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The Bangkok Doll Museum was founded in 1956 by Khunying Thongkorn Chanthawimol, a traditional doll maker trained in Japan who was keen on researching Thai culture, and created the doll designs that drew inspiration from mythology and history. Stocked full of historical and literary figure dolls, traditional Thai dancer dolls; historical, hill-tribe and Thai peasant figures, most of which she has made herself, the museum is not only a wonderland that could keep one occupied for hours on end, it could be educational as well. While the museum basically covers the thematic aspects of Thai rural life, it also displays a large collection of dolls acquired from foreign countries, some of which showcase traditional costumes from all over the world.
The museum is made up of two large rooms, stacked from top to bottom with dolls of different makes, designs and colours. On entering the main room of the museum, dancers, street vendors, monks, mahoots and peasants shall gaze at you through their glassy eyes. Rarer dolls, of course, are stored in individual glass cases where they can be easily observed as well as well preserved. It is here that the international dolls too can be spotted. Figurines of Japanese Geishas, London Tower Guards and petite French girls, American historical figure dolls as well as dolls of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are put on display here, much to the delight of many who had visited this place.
However, the most interesting collection would be of the characters depicting good and evil in the Khon Dance based on the Ramakien, Thailand’s national epic. The details on these figures are truly amazing and display the work of a true artist well versed in the art of doll making. The inner room is more of a sales area where the newer dolls are exhibited for sale. One can even witness the painstakingly detailed process of doll-making here, while groups of skilled doll makers bend their heads over the minutest features of these lifelike dolls. One can easily lose track of time watching them shape and mold these figurines into life and working on the tiniest of costumes, shoes and headdresses.
Look for the ideal Bangkok hotel to lodge in during the visit to make your holiday even more memorable. Centrally located amongst all the hotspots in the city, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn is one of the most preferred hotels Bangkok among many who frequent the city, enchanted by its sheer splendour.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.