Discover the history of Thailand
The country’s largest museum opened in 1874 and is located in three large exhibition halls that started life as a royal palace. Today, the National Museum offers exhibitions illustrating Thai history, plus collections of Buddha images, textiles, ceramics, musical instruments and weapons from Neolithic times onwards, along with fine examples of Buddhist art from Cambodia, Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam.
Insider’s tip: While it is certainly possible to roam the museum independently, the guided tours conducted by volunteers (in English, Wed-Thur, 9.30am, 200 baht/£5) are highly recommended, as they lend a narrative and context to the countless artefacts on display.
Address: Na Phra That Road
Contact: 00 66 2 2241333
Opening hours: Wed-Sun, 9am-4pm
Watch the sun set behind the temple on the river
The spectacular 19th-century Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, rises on the western bank of the Chao Praya. Its main tower is covered with impressive mosaics made from shards of Chinese porcelain and seashells, and is surrounded by statues of Chinese soldiers, various animals and two demons who stand guard in front of the ordination hall.