The National Museum has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in Southeast Asia and provides an excellent introduction to the arts, crafts, and history of Thailand. Two of the museum buildings, the 18th-century Wang Na Palace and Buddhaisawan Chapel, are works of art in themselves. The chapel contains the venerated Phra Buddha Sihing image, and an eclectic selection of artifacts from ancient weaponry to shadow puppets. The two wings of the museum are devoted mainly to art and sculpture. Other attractions include galleries of history and prehistory and the Royal Funeral Chariots Gallery. The labeling of the collection is not always helpful, so taking one of the frequent, free guided tours is highly recommended.
Built in 1787, this beautiful building is decorated with some of the best Rattanakosin period murals in Thailand.
Royal Funeral Chariots Gallery
Several lavishly decorated, gilded teak chariots used in royal funeral processions can be seen in this gallery, including Racharot Noi, built in 1795.
Dvaravati Wheel of Law
This 8th-century stone wheel and deer symbolizes the Buddha’s first sermon in a deer park in Sarnath, India.
Sukhothai Buddha Image
This graceful 14th-century bronze image is finished in red lacquer and gold.