As you might know that The Grand Royal Barge procession is coming back in 2019 to celebrate the new king. It will certainly be one of the grandest events in Thailand History. Today I got to the National Museum of royal barges in Bangkok to see the exquisite Royal Barges in close range and I found that they are all in the process of repairing and maintenance to prepare for the grand royal ceremony.
How to get to the National Museum of royal barges
It’s quite like a hidden place in Bangkok. As you can see on the map. You need to walk through a small alley in the local residential area until the end of alley. The entrance of the alley is near the Phra Pin Klao Bridge which you can get there by express boats or a taxi. It is near Wat Phra Kaew, Sanam Luang and Khaosarn Road where you might already know. It only takes 5-10 minutes from those places to the alley, merely a short way and goes across the river. Taxi can drive you to the mid of the alley and you need to walk around 10 minutes to the museum. The path is not complicated so you won’t get a loss. Your phone and google maps can help you as well.
National Museum of royal barges was formerly a dry dock for royal barges in the cares of Bureau of the Royal Household and Thai Navy. Royal Barges are important and exquisite and was using in grand events in the long period of Thailand History. There were built by superior skills of the ancient craftsman. They were invaluable in terms of arts. And most importantly, They have been using in an important royal ceremony until now.
What to see in National Museum of royal barges
You can see the real barges which going to be used in the royal ceremonial procession. They are built to serve the king’s duties. The barges have been used as warships during the time of war. and were adapted for the King’s Journeys during royal ceremonies and other important occasions. These are some of the barges I would like to show.
The Royal Barge Suphannahong – The figurehead was crafted to a swon shape. It is 3.17 meters in width and 46.15 in length. It requires 50 Oarsmen and 14 Crews. It is for the king or high class person in the royal family. It was built in the period of King Rama 5 and was completed in the period of King Rama 6.
The royal Barge Anatanakaraj – The figurehead was crafted to 7-head Serpent shape which is a scared snake in Buddhist mythology. It is 2.58 in width and 44.85 in length. It requires 54 Oarsmen and 18 Crews. It was completed in the period of king Rama 6.
The original figurehead of Royal Barge Narai Song Suban – It was crafted to the Hindu Supreme Lord who creates unlimited universes while riding a Karuda(Sacred half-bird-half-human). The new version was recreated in the period of the King Rama 9 for Golden Jubilee celebration.
The Anekkachatphuchong Royal Barge – The figurehead was decorated with golden naga pattern. It is 45.67 in width and 2.91 in length. It was built in the period of King Rama 6.
The Asura-Vayuphak Barge – The figurehead was crafted to ogre-faced bird. It is 2.03 meters in width and 31 in length. It requires 40 Oarsmen and 17 Crews. The year of construction is unknown. It was restored in 1981-1982.
The Krabi Prab Mueang Man Barge – The figurehead was crafted to White Monkey in Ramayana. It isan original figurehead with unknown year of construction. The hull was damaged during the World War II and it was reconstructed in 1976.
The Krut Hern Hej Royal Barge. The figurehead was crafted to garuda-shape. The hull was damaged during the World War II and it was reconstructed in 1975.
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 17:00
Tel: +66 (0)2 424 0004
All photos in This article with maximum resolutions are available at My portfolio on Shutterstock.