The Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok takes you back in time to an era when the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries were the most significant avenue of communication and transportation for all including the royalty. Visiting this gigantic museum, you get to see eight of Thailand’s most unique and awe-inspiring vessels or boats known as the Royal Barges. Nowadays these boats are brought out on special occasions, auspicious ceremonies and state functions. This includes the quite rare Royal Barge Procession when these boats take to the waters parading across the river on display to packed crowds of locals and foreigners who flock around the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The museum is not far away from many serviced apartments Bangkok has to offer such as Chatrium Residence Riverside Bangkok that makes it convenient for tourists to visit the place with easy access. The Royal Barges have paraded the waters and have been seen publicly only 16 times in the last 65 years which makes it a very rare chance at getting to see them in their full former glory on the river once more.
The boats are all carved from large pieces of teak, with their prows engraved with mythical creatures. They are gilded in gold and also finely decorated with tiny shimmering pieces of glass that is quite a fascinating treat to see to the naked eye. These boats are rowed by up to 50 highly trained oarsmen and also strictly considered untouchables for the rest. All the eight royal barges have their own unique sign engraved that depicts its name, year of construction or renovation and number of crew it needs to operate the vessel. The largest and the most important vessel that is named ‘Suphannahonse’ is a massive 46 metres in length and requires at least 50 oarsmen and 14 crew members to operate it.
Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.