What is, however, is that it succeeds at preserving Thailand's singular heritage, its wonderful Read More...
Opened by King Rama V to exhibit the antiques and gifts bestowed to him by his father, it once held a reputation for being an ill-organised gathering of dusty relics.
That has now changed, with exhibits now arranged into three areas consistent with Thai history, and good English-language descriptions available. At first, Bangkok Shell Museum appears to be a place addressing only conchologists (of course you know what a conchologist is) and other shell collectors, and in a way it's not untrue, a shell museum seems a geeky place to visit on a holiday, especially in a big city.
However, this remarkably large collection of exquisite shells is displayed in a really intelligent way, explaining and describing how shells are just more than a beautiful objects... Shells can have surprising features and some of them are among the most deadly living creatures on earth.
Bangkok's many museums exhibit some of the most sublime, and strangest, collections of relics you can imagine, giving visitors a wonderful insight into Thailand's colourful culture and unique heritage.
Some are housed in buildings just as interesting as their contents, like Kamthieng House, a 19th Century teak house and former abode of a rice farmer, the Bangkok Folk Museum and Jim Thompson's House.
The best place to start has to be the National Museum, in Rattanakosin.Its collections spanning all periods of Thai history offer an unsurpassed introduction to the country's art and architecture.Be sure to allow enough time for your visit, as it is very easy to get lost in a time that is long gone."If man has no knowledge of the past, he is nothing but a vessel without a rudder on the high seas", claims the Ancient City's sage-like founder, Lek Viriyaphant Lek Viriyaphant, who also conceived two equally monumental projects, Erawan Museum and The Sanctuary of Truth (in Pattaya).The Ancient City is his attempt to give mankind a rudder, his slightly eccentric remedy for what he sees as "the moral deterioration of human society".Set in 320 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the outskirts of Bangkok, its success or failure in this lofty ambition is not clear.