On a trip to Bangkok, you mustn’t miss the city’s Forensic Museum. The Siriraj Forensic Museum is one of the scariest, freakiest, weirdest and most fascinating museums in the world. It’s located at the Siriraj Hospital and is actually several museums put together – forensics, pathology, Thai medical history, parasitology and anatomy. Siriraj Hospital is the oldest hospital in Thailand and is where the King of Thailand stays if he is sick.
At Bangkok’s Forensic Museum, you can see the body of famous Thai serial killer Si Ouey. Si Ouey kidnapped Thai children, murdered them, and then ate their internal organs. He was captured in the 1950s and preserved in paraffin. Now anyone in Thailand can come and see his body.
There are also lots of dead babies preserved in formaldehyde and exhibits of pairs of Siamese twin children. Siamese twins were first discovered and named in Siam (the old name for present day Thailand), so it’s fitting that you can see several of them here.
A couple of them had obviously survived for a while, as they are larger and have quite a bit of hair. They are preserved in formaldehyde and their stomachs are dissected, so you can see their internal organs. Below the cases they’re kept in, museum visitors have left offerings to the children of candy, little toys, and money, to help them in the afterlife. We left some coins and a few pieces of chewy mint candy.
The Forensic Museum also has several fascinating exhibits showing what happens to the body when you have an accident. One man’s decapitated head is displayed in a glass case with the sign underneath saying he was “unknown, and beheaded in a car accident”. There are also preserved limbs blown apart by hand grenades, so you can see the damage something like this causes, and an arm that was crushed by a machine.
The museum even has the autopsy instruments and surgical robes used on the body of Thailand’s king, Ananda Mahidol. He was shot in his bedroom and, to this day, it has never been discovered (or if it has, released) as to who his murderer was. The royal family in Thailand is so revered, it was amazing to me to see the instruments that dissected a king.
One of the coolest and freakiest exhibits is the enormous human testicle. Preserved in formaldehyde, it’s from a man who had elephantiasis as a result of bites from a mosquito. You can only imagine the pain and humiliation he must have had to go through.
The Forensic Museum is made scarier because of the building it’s housed in. The building is old and creaks, and most of the exhibits explanations are written in Thai. If you’ve seen any Thai horror movies, this makes them even scarier.
Some have short English signs, but you have to guess a lot for any extra information. However most of it is easy to figure out so it’s not that frustrating. The place has a quietness and stillness over it though, that even the sounds of tourist’s footsteps can’t take away the creepiness of.
If you’re interested in anatomy or medical history, or simply like ghoulish things, Bangkok’s Forensic Museum will fascinate you. It’s a bit of a pain to get to as it’s on the opposite side of the river to Bangkok city proper, but if you take the Express Boat down the Chao Praya and get off at the Siriraj Hospital Pier, anyone around there will be able to direct you to the hospital.
The Forensic Museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Admission cost is around $1.25.
Oh and eat before you go there, because the section on parasites will put you right off your food.