Royal Barges National Museum

Royal Barges National Museum

Royal Barges National Museum
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The museum is home to the ornately decorated boats used in State ceremonies.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles323 reviews
Excellent
97
Very good
145
Average
57
Poor
17
Terrible
7

David A
Virginia Beach, VA317 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Spend an hour viewing 8 of Thailand’s Royal barges in a splendid river front setting.Some really spectacular art and sculpture on these beautiful vessels. Recommend you access from the river rather than the “ back door “ that our guide chose.
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DH
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg418 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
In fact we didn't visit the museum (which was even closed at that time if I remember well) but took the opportunity to see the barges outside during the whole period of the Royal Coronation Ceremony 2019 - Exhibition on The Royal Capital Circumambulation via the Royal Barge Procession.
The Barges are really beautiful and at the end we were glad to see them under open sky and not in a closed building.
We would have liked to see the Barges on the Chao Phraya... must have been really awesome!
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AvijitDas
Mumbai, India79 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
Tips to reach by boat
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If you are anywhere near the Chao Phraya river, the cheapest option would be to take a boat to the Phra Pin Klao pier. The locals refer this as Pin Klao or to avoid any pronunciation problem, just indicate that you want to go to the N12 pier. <> For every pier, there is an equivalent nomenclature - S4 to S1, then Central Pier, then N1 to N33. Just ensure that the boat you take is going in the direction of N12 and not in the opposite direction. You are most likely to encounter either of the two types of both that will stop at your pier - one with a blue flag or one with a flag of any other color ( orange most likely ) or no color at all. The costliest one is the blue flag as it is mainly for tourists ( less crowded and does not stop at all the piers), the other ones are way cheaper ( as they stop at more number of piers). For any type of boat, you can buy the ticket in the boat itself and avoid any suggestion to buy tickets from the counter as they may try to sell additional packages / trips / long tail boat trips. If you ask for any suggestive information from the person sitting at the counter at the pier, you are sure to get confused and your confidence shaken.

The trick comes after you arrive at the Pin Klao Pier. From here, it is a 1kms walk to the museum. Google map navigation will show you the way to the location - "Royal Barge National Museum". Follow this, but once you reach till the Wat Dusitaram ( which is around 400 mtrs from the pier) , you may get confused as the road will suddenly narrow down and lead you inside small foot roads with houses on both sides and you may feel as if you are going in a wrong direction. At this point, it is best to follow the small sign boards with arrows towards the museum for every corner you have to take and ask for confirmation from the people you see around, as if you miss a turn here, your Google map direction system will go Kaput in figuring out the correct way back to the museum. Please ask for directions only after you reach the Wat and after you have seen the first signboard. If you ask people at the pier, it will not be much helpful.

While walking down to the museum, you will find lot of small shops from which you can buy water / cold drinks etc. You can buy from there and be sure that they will guide you to the right direction.

The museum is situated on the water front which is not directly accessible by the above type of boats and hence the walk. There is yet another way, which we avoided as it involves hiring a more costly "long tail boat". This long tail boat follows a more dedicated ( and more costly) route which will specifically take you to the museum through a dedicated waterway. It will take more time as it has its own schedule and route, though the actual point to point travel may be less. The choice rests on you and depends on the spending power ( both time and money)

After reaching the museum, if it is hot day that you have chosen to take the walk, even the greatest of travelers will feel the weariness due to Bangkok heat. For such travelers, there will always be a person standing nearby the museum to offer a return journey by the long tail boats.... :) for which you have to pay.

Note that this walking route is not accessible by taxi or tuk tuk. So beware if any taxi or tuk tuk offers you take you there from the pier. However, it can be reached by the two wheeler / motor bike taxi. They will always be at the N12 pier for which there is a fixed rate to the museum.

What to expect
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Several pictures are present in the net. However, the worst part is that they charge 100 THB for the still camera. Inside the light is very low and is unsuitable to capture a full length barge. That's why you will see the pictures uploaded at various sites is in parts and never of the full boat. I found that I could not take any more different pictures that those I have already seen uploaded by various others so I decided to opt out for any photos. Once you reach inside, unless you are fixated at staring deeply at the figurines on the boat mast head, it should be over in half an hour time.

Overall Comment
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If you want to relate this as a history trip, it will give you an insight as there are numerous informative display and notes inside the museum. The boats will come as a bonus. If it is a more joyful trip that you are looking at and seeking to see "exotic things", this may not stand high in ranking when compared to the other museums.
Written May 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HMKaren
Los Angeles, CA895 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The Royal Barges Museum is across the river from the Grand Palace. You can take a boat across, or you can order a Grab ride. We used Grab. When the driver drops you off, you have to wind your way around a few blocks worth of backyards and canals...it's a bit odd, but there are signs, so you'll get there. The ticket is 200B, and that same ticket gets you into the national museum.

The barges are incredible! So ornate, lots of gold. Dragons, naga, guardians---the decoration is super cool. Once you get there you don't need more than 30 minutes. But they're 30 really fun minutes.
Written February 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pathfinder11172
Toronto, Ontario1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The Royal Barge museum is perhaps a half hour attraction to see the six (if I remember correctly) barges used by Thai Royalty.

