Aside from being a part of Bangkok’s metropolitan area, Patum Thani is also one of the oldest provinces in Thailand. Indeed, it’s one of the earliest settlements founded by the Buddhism-spreading Mon people. As a result, the province possesses many strong connections to Thailand’s culture and history. This can be seen in Patum Thani’s interesting museums, which celebrate these vital links. So, if ever you find yourself in the area as a tourist, you should definitely take advantage and visit as many of these museums as you can. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of them.
The Wat Sing Temple Complex
Among Pathum Thani’s many temples, Wat Sing stands out as the first one built in the Mon style. These original Mon settlers were largely responsible for spreading Buddhism to a historically Hindu region. As a result, the temple complex is also home to an impressive museum that houses priceless historical Theravada Buddhist and Thai artifacts. Some of its more notable antiques include a reproduction of the Buddha’s footprint carved on a teak panel. Another notable artifact is the bedstead that King Rama II had used during a tour of the area during the early 19th century. This piece of furniture is especially prized, as it was during this visit that the King would rename what was Sam Khok into Pathum Thani (more on this story later).
The Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum
Inside the Rangsit Campus of Bangkok University, you can find the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum or SEACM. With much of art appreciation centered around painting, sculpture, and architecture, SEACM aims to inspire and improve awareness of pottery and other ceramic ware as mediums of artistic expression. At present, the museum displays more than 2,000 ceramics—with many of them dating back to ancient times. If you’re touring through Pathum Thani and you’re staying in a Thammasat Rangsit accommodation, this museum will be in the area and should be on your must-visit list.
The Rare Stone Museum
As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to all sorts of rare stones. Their collection isn’t just limited to precious gems, however. At the Rare Stone Museum, you’ll also find fossils, crystals, as well as samples from stalactites and stalagmites. Over time, the museum has expanded this collection to over ten thousand stones from all over the world. Indeed, the museum’s impressive assemblage of rare stones makes it a great stop for geology enthusiasts.
The Lotus Museum
This museum was constructed by the Rajamangala University of Technology Thayaburi in 2000 with support from the Thai royal family’s Princess Sirindhorn. Its location in Pathum Thani is no accident, as the name itself translates into, “Lotus Town.” The story is that upon King Rama II’s visit in 1815, he was welcomed by the townspeople with a great number of lotus flowers that were naturally abundant in the area. This was what prompted him to rename what was Sam Khok into Pathum Thani. Beginning with only about 40 local varieties, the museum’s collection has steadily grown to more than 150 different lotus flowers. This makes it a vital part of the country’s plant genetics conservation project.
The National Memorial
Managed by the country’s Armed Forces, the entire compound that makes up the National Memorial measures more than 6 hectares. Inside, you’ll notably find a museum that’s dedicated to tracing the country’s history through its military developments and achievements. This makes the National Memorial a great way to catch up on Thailand’s military history. Their displays include equipment and uniforms from all branches of service throughout every historical era. Their collection even includes memorabilia from the country’s involvement in foreign conflicts such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
As one of Thailand’s oldest provinces, Pathum Thani is in no short of interesting places to visit. With its proximity to the capital, it’s also highly accessible whether you’re primarily staying there or are just passing through. But no matter how you end up in the area, make sure to experience its unique and varied museums. Indeed, each one allows for a unique look at the history of the province—and even Thailand as a whole—through different points of view.
If you want to learn more about our blog, please click here.