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Bangkokian Museum

The white house on the left.

The wooden house in front

The house with glasses on the right.

Additional information/Audio:


The Bangkokian Museum consists of three houses showcasing the living style of a middle- to upper-class family in Bangkok’s past. The Bangkokian Museum consists of three different houses built from 1929 to 1960 in which the family of Mother Sa-Arng lived. The house was gifted as a heritage to one of her children, Achan Waraphon Surawadee, the fourth daughter of her second husband, she is also biology professor at Srinakharinwirot University.

The Bangkokian Museum was then established according to the objective and intention of Professor Waraphon who used the residence and treasures inherited from her mother to teach younger generations, tourists and Thai people about the lifestyle and Thai culture in the past. Professor Waraphon gave this museum to the government for free. This is also why the visit is free. As the museum is not profit-oriented, it is supported by volunteers and is not modified or curated to earn profits.

STORY I: The family

Mother Sa-Arng was born into a middle- to upper-class family where her father was a Chinese businessman. In the past, the size of companies owned reflected the wealth of a person. Although the family looks very wealthy, they are still considered a middle- to upper-class family because of the lack of company ownership. Mother Sa-Arng was an English teacher in Thailand who married twice and had four children. Mother Sa-Arng’s first husband, Francis Christian, was an Indian doctor who met and fell in love with Mother Sa-Arng in Penang, Malaysia, when they were traveling. Doctor Francis moved to Thailand to marry Mother Sa-Arng. Mother Sa-Arng and Dr.Francis Christian had no children during their years of marriage. They also built a house to be a clinic and a place to live. Unfortunately, his clinic was not opened, as he passed away on a trip to Chiang Mai in his forties. Five years after the death of Mother Ang's first husband, she remarried with a Thai businessman of Chinese descent who is the owner of a mill at Klong Bang Luang Nakhon Pathom. (เจ้าของโรงสีที่คลองบางหลวงนครปฐม) Mother Sa-Arng and her second husband had four daughters.

STORY II: Love in Bangrak

Rak’ in Thai means love. Bangrak got its name from being so diversified with different cultures through food and other languages in this area, and people are showing love to each other, creating loving communities.It also has great cultural significance. Across the street from the hotel is the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple, a beautiful and ornate house of worship established by Indian Tamil immigrants. The temple is usually buzzing with activity, with daily worship and frequent Hindu rituals. Closer to the river, you can find the Assumption Cathedral, a 200-year site for Christian worship in Bangkok. The current building was reconstructed in the early 1900s; however, the site itself was instrumental in the Christian community’s growth in Thailand. 

The Bangkokian Museum is also run by volunteers who live in this area. "I work as a volunteer here because I want to repay the nation's kindness by giving information about Thai culture to the next generation."

STORY III: The house beside the museum

Before professor Achan Waraphon Surawadee died, she bought the land beside the Bangkokian museum because she didn't want tall towers to cover the museum. 

The land was bought with her own money and donations from people in the Bangrak area; it was around 30 million baht. The land is now turned into a foundation called Ruen Varaphon (เรือนวราพร) . As the museum is free to visit and is barely making any income, the foundation supports the museum by selling different snacks and items like ceramic for visitors. It also serves as a free space for people to work and hangout as well.

How was your trip exploring the old Bangkok time? Are you hungry now? Under the highway on our route, there are food choices like Khao Soi or Ice cream so Watch Out!

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