Opened in 2008, the Museum Siam features state-of-the-art displays primarily aimed at kids (think lots of games, interactive screens, and photo props). While it doesn’t quite achieve its self-professed mission of deconstructing Thai national identity, the museum does offer a number of fantastic dioramas.
Of these, the most impressive are the three that depict the long-destroyed kingdom of Ayutthaya that flourished between the 15th and 18th centuries.
Some of the set-ups wouldn’t look too out of place on a WWII tabletop.
This drum tower probably won’t, however.
Whereas this warehouse is too Thai (and of a style that had probably disappeared by the 1920s).
Piers like this, on the other hand, still exist, and can probably be found elsewhere in the region.
A large samurai contingent existed in 17th century Siam, for the sharp-eyed among you are wondering about the presence of kimono-wearing figures.
There is a massive diorama devoted to early 20th century Bangkok. Sadly it lacks the craftsmanship of the previous diorama.
Funnily enough the semi-fascist period that saw the refinement of modern Thai nationalist thought is only briefly glossed over.
The examples of Thai Second World War propaganda more than make up for it though.
My favourite of the bunch: the June 1941 cover of Modern Thai magazine celebrating the annexation of territories gained at the end of the Franco-Thai War.