Visiting the Siriraj Medical Museum, The Museum of Death!

Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand is host to a fascinating if grizzly attraction. The Siriraj Medical Museum. It is also known as the Museum of Death. People with weak constitutions may want to give it a miss.

The museum consists of six permanent exhibitions covering fun stuff like anatomy and congenital disorders (birth defects). It’s pretty grim stuff. There are signs around the hospital although you may have to ask one or two people where it is.

Most of the exhibitions are grouped together although the anatomy exhibition is in an entirely separate building. When we walked into the anatomy area Tanya, upon seeing human organs in jars, thought for a moment and realized “there’s going to be a baby in a jar in here isn’t there?” Wrong. There was a whole aisle of babies in jars. Personally they didn’t bother me quite as much as the entire adult humans sealed in glass boxes filled with preserving fluid.

Walking around the anatomy displays was actually a little frightening. Beyond the usual visions of long dead eyes opening as you passed, the floor was made of old creaky wooden boards that flexed as you walked around. This made the shelving units filled with jars lean ominously. With visions of a jarred baby crashing to the floor we moved on.

The high/low light of the remaining exhibitions were photographs (and pieces) of people who had suffered horrific injuries. Gun shots, stab wounds, car and motorcycle accidents. Turns out they’re not like in the movies. And then there was the serial killer who was sentenced to death then mummified…

If all of this hasn’t put you off it is actually pretty interesting. Just don’t plan a lunch date for immediately after your visit. And if you’re wondering why there aren’t more photos in this post there are signs up in most areas asking you not to take photographs. We did get one note worthy photograph but frankly, it’s too grizzly for the general Interwebz. Really.

The hospital and museum is on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river. The ferry is the easiest way to get there. It costs 40 Baht per person to get in (although you can just wander into the anatomy area for free but you should really see the whole thing if you’re there).


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About Andrew

Andrew is a computer programmer and one time TEFL teacher. He is part of the Moodle development team producing course management software for schools and universities all over the world. He checks Tanya’s spelling and produces youtube videos of variable quality.