Royal Barges National Museum, Bangkok

3.7
#13 of 87 in Museums in Bangkok
Follow the hand-written signs through alleyways to Royal Barges National Museum, a hidden gem displaying the royal fleet of boats used for national ceremonies. Once serving as transport for the royal family along the country's many rivers and canals, nowadays the boats are monuments of history, coming out for grandiose occasions only. Observe the intricate ornamental details on the vessels, which bear religious importance and symbolism. Though a little off-the-beaten-track, it's worth it just to see The Golden Swan, the king's personal barge carved from a single piece of timber. To visit Royal Barges National Museum on your trip to Bangkok, use our Bangkok driving holiday planner .
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Royal Barges National Museum Reviews
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4.1
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  • Well worth while, we managed to get our longtail boat tour to drop us there. Amazing small museum just with the dozen beautiful barges and a bit of information on them very well presented.  more »
  • I finally made it to this out of the way museum that displays 5 or so of the 50+ royal barges. Very impressive indeed and they are still undergoing renovation for the fall festivities. It is about a 1...  more »
  • The museum can be accessed via the river, usually through organized tours that include a visit to the klongs or attached canals by speedboat or by taxi or car. We did it on our own and arrived by taxi at the entrance of the naval base and after asking permission from the soldier, we crossed a courtyard and accessed the museum, as it is located in a dry dock of the Royal Thai Navy. During World War II, the pier suffered heavy shelling that caused much damage to the royal barges. Some of them were restored by the Department of Fine Arts in 1949 and in 1972 it became a museum. When you visit it you can see remains of some of the barges that could not be restored. Each of the barges has its own name and it is curious that each king tends to build a new one. The royal barge parade is held sporadically for special celebrations. This parade includes 52 barges, 51 historic and the new one commissioned by King Bhumipol in 1994 and called Narai Song Subai. More than 2000 rowers participate in it. It is a spectacle that unfortunately few have the opportunity to watch, although the museum has an informative video that can be viewed. During our visit in December the barges were all in the process of being restored, so we could not appreciate its total beauty. Still, it was interesting to see how the restorers worked with precision, hooking the crystals that decorate much of the barge, or painting the figures gold. It is worth a stop and visit it. You have to pay entrance, and you are also charged for every photography device you take or video camera. including mobile phones, so if you don't want to pay too much, don't take it out, as the watchman is always attentive
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  • This must be something quite unique. Royal Barges museum houses Royal Barges (boats, vessels) that can still be used for royal events and ceremonies. Definitely worth a visit. Craftsmanship and decorations are definitely heavenly. Entrance fee was very low.
  • Under construction 2019. Renovations. Not much to see just now. After renovations it is good. Not recommended 2019.
  • Totally worth walking narrow lanes to access this wonderful place. You get to see all the Royal Barges in their gold and jewelled splendour and you learn so much about what it takes to get them sailing smoothly down the river, who sits where, the uniforms worn by different officials. It's a fascinating piece of living history!
  • Beautiful museum. Wheelchair accessible. Entrance through gate instead of entrance near ticket boot. Drove in own car tot museum. Google maps lead to a small deadend street with only a little space to turn around. (Another parking space at the other side of the museum is easy to access.)Then a 400 meter walk to entrance of museum over small concrete path along Thai houses. Boats are under restauration for the Royal Barge procession in November 2019. Staff very helpfull. Accessible toilet.
  • The barges were under restoration and we couldn't see much of them. Besides there wasn't any sign telling this and the price for you to get in was the same a regular day. There isn't any signs on the street to lead you there and was far from everything. Ashamed! No worth to visit it!
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26 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM NEW CALEDONIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Bangkok & Kuala Lumpur BY A USER FROM MAURITIUS December, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM NEPAL May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 45 days in India & Bangkok BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM INDIA February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM ITALY February, culture, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 20 days in Asia BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Chiang Mai & Bangkok BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES January, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, relaxing, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Bangkok BY A USER FROM THAILAND December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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