Located in Bangkok’s Sanamchai Road in the area that once housed the Ministry for Commerce, the Museum Siam represents a breakthrough for museums in Thailand. Conceived under a philosophy of “learning is fun”, it features a series of 14 themed, interactive rooms where visitors can explore Thai history and culture for themselves. The museum’s displays use various applications of technology to create an experience that is both provocative and challenging – qualities which the museum hopes will stir visitors’ natural curiosity and inspire them to ask questions.
The 3,000 square-metre facility opened its doors in 2008. A striking focal point of its interior is a glass lift that takes visitors through the museum’s three storeys, like a time machine transporting people back to the past. Spaces include an immersive theatre near the entry, where seven characters introduce the audience to the 13 rooms to follow. Among these are rooms offering immersive depictions of the ancient cities of Suvarnabhumi and Ayutthaya. Here, visitors can even ‘play a part in history’ by taking on character roles such as that of an archaeologist investigating the decline of Suvarnabhumi culture. Another room, ‘Thailand and the World’, serves up a colourful, eclectic view of American cultural influence in Thailand, including fashions adapted to Thai tastes, sports cars and bars.
With something to marvel at in virtually every corner, Bangkok’s Museum Siam brings a culture’s long history to life for brand new audiences.