The National Museum of Royal Barges is a museum in Bangkok, Thailand. It is on the northern rim of Bangkok Noi canal in the Bangkok Noi District. Royal barges from the Royal Barge Procession are kept at the museum.
It was originally a dock to store royal barges. In 1947, the Bureau of the Royal Household and the Royal Thai Navy commissioned the Department of Fine Arts to repair royal barges and others used in royal barge procession, most of which were and have been significant to historic events and arts. In 1974, the department registered as National heritage, and upgraded the dock to “The National Museum of Royal Barges”.
The barges on display are divided into 2 categories, being: 4 royal barges – the Royal Barge Suphannahong, the Royal Barge Narai Song Suban HM King Rama IX, (the king’s personal barge), the Royal Barge Anantanakkharat and The Royal Barge Anekkachatphuchong, and 4 escort barges – Ekachai Hern How Barge, Krut Hern Het Barge, Krabi Prap Mueang Man Barge, and Asura Vayuphak Barge.
The most beautiful golden barges are stored under a huge roof and only leave their shelter for special occasionsl when the entire fleet can count up to fifty barges. The forty other boats are more discreet in appearance, usually dark wood bodies with a colorful mythical dragon painted on the bow. These other barges are visible in a separate warehouse near the bridge. Given that the procession doesn’t happen very regularly you will have to be lucky to catch the boats on the river, but the advantage of the museum is you get to see them up close.
The warehouse sheltering the barges is usually very hot, so on the way back don’t miss a fun little bar called ‘We have soft drink’, a nice break before walking back, people there are very friendly and speak great english and they’ll be happy to give you information about the area.
The exhibition also displays histories of the barges used in procession, and images of royal barge procession, presenting in a chronicle period from Ayutthaya to Rattanakosin.
HOW TO GET THERE
- Address: 80/1 Arun Amarin Road, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok Noi 10700
- Hours:Open today · 9AM–5PM