If you are visiting Hua Hin and the surrounding areas, there are plenty of attractions that you can go. But there is one which people often overlooked: Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum
Hua Hin is a beachside town which has many attractions within its vicinity. 40 minutes away and you will reach Cha-am, where all the themed-farms and themed-parks are located at. However, unknown to many, there is another attraction worth a visit which is just an hour drive away from Hua Hin. We found this place by chance. After our visit to Santorini Park and 1000 Sook, we were thinking of our next destination for the next day. We Googled and put up a poll on Instagram and most of them chose Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum. So, here is the story of the Museum.
What is Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum
Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum is an old palace built by King Rama IV in 1859 as a retreat for the royal families from Bangkok. It was built on top of a hill known as Khao Wang or Palace Hill. Apart from the palace building, the Museum complex also includes several stupas and a Wat.
Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum is very unique. Its design includes a mix of Thai, Chinese and European architectural designs. Apart from that, the pathways around the Museum were built with cobblestones and this adds to the opulence feel of the former palace.
Together with the main palace building, this Museum complex also consists of Phra That Chom Phet with its 40-meter tall white spire. There is also Wat Phra Kaew Noi (Little Wat Phra Kaew) which is a small temple built to resemble its bigger brother in Bangkok. Finally, there is also Phra Prang Daeng stupa, with a design that is influenced by the Khmer design. All these three structures are situated on top of a summit.
All these summits at Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum are accessible by walking along the pathways through the forested areas.
How to get to the Museum?
Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum is situated on Phetkasem Road, along the main highway from Hua Hin heading towards Bangkok. If you are unsure where it is, you can use Waze by searching for Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum. Alternatively, you can also use Google Maps (which we include at the end of this post for ease of reference!).
There are two entrances to get to the Museum – the East Entrance and the West Entrance. We could not say much for the East Entrance since we did not use the East Entrance during our visit. However, it is suffice to say that the East Entrance is also considered as the front entrance. The downside though is that you have to walk your way up to the Museum complex.
On the other hand, the West Entrance has a cable car (or a mini funicular train – depending on your understanding of the rail system). It is much like the one in Bukit Bendera, Penang (Malaysia) but smaller in sizer. We chose this entrance since it is very rare to have this system of cable car in Thailand. Apart from that, it is very distinctive since the operator are all women and it is an open air cable car system.
What can you do at the Museum
As a Museum and a heritage building, the main thing that you can do here is to enjoy the magnificent buildings up close. With its extravagant and intricate designs, you will surely love this place even if you are not one who fancy history.
If you are coming from the West entrance like us, you should first start your visit at the main museum first since the capacity inside is limited. You will have to take off your shoes before entering the main museum. You will surely be in awed inside the building with all the displays of historical items and the photos of the Palace in the old days.
After you have toured inside the main museum, you can then walk around the compound and appreciate the beauty of the palace. You can also walk around until you reach one of the peaks. Here, you can see the main Phetkasem Highway from the top. We even spent some time on top of the summits to immerse ourselves with the view. The view is great, it offers a magnificent 360-degree view of the surrounding areas.
Indeed, there are a lot of things that you can do when you are visiting Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum. If you are a history lover, you will love the heritage buildings for its history. For fashionista, you will surely love the place for its many great photo opportunities.
Our view of the Museum
For us, it was one of the best visits to a historical complex ever. It is ashamed to see that this Museum has very few visitors. This is because, the architectural designs of the Museum complex are something to be amazed of.
When you walk from one building to another, you can feel how glorious Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum is. You can feel the kingly status of all the buildings which sit regally atop Khao Wang.
In fact, going into the main museum building during our visit, we saw all the royal exhibitions and photos which prove how glorious Phra Nakhon Kiri was during the days of yore.
So, if you have the time during your visit to Hua Hin, go and have a visit to Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum. Apart from enjoying the history of the place, it is also the best place to get your photo ops amid all the ancient buildings.
Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum
- Address: Khlong Kra Saeng, Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi, Thailand
- Opening hours: Everyday, 8.30 am to 4.00 pm
- Entrance Fee:
- Cable car (Return trip) THB 200 for adults and THB 15 for Children
- Museum: THB 150
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