A Hidden Gem: The Bangkokian Museum
The Bangkokian Museum is also known as the Bangkok Folk Museum. In Thai, it is called Phiphithaphan Chao Bang Kok (พิพิธภัณฑ์ชาวบางกอก). This museum is located in the Bangrak district only several hundered meters from the Chao Phraya River and hence not far from the well-known Oriental Hotel. It is placed at Soi Charoen Krung and Maha Set Road.
The Bangkok Folk Museum has two wooden houses which date back to the time of World War II. These teak houses are behind a wooden gate, in the back of a garden. Thus, the museum captures the spirit and lifestyle of middle-class people in Bangkok during WWII and the after war period.
The houses, built in 1937, were the home of the Suravadee family. They became a museum to preserve Thai lifestyle of early Bangkok and have been managed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority since 2004. Today, Ms Waraporn Suravadee is the caretaker of the museum which was once her residence.
In the first building, there is an ancestors’ quarters upstairs. There are many valuable objects but also everyday items of the Suravadee family who used to live there. Some treasures include precious Benjarong jars. These jars are made from Thai porcelain, painted in five basic colours black, green, yellow, red and white. The technique dates back to the time of King Rama V (1858-1910). What is more, the museum also habours other amazing porcelain art which stem from the early Rattanakosin period.
In the ground floor are the dining rooms, library and offices. Upstairs are the neat bedrooms with cabinets and closets. There are also valuable objects like antique jewelry for instance.
At the rear, behind the main building, is the second house of the museum. This place was supposed to be the clinic of Dr. Francis Christian who was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn. However, he passed away before he could move in. For instance, there you find his amazing cigar collection displayed and an old kitchen with typical utensils dating back to the war period.
In addition, you can also admire some stunning antique jewelry. Do you like the amazing purple spider brooch? I do 😉
In a nutshell, we may say that the Bangkokian Museum is one of the important heritage buildings in Bangkok like the Jim Thompson House, Suan Pakkad Palace and Vimanmek Palace. If you are in Bangkok, this place is worth a visit for sure 🙂
(All pictures in this post, credit to Amporn Konglapumnuay)