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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 6

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015
    Bangkok, Thailand

    A music shop on Atsadang Road in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A music shop on Atsadang Road in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The Elevated Platform of Awesome on Sanam Chai Road in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    The Elevated Platform of Awesome on Sanam Chai Road in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Ride a tuk-tuk at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Ride a tuk-tuk at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Today, for the fourth time in as many days, I enjoyed another Bangkok attraction I’d never experienced before: The Museum of Siam, which houses a permanent exhibition called “The Account of Thailand” that traces the history of the people, societies and landscape of the country from pre-historic times up to today. The presentation is chock-full of hands-on interactive displays featuring videos and projections, audio, dramatic lighting, dioramas, curved and raised surfaces, cut-outs and multiple layers–all accented with top-notch graphic design.

    Discover the history of Thailand at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Discover the history of Thailand at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The Buddhist room at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    The Buddhist room at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    When elephants attack at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    When elephants attack at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    “The Account of Thailand” unfolds through 17 sections. “Immersive Theatre” introduces seven characters who take the visitor back through time from Suvarnabhumi to Siam to Thailand to ponder the question, “Who are Thais?” “Typically Thai” is a diorama depicting the everyday features of life in Thailand. Through archaeology, “Introduction to Suvarnabhumi” presents the Golden Land as it existed 3,000 years ago, while “Suvarnabhumi” shows different aspects of the region, including people, agriculture, trade, religion and the development of village life. “Buddhism” is a dramatic dark room with circular columns displaying tidbits of Buddhist philosophy.

    Explore the new capital, Bangkok, at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Explore the new capital, Bangkok, at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Learn about traditional Thai village life at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Learn about traditional Thai village life at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Drop in on this quarterpipe at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Drop in on this quarterpipe at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    “The Founding of Ayutthaya” charts the beginning of one of the area’s early great city-states, while “Siam” displays how Ayutthaya–thanks to “perfect geography, rich natural resources and expansive political power–became the regional hub of sea trade.” “The War Room” covers the who, what, why, where and when of war, while “The Map Room” displays early inaccurate attempts to chart the region. “Bangkok, New Ayutthaya” explains how a new capital emerged from the old, while “Village Life” displays how life in rural Siam was based upon the reverence for rice, bamboo and the spirit world. “Change” documents how Siam opened its doors to influence from the West in the 19th and 20th century, while “Politics and Communications” explains how Siam became Thailand.

    Explore rapidly changing 20th century Thai politics and communications at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Explore rapidly changing 20th century Thai politics and communications at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Get a taste of Bangkok in the 1960s at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Get a taste of Bangkok in the 1960s at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Proceed into the future at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Proceed into the future at the Museum of Siam in Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand.

    “Thailand and the World” shows how the country was influenced by Western popular culture in the 1960s and ’70s thanks to United States Army soldiers who were stationed in Bangkok during the Vietnam War. “Thailand Today” reflects upon 3,000 years of change that formed the Thai national character, while “Thailand Tomorrow” is a journey through a spiral maze of video monitors displaying Thai citizens offering their thoughts on where the country is headed in the future. Overall, I highly recommend The Museum of Siam to museum lovers of all ages.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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