Detour Worth Making: Thailand’s Siriraj Museum

The Siriraj Hospital is the oldest and largest hospital and medical school in Thailand. Founded in 1888, the hospital — on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River across from Thammasart University — also houses 10 museums, which attract a widely divergent audience — from art students to Buddhist monks.

Among the many museums available for touring are:

  • The Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum — much like Philly’s Mütter Museum — displays objects from homicide, suicide and accident cases, including the entire preserved body of of Si-oui, a Chinese immigrant who came to Thailand in 1944, and began suffocating and eating children.
  • The Parasitology Museum displays a large collection of “important parasites in this region” including an exhibition of several parasitic life cycles.
  • The Congdon Anatomical Museum displays a complete collection of dissected human body parts, including organs, nervous systems, cardiovascular systems, and musculoskeletal systems. There’s also a collection of human embryos. If you couldn’t make the Bodies exhibit, this is your chance.

Other exhibitions are devoted to subjects like Thai traditional medicine and prehistoric artifacts, so if you have… a gentler stomach… there’ll still be something for you. To learn if Siriraj might appeal to you, why not opt for a photo tour of the Museums; check out a video tour; or zoom around inside the various Museums by having a look at some interior panos.

If you’re interested in attending in person, the Museums are open Monday-Friday, from 9am to 4pm. Admission is 40 baht ($1.25).