to the Kingdom. Entry is by appointment only and it’s worth keeping peepers peeled for events and openings – pop along to mingle with the who’s who of the city’s creative crew. yenakartvilla.com
M.R. Kukrit’s Historical House
With its intricately carved gabled roofs and polished teak interiors this trad compound dedicated to a former poet, artist and PM of Thailand is (thankfully) still undiscovered by the coach-load legions. Crammed with Kukrit’s personal collection of antiques, pictures and memorabilia, it offers insight into the country’s heritage, albeit through a privileged lens. Move on to the gardens for respite in one of the sweet little salas. 19 Soi Phra Pinit, Sathorn. +66 2286 8185
Wanting to wear out the children? More adventure zone than cultural hotspot, the fun-filled in/outdoor Children’s Discovery Museum has a water play park, dinosaur bone excavation zone and dress-up – half a day there and they’ll be putty in your arms.
The original version of this article was written by LUXE for PenCities.
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A spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Bangkok brought Liz to Asia in 2003, where 15 years and three countries later, she's in Hong Kong heading up LUXE editorial.
- Liz LOVES... Chilli (on everything), getting lost in cities, hiking, people-watching at airports
- Liz LOATHES... Suburbia, MSG
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