Sunday, September 27, 2009

District museum Thonburi

One of the local district museums I should mention here is the one of Thonburi. It is relatively easy to reach, has several nice exhibits, but most of all the caretaker was that much concerned about me getting most of the museum it was nearly annoying already. As she did not speak much English, she instead read the text on the plates next to the exhibits.

The museum is located in the 3rd floor of the temple school of Wat Prayurawongsawat, most famous for the replica mountain known as "turtle mountain". It is located right across the river at Memorial Bridge. The temple itself is also worth a visit, but one wouldn't find this museum at all strolling around on the temple grounds. It has a sign on the street outside the temple complex, but not a single hint inside to guide to the school. In the brochure of the temple it has a photo of a sign in front of the school, but I did not notice that one in there. So once I found the school building I asked at the kiosk in front and it quickly had someone guide me upstairs to the rooms occupied by the museum. Felt quite odd to pass the school rooms full with pupils to reach a museum.

The museum itself consists of two rooms, and since it was a very hot day and I was on a walking tour visiting several of these museums the fact one of it was acclimatized was quite comfortable. Since the district shares its name with the historical capital - though the actual palace back then is in Bangkok Yai now - and the former province covering the area west of the Chao Phraya river, these histories are prominently displayed on the posters. It was one of these posters where I learned that the former province hall of Thonburi is located just around the corner of the temple.

Of course the local artisans are featured as well, music instruments from (if I recall correctly) Lao settlers including audio recordings to listen, or the Khon mask shown to the left. Also, photos and descriptions of the main religious sites in the district are shown - apart from the Buddhist temples Wat Kanlayanamit and Wat Prayurawongsawat the Santa Cruz church and the only Mosque built like a Thai temple building are the most prominent ones. These alone already gave me enough ideas of places to visit next time I am out for a walking tour in Thonburi.

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