Royal Barge Museum: Bangkok National Museum of Royal Barge, the heritage of Thai
You might see the symbol of Thai Tourism in various media, a magnificent golden barge with the head of swan. You might have the same feeling as I do about thinking to see this barge. Finally, I discover that this barge is located in the Royal Barge Museum together with other royal barges.
Thai history has been long time related to the river and canal. Ancient Thai people used river and canal for transportation. As well as the king, when he travelled for his private matter or royal ceremony along the river, he travelled with the group of royal barges taking his royal family and personal guards called the royal procession on barges.
Travelling to this museum, there are two ways, first, the easiest and the most popular visiting is by hiring the long tail boat from Ta-Tien pier. Normally, the museum visiting is included in the canal trip package. Beside the museum, this long tail vehicle will take you to see people’s life along the canal and also the floating market in Bangkok.
Another ways is on your feet. You might take a ferry to cross the river from Ta-Prachan pier, to Phran Nok pier near Sirirach Hospital and take a walk from the hospital to Arun Amarin bridge. You will see the sign showing the way to the museum. However, you need to walk through the community village along the small walking path to the museum, at the river side.
Arriving the museum, you will be amazed with many barges in the museum. Each barge has its own name and served for different purposes. Some is the king’s vehicle. Some is for carrying royal family, utilities and soldier guards.
The museum is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. The museum is closed on New Year’s Eve (31 December), New Year’s Day (1 January) and Songkran (13 to 15 April).Admission to the museum is 30 Baht (1 USD) per person. If you want to take pictures, there’s an additional fee of 100 Baht (3.25 USD) for a camera.
Truly speaking, royal barges are the identity of Thai culture which is unique. It is not exaggerate to say this is symbol of Thailand.