Occupying a dim underground space beneath the amphitheatre near Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake’s northern bank, the Khon Kaen Hall of Culture and Heritage provides a window into the area’s history and eclectic cultural makeup.
Though it lacks the solid collection of artefacts found at the National Museum, you’ll probably learn more here.
The most interesting exhibits display life-size figures in various settings, including early Lao people preparing food in traditional stilted houses, Chinese immigrants sipping tea and Indian immigrants selling their brightly coloured cloths. A series of smaller models depict scenes from Isaan village life long before cars and washing machines arrived.
The museum also includes an extensive set of English info boards, often with photos and printed artworks, addressing a wide range of subjects as they relate to Khon Kaen. You’ll learn about the city’s early days; how it produced Thailand’s first Olympic gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics; and how the Isaan region’s temple murals and carvings are unique in Buddhist art.
In Thai the museum is known as Hong Moon Mung Mueang, which translates roughly as “City Treasure Hall.” It’s also often referred to as Khon Kaen City Museum.
The museum is located just east of the entrance to Bua Luang Restaurant on the northern bank of Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake. The entrance is easy to miss, as it’s located along the back wall of the amphitheatre in a space that looks like it should be a dusty basement.