King Rama VI museum is dedicated to King Vajiravudh (วชิราวุธ), the sixth monarch of Siam of the Chakri dynasty, who ruled from 1910 to 1925. He is best known for his efforts to create and promote Siamese nationalism. King Rama VI’s reign was characterized by further movement of Siam toward democracy and minimal involvement in World War I.
King Rama VI museum is located in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon District within the Territorial Defense Command. The museum has been open to the public since 1999.
The museum displays antique rifles, machine guns, and military uniforms from King Vajiravudh’s reign.
The military character of the museum is not unusual, considering King Vajiravudh’s education at Sandhurst and his service in the light infantry of the British army.
One section of this museum tells the story of Thailand’s participation in World War I during King Vajiravudh’s reign. The photos of the Thai military contingent that participated in victory parades in London, Paris and Brussels chronicle the prideful moments of Thailand’s military history.
The crowning moment of glory is a shot of Thai troops marching under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
During his reign, King Vajiravudh founded the Wild Tiger Corps, a paramilitary formation, and the second half of the museum chronicles the work of this militia, which King Vajiravudh was very interested in.
This museum also displays some of King Rama VI’s civilian achievements. Among them are the establishment of the Pasteur Institute, the state savings bank, the first waterworks, Vajiravudh College, and Hua Lam Pong Central Station.
The halls on the top floor display King King Rama VI’s old uniforms, his military epaulets, medals, and headdresses of various regiments.
In the front chamber, with a view of Wat Pho, is a full-size statue of the monarch at his work table. Also on display here is King Vajiravudh’s favorite portable chair, used when attending military maneuvers.
The King Rama VI Museum is a homage to King Vajiravudh’s commitment to the military and civilian sectors of Thailand under his rule.
The entrance fee to the King Rama VI Museum is 50 baht.
KING RAMA VI MUSEUM LOCATION
- Address: Territorial Defense Command, 2 Charoen Krung Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200
OPENING HOURS: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm daily, closed on Sunday
HOW TO GET TO KING RAMA VI MUSEUM
- By taxi to Territorial Defense Command.
- By riverboat to Tha Tien Wharf at the end of Wang Thai Street, then a 500-meter foot walk by Wat Pho to the museum.
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There are armed guards at the entrance to the Territorial Defense Command building. Tell the guards that you want to visit the museum and you will be directed to the second floor. Go through the archway, make a right and go upstairs. Taking pictures inside the museum is not allowed.