In Bangkok, there is a place that can “captivate” young children and send adults into childhood - this is the Bangkok Dolls Museum. It can be found at 85 Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng). It exhibits a large collection of handmade dolls from Thailand and other countries of the world. There are also Thai dolls created by the hands of master Khuning Thongkorn Chanthawimol, trained in toy manufacturing in Tokyo, at Ozawa Doll School. In a small and modest workshop, which began to function in 1956, dolls representing Thai mythical heroes are created, as well as dolls from different historical periods of the country. All of them are dressed in colorful dresses that correspond to historical eras, many of them show Thai national costumes. Now the museum has more than 400 copies of dolls collected from other countries (their collection is constantly updated) and dolls made by the hands of the owner of the museum. The highlight of the puppet museum is that both children and adults can watch the "birth" of the doll from the hands of the master. The museum and its exhibits have repeatedly won international awards. The museum is open daily from 8.00 to 17.00 except Sunday and holidays. The entrance is free.
For children who are relaxing with their parents in Bangkok, there are many interesting places where the child will definitely not be bored: Thai courses, in the famous schools Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen, in Wakeboarding, Lake Taco and Thai Wake Park, you can go skiing or take the first steps . At Rattanakosin Exhibition Center, little fidgets will introduce the history of Thailand in a way that is accessible to them. Young men and women can learn about the history of Bangkok at the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall.
The city even has a Japanese restaurant where visitors are served by robots. The order must be made on a tablet computer, which leads to indescribable delight of young visitors. There are also several cooking classes for children, for example, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Bangkok is famous for its system of water channels, which is widely used in the tourism business. Travel agencies organize many sightseeing boat trips to various attractions in Bangkok, including a water tour for children through the city canals.
Photo and description
The Bangkok Puppet Museum was founded in 1957 by the renowned craftsman Khunyung Thongkorn Chanthavimol. She was trained at one of the best schools in the world for creating Ozawa dolls in Tokyo (Japan) and received an award from the King of Thailand for her skillful work and subtle sense of beauty.
The museum's collection includes about 400 Thai handmade dolls. They are valued among collectors around the world and have international recognition. At the international puppet contest in Krakow (Poland) in 1978, the Bangkok Museum collection received the grand prize “Golden Peacock Feather”. At the needlework contest organized by the Thai Ministry of Industry in 1982 to mark the 200th anniversary of Bangkok, the museum’s collection also won first place.
To a greater extent, the museum's dolls cover the following thematic aspects: rural life in Thailand, northern mountain tribes and traditional Thai costumes. However, there is a section in it, including traditional costumes of all countries of the world, including Russia, Australia, Greece, South Korea, Belgium, China and many others.
The highlight of the museum's collection are dolls from the dramatic performance of Khon, based on the ancient Thai epic Ramakien. The story these dolls tell is based on the confrontation of good and evil. Special attention should be paid to the collection of Khon masks from Ramakien. Their manufacture, even life-size, requires incredible labor, not to mention their miniature versions.
All dolls in the museum are divided into antiques of historical value, and those that can be purchased in a private collection.
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The Puppet Museum in Bangkok was founded in 1957. Currently, the museum fund has more than 5,000 items, and the collection is constantly updated.
The windows are decorated as theatrical scenes, on which puppet characters in historical costumes of different peoples and eras came out. A separate shelf is occupied by a collection of masks from the traditional Thai Khon Theater.
Bangkok Dolls Museum has its own workshop for the production of collectible toys. In addition to visiting the exhibition, visitors can see the process of making dolls and buy their favorite copy in a gift shop. Prices for handmade products start at 300 baht.
Puppet Museum Exposition in Bangkok
By exhibits on the shelves, you can trace the history of the kingdom from ancient times to the present day and get an idea of the culture and traditions of the country. Figures of people are arranged both in rows and in plot scenes illustrating the life and crafts of different nationalities. The layout interiors are thought out to the smallest details: the mother cradles the baby in the cradle, the peasants harvest rice, the children carry firewood for the fire, the fishermen unload the catch from the longtail boat, the soldiers fight with swords, the driver sets a basket on the back of an elephant, the weaver bent over the machine. The scenery is painted landscapes and miniature copies of furniture, machinery, kitchen and agricultural utensils.
Clothing over the centuries has been the main feature that allows you to determine at first glance that a person belongs to a particular ethnic group. The population of the central part of Thailand put on a panung - a piece of cloth wrapped around the hips: one end was passed between the legs and fastened behind the belt. Men covered the upper body with swinging jackets, and women tied a scarf on their chest cross-wise, leaving one or both shoulders open. Wicker wide-brimmed hats made of palm leaves served as sun protection.
The outfits of hill tribes living in the northern provinces are sewn from black fabric with red accents and intricate patterns. Akha - the descendants of immigrants from the Tibetan Highlands, leading a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Women's pointed hats are decorated with beads, monists, beads, bird feathers and pompons. Lakh is hunted, gathered, and fished. Men's hats resemble a turban.
Padaung or Karen are known worldwide for the fact that women of the tribe wear metal rods bent in a spiral around their neck, for which they were called "long-necked".
Puppet masters create models, taking into account the tiniest nuances. For example, the blackening of teeth in dolls depicting members of national minorities is explained by the custom of migrants from Tibet and Myanmar to chew betel nut. Exhibition samples demonstrate the cultural and everyday features of each ethnic group.
Bangkok Dolls Museum is not limited to the demonstration of Siam dolls and collects in an international format. The exhibition hall has stands dedicated to India, Russia, France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia, Africa, Japan and many other states and continents. Russian nesting dolls are adjacent to Baba Yaga, Dymkovo young ladies and a scarecrow of Maslenitsa. Misty Albion is represented by figures of the queen, knights, nuns, police, royal guards and Yeomen guardians from the Life Guard.
Dolls depict not only people, but also heroes of mythology. The mermaid, the prince and the sea witch, playing the flute, are the main characters in the poem “Pra Aphai Mani”. Poet Sunton Pu in the 19th century wrote an epic work about the adventures of the king’s son, which became a classic of Thai literature.
Khon masks are exhibited on steps covered in scarlet velvet. These are authorial works of art imitating props for the oldest theater genre combining elements of choreographic and dramatic art. Submissions could go on for several days. Actors played episodes from the epic Ramakien, the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana. The just king Rama is opposed by the evil demon, but good conquers evil thanks to the monkey warrior Hanuman.
Another attraction in Siam was the shadow theater, the figures for which were made of buffalo skin. Artists controlled puppets with bamboo sticks.
In the museum everyone is shown how to make dolls. The main tools of needlewomen are threads, needles, a magnifying glass and glue. Hard work requires jewelry craftsmanship. Textiles, wood, polymer clay, porcelain, paints and natural materials are used.
How to get there
The Bangkok Puppet Museum is located in an inconspicuous one-story building on Ratchataphan (Mo Leng Alley), 1.5 km from Victory Monument. The bus stop at the obelisk is for many tourists a starting point for traveling along city and intercity routes. BTS Victory Monument Skytrain Station is a 20-minute walk away.
Taxi calls are available through the GrabTaxi mobile app.