For anyone not familiar with the royalty of Thai King’s this place promises to be the best bet. It has on display the Royal Boats or the Royal Barges as they are popularly known which were used by the kings to take a detour of their empire by the sea. Each Royal Barge displayed out here is a pure marvel of beauty. They speak highly of the rich Thai art and craft. Each of these barges is carved out of teak and is ornately decorated by mythical figures. Gilded in gold these water beauties are intricately decorated with tiny shimmering pieces of glass. These stunningly huge and awesome beauties were once used for the Royal ceremonies and as a transport of the Kings. The Royal barges require a minimum of 50 oarsmen to sail them out of the dock. Due to limited space the museum only displays Eight Royal barges out of a total 51 used for the royal ceremonies. Each of the eight royal barges bears the name, the year of construction or renovation and the number of crew required to operate it. Amongst these eight the three most magnificent ones are listed below.

Suphannahong Royal Barge: This barge with a golden swan figurehead was the personal barge of the king. It is the largest dugout boat in the World, made from single piece of timber. It is also apparently the largest boat measuring 46 metres in length.

Anantanagaraj Royal Barge: This royal barge with Naga figurehead is used to carry the monastic robes and elaborate floral offerings.

Anekcharphutchong Royal Barge – This is the second most important barge carrying lesser throne for the king.

On the occasion of auspicious Buddhist calendar years, the royal barges in all their finery set sail during the royal ceremony that marks the end of the Buddhist retreat in October or November. During this ceremony, a barge procession travels to the temples to offer new robes to the monk community, and countless local Thai populace descend on the river to watch this elegant procession. It is advised that the visitors don’t plan to visit the museum during this time of the year as they will not be able to witness these awesome beauties.

The National Museum of Royal Barges is open everyday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Royal Barge Museum Bangkok The Narayana Song Suban