7 Must-Visit Museums in Pathum Thani, Thailand
Pathum Thani is an old Thai province with a rich and colorful history, beginning when the Mon Tribe arrived from Myanmar (then Burma) in the midst of a war in the mid 17th century. King Narai the Great welcomed the tribe to Thailand and gave them a place to stay in Sam Khok Village. Kings Taksin and Rama II also offered their protection to the tribe. When the Mon people visited King Rama II in his palace, they brought lotus flowers as gifts and thus earned the name Pathum Thani or “The Town of Lotus” for their village.
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Today, Pathum Thani is a cultural treat for tourists with its hundreds of temples and parks. It’s also home to several museums, perfect for learning about science and technology, history, and heritage. Here’s a list of must-visit museums in Pathum Thani to help you understand and learn more about Thailand’s identity and how it progressed as a nation.
Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum
Located inside the Rangsit Campus of Bangkok University, the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum (SEACM) is a showcase of about 18,000 items. These include ancient bronze artifacts, beads, Chinese trade wares, and Southeast Asian ceramics. A huge chunk of the ceramics collection are from Thailand, although there are also items from China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. There are also Khmer ceramics on display, as well as ceramics from Tak-Omkoi in western Thailand. SEACM first opened to the public in May 2005 and was inaugurated on November 2009, which was presided over by Princess Maha Chaki Sirindhorn. Book a Thammasat Rangsit accommodation (check ที่พัก ธรรมศาสตร์ รังสิต online if you’re a local) for easy access to SEACM and to kickstart your museum tour.
National Science Museum
The National Science Museum or NSM was opened in 2000, in celebration of Queen Sirikit’s 60th birthday. In fact, the museum also bears the nickname Queen Sirikit the Great Science Museum. The uniquely shaped building houses three museums with different points of focus: Science, Natural History, and Information Technology. In addition, the fourth and six floors of the museum also delves into geography and traditional Thai technologies, respectively. In particular, the sixth floor has showcases of historic Thai wickerwork, pottery, metallurgy, and carvings. Meanwhile, the first floor holds an exhibit in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The National Memorial
Built in honor of Thai people who have given up their lives for the country, the National Memorial is a museum about the conflicts that changed Thailand and the world. It’s also meant to serve as a reminder about the past and the effects of these events to Thailand’s security and identity. The National Memorial has a total of five sections—each with its own focus—with the Ceremonial Ground being dedicated for the Honor Guard. It bears the flags of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the flag of the Royal Thai Police, and the flag of the Volunteer Guard. The Thai flag and the national flags of visiting dignitaries are flown on the side. The rest of the museum covers various conflicts that affected the Thai people, including World War I and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. There are also displays and exhibits featuring old uniforms of the military, as well as models and paintings of historical events. The glass wall on the second floor is particularly interesting, with inscriptions of the names of men who lost their lives in battles.
It isn’t surprising at all that Pathum Thani has a museum dedicated to its namesake. The Lotus Museum features various kinds of lotus flowers, covering over 150 local and foreign species of the Lotus family. This museum was established in the year 2000 as part of a plant genetics conservation project. Of course, the focus is research and learning more about the lotus flower. The museum is located in Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi and also features a beautiful lotus garden.
Supreme Artist Hall
The Supreme Artist Hall’s main intent is to showcase the works of National Artists of Thailand. Many of their works are spread over three rooms over the three-story building. More than these masterpieces, however, the Supreme Artist Hall also showcases works by King Bhumibol himself. He is often referred to as the “Supreme Artist,” thus the name of the museum. King Bhumibol’s works occupy two rooms in the museum. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn also has an art collection on display. Meanwhile, one room is dedicated for temporary exhibits and special events.
Rangsit Science Center for Education
Those interested in science and astronomy should pay a visit to the Rangsit Science Center for Education. These museum has 15 galleries, which are designed to be interactive to encourage participation and hands-on learning about science and technology. The Planetarium, meanwhile, is one of just three Science Centers for Education in Thailand with such a theme. It features a modern tilt dome measuring 19.5 meter, equipped with an optical-mechanical and a digital projector. The dome can accommodate 160 people to watch either the Star Show and the Full Dome Movie Show. You can also catch programs like multimedia presentations about astronomy, talks about the evening sky, star observations by telescope, and more. All of these programs are open to students and the general public.
Rare Stone Museum
As its name implies, the Rare Stone Museum showcases thousands of rare stones from Thailand and all over the world. It’s owned by a former businessman Khun Yanyong Lertnimit, who collected the stone samples during his travels. Aside from stones and precious gems, you can also find crystals and fossils in this museum. There are even samples of stalactites and stalagmites gathered from different caves. It’s a true delight for those interested in geology, but can also be quite interesting for tourists and museum goers.
Over the long years, Pathum Thani has bloomed into a cultural center that would fascinate everyone. Make sure to stop by these museums and marvel at how everything ties in together to give Pathum Thani, and thus, Thailand, its own identity.
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