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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Know about the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum – How Many did you Know?

The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum houses several statues, gold and silver, bejewelled antiques, and famous carved panels and artifacts worth seeing. Here's some interesting facts about the museum.


It's named after a king of Siam

The museum was constructed from funds for precious artifacts discovered in underground crypts of Wat Ratchaburana's pagoda tower. Thus, the museum was named after the king who ordered the construction of the Wat Ratchaburana, Chao Sam Phraya. Also known as Borommarachathirat II, he was responsible for the massive expansion of the Thai kingdom and conquest of Cambodia during the 14th century.


It's the second largest museum in Thailand

The museum's exhibits are housed within three main buildings. The first two exhibits contains antiques from different time periods discovered in archaeological excavations and renovations. Gold and jewel encrusted artifacts, teak friezes, ancient Buddhist relics that include numerous bronze statues of Buddha, and many more fascinating antiques that have been uncovered over the centuries. The third building is in reality, a collection of small traditionally styled houses on stilts that represent what life was life during ancient times in the country. Inside, visitors can view folk arts and ancient Thai household utensils on display.


Rules to observe inside

Visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, and are furnished with plastic bags to carry their shoes. Upon entering, you will also get an illustrated pamphlet in English, filled with information about the city and the items on display. Photography is prohibited in the three main halls but, you can take pictures without using flash in the rest of the museum.


It's located in the former capital of Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam for around 400 years before it was obliterated by the Burmese army in the 17th century. Between the 1950s and 1970s, several monuments and temples were explored and dozens of artifacts was uncovered, shining a light on the glory of a city now long gone. The ruins of the old capital are now part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an active archaeological site that comprises of Buddhist temples, monasteries, palaces and hundreds of statues. Ayutthaya is roughly 80km from Bangkok and can be reached either by road or on an exciting Chao Phraya cruise, which can be booked with Anantara Cruises.


It's just one of several places you can learn more about the city

if you want to learn more about the history of the beautiful city, you can visit the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre which is located near the local university, a short walk away from the museum. You can also check out the Thai Boat Museum to learn more about traditional boats and their roles in Thai culture.