Things to know.

1) Go by boat. The land entrance is VERY hard to find and confusing.
1a) It's not a "normal" stop on the ferry route. You will have to arrange transportation.
2) Do it the same day you are seeing Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). It's a worthy excursion but it's not necessarily worth the trip to that section by iteself.
3) Admission is like 20 baht to enter, 100 baht to take photgraphs (per person). Video cameras are not permitted under any circumstances.

It's basically a big hanger (on water) with six barges and a few display cases. Nothing for the kids and a half hour is more than enough at the site.
Written April 14, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mbc421
Toronto, Canada1,038 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
You can get here via boat, yet can get here easier by cab and a short walk to the obscured entrance.

A few points...

1. The boats (approximately 6) are interesting enough. You can visit the museum and leave in about 10-30 minutes having seen everything. If the distance you travel is worth coming for this short amount of time, then do it.
2. You pay for entry then pay extra (100 Baht) to take photos. Poor lighting in the boathouse coupled with the length of the boats make this a ridiculous extra charge.
3. The boathouse itself is a large metal building that gets brutally hot.
4. Beneath the boats and all around the boathouse is an area of polluted sludge. Directly under each boat you will see lots of muddy garbage. Quite a disgrace for any place with "royal" in the title.
5. Your visit is self-guided. You can read about the boats in displays on the walls, yet there is no extra help.
Written May 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cal8888 Canada
Canada227 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015
I had seen these boats in books and on stamps, and I am an avid photographer, so I decided to set out on my own from the Peninsula hotel to see if I could get to the museum by land rather than by a river tour.

I did my research and took the public riverboats. I got off at the wrong stop - as I could not figure out how to get to the stops on the opposite side of the river. A friendly Thai helped me out and finally I disembarked at the right stop. There are no clear signs to point you in the right direction - but again several lovely Thai people kept me on the right track.

Wow. I got a glimpse of home life in Thailand as the path to the museum follows the canals and the entrances to homes are virtually right next to the canal paths. I got some awesome shots along the way and it was like being on another planet. Canal suburbia.

The signage got better along the way and finally I reached the large metal warehouse where the boats are kept. The boats are enormous and the workmanship amazing - I spent almost 2 hours getting all kinds of cool shots.

The adventure to get here was well worth it for me - and it was awesome to see the boats in person. If you are a history and art buff and like boats - then give it a try.
Written December 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DavidWGrant
Dallas, TX139 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Business
Okay, the Royal Barges Museum is not Wat Phra Kaew, and yes, it is confusing to reach, but what a reward awaits you when you do! If you love wood carving, mirror tesselation, history, religion, fantasy and an awe inspiring place away from crowds, then come! If you served in WWII, you must come to see what the Japanese did to one of the Royal Barges with a torpedo bomb from a Zeroe, and just feel the herosim of the now-King! These boats are almost overwhelming: long, human powered, beautiful maintained, fancifully decorated. You can look and touch, photograph, ooh and ahh to your heart's content with no constraint from crowds or staff. You cannot believe how beautiful and inspiring the worksmanship is until you see it!

The route there is not easy, but it is neither disgusting nor dangerous as others have claimed. I've been several times and while the way is gritty at times, it is just fine for all but the effete and the superior. Go!
Written November 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shakey39
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK69 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
This museum has been closed from July 2019 as it prepares for the Royal Barge Procession later this year. I have been twice recently. The first time there was a piece of paper saying that the museum would reopen on November 6th. I returned on 8th November, after travelling, to find a new piece of paper saying that it won't now reopen until December 19th. This is because the Procession, that was due in late October, has itself been postponed to 12th December. (With 50+ barges and the last ceremony to mark the coronation of the new king this should be impressive and well worth finding a vantage spot on the river).
Note there are signs to guide you through a ramshackle village, if you are walking to the museum, from the end of the closest bridge over the river.
Written November 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark_bne38
Brisbane, Australia45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
I took my mother here while on holidays in Bangkok. We orgainsed a taxi to take us there. The taxi dropped us off at the entrance to a narrow lane way and said to follow the signs. The walk from the road to the museum took us about 10 to wander through the narrow walkways, peoples houses and little shops. I think the walk to the museum was a extra highlight that we didn't really expect. It was quite interesting to see how people on the klongs live etc... I wasn't worried or scared in anyway walking down these walkways, and it was well signed. Just make note of the way you came when you take a turn as the signs on the way back are not as obvious.

When we finally got the royal barges we were quite surprised, they are dry docked above the canal and amazingly beautiful. You can get really close to them, close enough to touch, however you are not allowed to touch them. Having said that it lets appreciate how intricate the barges are.

There is also interesting information on the walls about how they are rowed, the materials they use when they are all decked out, and uniforms of the ores man. I think very well done for a big tin shed on a canal.

Yes there is a charge for using a camera however a couple of dollars to take some pretty amazing photos is worth it. You will see some photo's on here with a black background, these are not photo shopped its something to do with the light in the shed that produces this look as mine came out the same, simply stunning photos.

Many people say that its not really worth a visit, however I would say that if you are interested in the cultural side of Thailand and life of the river, its a great adventure with the extra bonus of a interesting walk to get there.
Written May 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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