Thailand offers free entry to museums and parks during new year holiday

Indulge in Thailand’s history, art, and culture for free this new year’s holiday. As a holiday gift to the public, Thailand’s Fine Arts Department is opening all national museums and historical sites in the kingdom for free between December 30, 2022, to January 2, 2023.

In a new exhibition opening on December 30, centuries-old gold jewellery from the ancient Ayutthaya period (1351-1767) will be on display at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. The unveiling of the exhibition will take place on December 29 at 11am.

In Bangkok, the highly revered Phra Phutta Sihing buddha image – second in importance only to the Emerald Buddha – and nine other auspicious buddha statues will be displayed at Bangkok’s National Museum on December 28. The exhibition will run daily from 9am-4pm until January 8, 2023.

The important artwork was brought to Bangkok from Chiang Mai in 1795 by Viceroy Maha Sura Singhanat, the brother of King Rama I.

Between December 30 and January 2, the National Museum’s impressive architecture will be lit up against the night sky as the museum hosts “Night at the Museum” activities daily from 4-8pm.

“Night at the Museum” at the National Museum will feature cooking demonstrations from world-renowned chefs in front of the ancient palace. Books and art at the museum will also be on sale for discounted prices during New Year.

At the National Library of Thailand in Bangkok’s Dusit district, an exhibition on Thai New Year celebrations will continue from now until April 22, 2023.

On New Year’s Eve itself, head to Pattaya to see the countdown firework show (which was cancelled and then un-cancelled).

Bangkok’s Khao San Road is scaling down its new year celebrations this year. Revellers will still be permitted to let loose on Bangkok’s most notorious party street but there will be no countdown event this year.

The National Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police has asked the force to refrain from celebrating this new year “to show loyalty” to Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, who remains hospitalised, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who was recently treated for heart arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat).

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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