There’s only so many temples you can do in Thailand before you reach that threshold. That’s when you take a boat ride to the Siriraj Medical Museum. This museum is not for the faint hearted. Website reviews warn visitors not to go to visit after eating, as you may lose your lunch.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I kept my bananas and Butterfly Pea Juice.

Honestly, you should be happy that the medical museum strictly prohibited photos.


There are a lot of exhibits that wouldn’t score high in focus groups. Take for instance, the exhibit of pus and sputum. Need I say more. It was close to one of my favorite exhibits– actual items children choked on. Mom was right–don’t put coins in your pie hole.

The museum buildings (you’ll wander through three) are the oldest buildings on the medical campus. Not Bangkok temple old–but university old. Creaking wooden floors, outdated cabinets, fading photos, walls needing painting. The deli-man exhibit was a bit past his expiration date, being a real human cadaver sliced into slabs, allowing medical students to examine the cross sections. He is similar to what use to be at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry but was removed in 2012.

Another favorite exhibit was in the parasite section, a small diagram demonstrating how to use scotch tape to remove worms where the sun don’t shine.

There were several old skeletons, also skulls of shooting victims. There were unretouched photos of what a body looks like after tragic deaths, such as hit by a train, or caught near an explosion, or severed by a propeller.

The most captivating part of the museum was devoted to the 2004 Tsunami. Doctors from the Siriraj Hospital worked on Thailand beaches around the clock saving lives. The exhibit explained how sand would fester inside flesh wounds, causing major infections and how they identified the countless dead.

The Siriraj Museum makes you value good health care, unlike whatever I ate for lunch, as several exhibits are about diseases that still plague parts of our world today. Measles. Malaria. Tuberculosis. I realized I spent more on a few prescriptions the day before than what most Thai folks spend all year on healthcare. That’s when I got sad.

If you are interesting in going, stop at Pier 10 stop on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

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