NileGuide Expert Says:
Surely the most graphic museum in Bangkok but one is nevertheless compelled to look on.
Siriraj Hospital, 2 Phrannok Road
10100 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: 02-419-7000 ext 6363
NileGuide Expert tip:
Just outside the hospital many food vendors line the streets. You may, however, have less of an appetite after the museum visit.
Housed in two buildings of Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital this is the all-encapsulating name of six distinct museums: Ellis Pathological Museum, Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, Ouay Ketusingh Museum of History of Thai Medicine, Parasitology Museum, Congdon Anatomical Museum, and Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory. Most of these exhibits are not for the weak of heart or stomach but the whole project is a fascinating, unblinking look at the subjects. A macabre and yet educational experience, the Forensic Museum may give visitors the shivers if not a few bad dreams. An entire modern exhibit with an accompanying video (with English subtitles) is dedicated to the 2004 tsunami and the work forensics played in identifying the rapidly decomposing victims. A variety of preserved skulls and other body parts and a few graphic photos show the results of trauma on the human body. Serial killer Si Quey (Ouei), the source of nightmares for Thai parents back in the 1950s, is preserved here in paraffin along with a few others. Seamlessly attached to this section is a brief historical section about Thai medicine and next to that is the pathology museum with its displays of afflicted human organs and tissues. The parasitology section in the room next door exhibits tapeworms and the like as well as the massive preserved testicle of an elephantiasis victim. This room will make you think twice about eating improperly prepared food or going without mosquito repellent. Siriraj Medical Museum is located in the Adulyadaejvikrom Building and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and charges a nominal fee of 40 baht. Photos are not allowed. An audio tour is available for 100 baht plus a 200 baht deposit. Despite the lack of much English on exhibits and its dated appearance, the anatomy museum is also worth checking out. Founded by a visiting professor in 1927, it displays various dissections and a whole range of fetuses and infants in jars including conjoined twins. This is housed in the Anatomy building and admission is free. Take a river ferry on the Chao Phraya and get off at Pier 10 (Tha Wang Lang). Enter the hospital on the right outside the pier and follow the road straight back into the complex following green museum signs and arrows.