War Museum and Art Gallery

Bizarrely fascinating

Photo of War Museum and Art Gallery, , Kanchanaburi

Bizarre beyond belief
The museum focusing on death and depravity has an exhibition dedicated to gems and Miss Thailand con...

By enigmatic

What we say: 2.5 stars

One building is devoted mainly to the history of the many Thai-Burmese wars that have taken place over the centuries. Here you'll find displays of ancient swords, sculptures of Thai kings and dramatic murals of warfare on elephant-back. Two huge bomb shells greet visitors to the main building, which houses dozens of mid-20th century fire arms and several anonymous human remains from people who died in the area during World War II. The remains are stuffed into a dusty glass case and surrounded by a disorganised photo display focusing on death, destruction and depravity. Out front are statues of all the major heads of state and prominent generals on both sides of World War II, lined up as though they're the coaches of opposing football squads.

While it's an interesting spot to kill a half-hour, there seems to be no clear focus to this museum; after passing through the war history section visitors enter an upstairs area with the complete history of the Thai people boiled down into a few paragraphs, followed by life-size portraits of every Miss Thailand from 1934 to 1992. Strange indeed.

More details
By the Death Railway Bridge, Kanchanaburi
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-17:00
How to get there: The museum is just to the south of the Death Railway Bridge.
Last updated: 13th May, 2013

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  • Bizarre beyond belief 4 stars

    18th June, 2012

    The museum focusing on death and depravity has an exhibition dedicated to gems and Miss Thailand contests upstairs. A sign advising you you're entering a sacred site welcomes you to a room full of rifles. The biography of Hitler seems to imply his suicide may not have happened. A caption exonerates the Japanese from apparent cruelty in punishing starving pilferers on the basis the punishments were ''the result of the wrongdoer's own act''. And the most recent addition, commemorating the ''red shirt'' uprising in 2010, contains glass display cases full of empty plastic drinks bottles and cans (from the Ratchaprasong occupation?) apparently donated by visitors in the cause of peace for Thailand.

    The buildings, the artwork and the views of the bridge are fantastic and there are lengthy and poignant multilingual accounts of POW treatment in a section which captions insist is ''the original JEATH museum''. But there are surprises around every corner. This just might be the weirdest museum in the world.

    War Museum and Art Gallery reviewed by enigmatic (1)
    Written on 18th June, 2012, rated 4 out of 5. Visited here in June, 2012

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