The truth is, I was looking for an inexpensive way to spend a day in Thailand. I read somewhere that the entrance to Siriraj Medical Museum was only 40 baht! That's a steal! To think that going to Madam Tussauds or going to the Grand Palace will set you back a couple hundred baht. The thing is, on the day that I decided to visit the museum, I noticed that the entrance fee listed on their website is 200baht! Oh well, gone is the cheap thrill. I still went though, and I got lost, but I found it anyway. Finding the museum is a fun adventure. It would be easier to look for the hospital first, then ask them where the museum is. I can't speak or understand Thai but I kept saying "museum". The friendly guards pointed to this structure...
I already had a feeling that this wasn't the museum I was looking for, but I still proceeded. Then I was pleasantly distracted by this... It was really amazing! (no wonder it's "amazing thailand")
To the back of the temple is another museum, the Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum. Admission to the Bimuksthan and the Medical museum is 200baht each but if you get the package, you can get into both museums for 300baht.
It wasn't that bad getting lost, or else I wouldn't have seen this view of the Chao Phraya River...
As nice the view and the ambiance of that area is, I was still looking for the Medical Museum. I walked over to the complex of buildings on the other side and got lost some more, but everyone who I approached was nice enough to give me directions, although I felt I was a bit of getting lost in translation.
Finally, found it! I was surprised that there were a lot of tourists that day. This building houses the Parasitology, Forensic Medicine, Pathology and Tsunami exhibits. Taking photos of the exhibits isn't allowed.
For the Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory and Anatomy displays, you need to go to another building which also houses the anatomy/dissection lab. So, don't be surprised by the formalin-ish smell. Yup, I got lost a bit too... haha. Just a bit. It gave me an excuse to explore Siriraj.
I wish, I just got the 300baht package. The Bimuksthan Museum looks very promising from pictures on the Medical Museum's website but I was penny pinching that time.
Anyhoo, if you are not a health professional or have no background on the health sciences, it's 200 baht well spent. Explanations are targeted for the layman, so they're simple and easy to understand. Too bad, not all of the displays are translated in English.
However, if you are a health professional in training (especially from asia) I'd say just skip it, unless you want to be refreshed on anatomy, pathology, parasitology and forensic medicine. Your schools might have a more varied collection of specimens, hiding in their labs somewhere. Although, this is the first time I saw Edward's syndrome in the flesh (dunked in formalin).
If you have small kids - don't even think of bringing them here. The displays maybe just be too disturbing.
more photos on tumblr!
curious? go to http://www.si.mahidol.ac.th/museums/en/