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Bangkok Unusual Places
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Bangkok Unusual Places

Some are interesting, others quite bizarre. Either way, they're worth a visit but not always recommended for the prudish or faint-hearted. From a religious shrine dedicated entirely to the male phallus to a forensic museum with stillborn babies and the carefully preserved remains of a mass murderer.


First Execution Chamber 


Chinatown's Wat Pathum Khongkha is a pretty but unremarkable temple that once served an extraordinary, rather grisly purpose. Not only a religious shelter, it was also used as execution site for members of the Royal Family in the early Rattanakosin period. On its execution stone, several members from the first and third reigns were disposed of. Not in entirely tasteless fashion, mind you - in accordance with ancient traditions dictating that no royal blood should touch the ground, the victim was placed in a red velvet sack and beaten to death with a scented sandalwood club.

Location: Wat Pathum Khongkha, Yaowarat


Forensic Museum 


If you're into all things gruesome, this is for you. Preserved corpses of convicted killers, like Thailand's most famous mass murderer See-Uey, the Chinese cannibal, are exhibited alongside murder weapons, a gut-wrenching exhibition of autopsy photos and glass jars containing stillborn children pickled in formaldehyde. It's close to the museums of parasitology, medical history, and anthropology. The Museum of Anatomy next door, housed in an old 1930's building, contains a close-up and personal look at the human body. Often visited by medical students, it will prove fascinating for lovers of the macabre, horrifying for the rest.

Open: 09:00 - 16:00 (Monday - Friday)
Where: 2nd floor, Adulaydejvigrom Building, Siriraj Hospital, 2 Phrannok Road
Admission: 40 baht
Contact: +66 (0)2 419 7000


The Ancient City 


Monuments, traditional houses, and temples taken from Thailand's past, then reproduced with lots of detail, give you a feel for the Siam of a hundred years ago. Many are almost as big as the originals. Other attractions include a street full of old handicraft stalls, royal barges, a sculpture garden and an old market town.

Open: 08:30 - 17:00
Location: Kilometre 33, Sukhumwit Hightway, Bangpoo, Samutprakarn
Admission: 300 baht for adults, 200 baht for children (bike rental and a tram ticket included)


Corrections Museum 


Located on Mahachai Road, the Corrections Museum is the place to learn about the gruesome punishments meted out to offenders in Thailand in the not so distant past. It was once the site of the Bangkok Remand Prison, an old and overcrowded penal facility located in the heart of Bangkok. In 1990, the cabinet relocated it to Lad-yao and turned the site into a public park called Rommani Nart. Three blocks, a cellblock, a side of the prison wall and two watchtowers were preserved, and converted into this Museum of the macabre.

Grisly corporal punishment tools and weapons exhibit the severities of the old penal system, a sadistic system based on retribution through severe punishment and suffering (after seeing these you'll think twice about misbehaving while on these shores). Life-sized wax figures act out with painful precision execution scenes. A grim highlight includes a man-sized rattan ball pierced with nails pointing inwards. Hapless prisoners were placed inside and an elephant used to kick the ball around. Ouch! Less likely to revisit you in your dreams is the area exhibiting furniture and handicrafts made by prisoners from across Thailand - all available to buy. The building also shows how prisoners in the past lived day-to-day, and how prison guards brought offenders into custody.

Open: 09:30 - 16:00 (Monday - Friday, closed on public holidays)
Where: 436 Mahachai Road, near Rommani Nart Park
Admission: free
Contact: +66 (0)2 226 1706




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