Greetings. As I mentioned in my previous article a couple of days ago I made a day trip down to Nahkon Si Thammarat to try some indoor exploring, while waiting for the weather to improve. One place I visited was the National Museum.
That seems like a strange name for something that’s in Nakhon. You’d expect it to be in Bangkok. In fact when I searched for it on Google Maps, the map suddenly starting “flying” south, and I ended up at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur!
So that’s why I called it a “hidden” gem because – like so many other places around here – it’s almost impossible to discover the real location by using the web. One search placed it about 30kms outside of Nahkon, and as I’d been past that particular building I knew it was a college not a museum. Most searches referred to the location as the National Library. Anyhoo, I decided to head to the given address, only to discover it’s right next door to the library!
Now, if you’re like me, you think museums are boring. However, there was one specific thing I was looking for, which I’ll come to in my next article, so I thought I’d endure the rest of the place while I was there. Well, I was pleasantly surprised.
The area has an interesting history. I guess because there’s no land between the eastern side of the isthmus and the Indian sub-continent, over the past 1500 years or so, there has been trading between here and India/Sri Lanka. Naturally some of the Indian culture and artifacts were left behind, some of which have been discovered and are in the museum.
What I liked about the museum though is that it’s divided into logical sections of prehistory, pottery, folk art & utensils, ceramics, metal work, culture, lifestyle, etc. Thirteen sections in all. These are on separate floors, or indeed in separate buildings, and all could benefit from some arrows to guide the way. Too often I found myself at the end of a corridor with no exit. I certainly can’t complain though about the helpful explanations of each exhibit, which are in Thai and English. Each room has a two meter high board describing the contents, and each exhibit has a small plaque.
It seems the whole place is being renovated, and the first room is very impressive. The rest are a bit antiquated, and will benefit from an upgrade, but they are by no means dirty and scruffy. Just a bit old-looking. Well, it is a museum full of old stuff!
For now I’ll leave you with my gallery of images, and then pick up the story again tomorrow…