Price: Adults: 50 baht. Children: 20 baht
Set in amongst the giant high rises and sometimes chaotic streets of downtown Bangkok are many reminders of a more peaceful time in the life of the city. One of these is the home of former Thai Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj. M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home (M.R. means ‘The Honourable’) offers an insightful journey into the life of one of Thailand’s former prime ministers and his many talents.
Set within a beautiful and peaceful pond garden, five traditional teak homes (translocated from rural Thailand over the years) showcase a rich collection of artefacts, including ceramics, antiques, fine arts and rare books.
A politician, writer, poet and national artist, M.R. Kukrit came from a privileged background and was a man of many talents. He wrote over 40 novels, plays, short stories and poems and actively promoted traditional Thai culture. He founded the Social Action Party in 1945 and served as Thailand’s 13th Prime Minister from 1974 to 1975.
His former home is tucked away in a lane just off Soi Suan Plu in the Sathorn district and is filled with cultural treasures and personal artefacts. More than just a museum walk-through, M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home is a representation of a complex personality and his life-long passions for traditional Thai art and literature.
The five teak-wood houses (raised on stilts in traditional Thai style) are connected by a wooden corridor. Each house is full of fine-art. These are not museum pieces but the things he saved and loved, such as ceramics, furniture and Buddha images.
There’s also a Thai pavilion which holds public functions and a large library full of books that cover a wide range of subjects. You’ll find books in English from his days as a student at Oxford and o)hers ranging from fiction to philosophy; proof of his diverse interests.
An integral part of the home (and any traditional Thai home of similar standing) is the expanse of beautiful and well-kept tropical gardens and ponds that surround the buildings. M.R. Kukrit was particularly fond of sculpted miniature trees called ‘mai dat’ in Thai (not quite the same as Japanese bonsai), and they are found all around the house, along with fragrant trees, exotic plants and other garden features such as fountains and lily ponds.
Why Visit M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home?
Travellers who want to know more about Thai history and the sophisticated side of its governance and art history would do well to visit M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home. It’s tempting to compare M.R. Kukrit’s home with Jim Thompson’s House, as both were once private homes before being converted into museums. Both contain personal and prized collections of artifacts open to the public. M.R. Kukrit’s home embodies his diverse areas of interest and dedication to traditional Thai art, literature and exotic plants. Similarly, Jim Thompson’s House has an individuality in its design, which fuses aspects of Eastern and Western architectures, embodying Thompson’s passion for Asian arts. The focus of each is not just on the home or cultural objects but on the person as someone who made an impact on Thai society as a whole.
M.R. Kukrit’s House is open from 10am – 4pm daily (call before you go, as it might be closed for private functions) at 19 Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 7 Alley, Yan Nawa, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
If visiting these home style museums is something that interests you then you should talk to us about further tours to visit the likes of The Bangkokian Museum, Kamthieng House Museum, Jim Thompson’s House Museum or Suan Pakkad Palace Museum. All of these are within easy reach on a Bangkok tour with Your Thai Guide.