The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Exploring Thai culture at Bangkok’s Siam Society

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jun• 09•10

Isaan dance at Siam Society

Bangkok’s best venue for exploring Thai culture and tradition is at the venerated Siam Society, whose exciting complex is on Soi Asok (Sukhumvit Soi 21), just northwest of the (BTS Skytrain Asok, and MRT Subway Sukhumvit stations). 

We attended an Isaan music and dance performance there for 200 baht, and were treated to fabulous Thai munchies and an astounding, powerful fruity punch during intermission.  

The Siam Society was founded in 1904 during the late period of King Chulalongkorn’s reign, under the Royal Patronage of the future King Rama VI. The Society was founded with the objective of researching and gathering information on the arts and sciences of Thailand and neighboring countries. 

Today, The Siam Society continues to operate as a non-profit organization dedicated to its founding cause, through lectures, cultural and artistic performances, library and bookstore, and exhibition space

On the grounds, you’ll also find the beautiful Kamthieng House, an ethnological museum.   One of the best surviving examples of Northern Thai architecture, this 160-year old traditional teakwood house provides a superb example of a traditional Lanna Northern Thai house built on wooden stilts. The house has been stocked with artifacts associated with the rural way of life in traditional agricultural communities. This includes a fascinating collection of beautifully hand-woven materials, ornate wood carvings, traditional musical instruments and sacred items. Under the house at ground level, a rich assortment of fish traps, irrigation devices, ploughs and rice-harvesting equipment made of wood, reeds and bamboo are displayed. 

Prior to your visit, we’d suggest visiting their website, for a great calendar of events, at 

The Siam Society
131 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asok), Bangkok (BTS Skytrain Asok, and MRT Subway Sukhumvit stations)
Tel: (02) 661-6470
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm (also open on evenings for performances)

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