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  5. Royal Barge Museum, Bangkok, Thailand: Uncover Historical Maritime Marvels

Royal Barge Museum, Bangkok, Thailand: Uncover Historical Maritime Marvels

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Bangkok gives its visitor as much energy and colour as it gives culture. The city has been the capital of the country since the ancient Siam era. Starting from the grand palace in the heart of the city and several temples all around the city, there are so many places that reflect the brilliance of the royal family in one too many ways. Museums in Bangkok are a beautiful window to look into the rich cultural and historical past of the country. There are so many different types of museum each specialising in their own niche. One such museum is the royal barge museum.

The royal barge museum is located on the river bank of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Interestingly, these barges were once used by the kings of ancient Thailand to travel all around the kingdom. Now these barges are used only for very important ceremonies where His highness travels in the royal barge to donate fresh robes to Buddhist monks in the monasteries situated on the side of the river. Explore the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history of Thailand with our curated Bangkok Tour Packages, offering an unforgettable journey filled with adventure and relaxation.

Things to do at Royal Barge Museum

Learn the history behind the barges

The historically significant museum hosts 51 royal barges which are said to have been used regularly by members of the royal family to travel all around their kingdom. Each barge differs from the other in shape, design and purpose. The museum explains the historical background of each barge. Most prominent among these barges is the one referred to as the Golden Swan. You can also find a barge that was designed specifically to commemorate the monarch’s 50th anniversary to the royal throne. Explore the vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and exotic cuisine with our exclusive Thailand Tour Packages, offering an unforgettable journey through this enchanting Southeast Asian destination.

Capture Barge-ous pictures

The museum also has a section dedicated to exhibition of the traditional attire of oarsmen. Have a look at the customary uniforms of officers of the Siam kingdom while you are down there. The huge royal barges packed neatly make an excellent backdrop for your ‘I was here’ photographs. Some of these barges have beautiful golden patterns carved upon them which would make an excellent aesthetic up close!

Highlights of Royal Barge Museum

  • The museum shelters 51 royal barges that were earlier used by the rulers of the country to travel all around their kingdom
  • Before being restored as a Thai cultural heritage, this museum was used as a dry dock for warships and barges by the royal family
  • Legend has it that there were thousands of royal barges that the kingdom used in the ancient time but most of it was burned to the ground when the Burmese attacked Ayutthaya
  • The use of barges by the royal family as a means of transport was largely discarded after the people’s movement in Thailand in the year 1932
  • The most important one among all of these barges put on display is the one named Supannahong which can be translated to Golden Swan

Best time to visit Royal Barge Museum

Bangkok in April

The museum is open on all days throughout the year except for new year’s eve, new year’s day, and Songkran (13th to 15th of April). The visiting hours are between 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening

The entrance fee is 100 Baht

Photography and videography is allowed but you would have to pay 100 Baht for a still camera and 200 Baht for a video camera

How to reach Royal Barge Museum

Since the museum is located on the Chao Phraya river, the best way to reach it is by water.

  • You could take the Chao Phraya express boat and get down at the Pinklao bridge pier stopping. From here it is a short walk to the museum. 
  • You could also choose to hire a motorbike or river taxi at the mouth of the river directly to the museum.
  • There are several bus routes that will take near the museum, however if you choose to go by the public bus you will have to include about 5-10 minutes of walking or motorbike

Attractions near Royal Barge Museum

Siriraj medical museum

Not very far from the royal barge museum in Bangkok is the Siriraj medical museum. This is also called the ‘museum of death and serves as an excellent osurce of knowledge for medical professionals and students. It hosts seven smaller museums within itself specialising in medical niches.

Wat Phra Kaew

This temple is housed inside the grand palace of Bangkok. This is the primary attraction that lures tourists towards the grand palace. This temple shelters a Buddha image which can be traced back to the 14th century. You can choose to visit the temple on your own or also choose to hire a guide to help you understand the cultural significance of the elements present. There is also a museum nearby within the grand palace itself that extensively elaborates on the history of the Siam kingdom

Chao Phraya river

This river is just outside the royal barge museum. The river is lovingly called the lifeblood of the city of Bangkok. Dinner cruises and ferry rides on the Chao Phraya river are a huge tourist attraction. Check out the Chao Phraya river express boat service and get yourself a nice evening after a whole day of sightseeing in and around Bangkok. A relaxed dinner with some music and a breathtaking view of the Chao Phraya river is most certainly the perfect way to end a night on your Bangkok holiday!

Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Barge Museum

The museum opens at 9 in the morning and is open till 5 in the evening.

Yes. But you have to purchase a photo ticket for 100 Baht. The ticket is 200 Baht for a video camera.

The entry ticket to the museum would cost you 100 Baht. If you would like to take pictures, you would have to pay an additional amount for a photo ticket.

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