My hotel recommended visiting the exhibition hall, and I regretted taking their recommendation almost immediately.
To see anything in the exhibition hall, you have to take a tour with a group. Tours start every 20 minutes and last two hours. There are two tour options to choose from; I did the one about Bangkok. I don't speak Thai, so the folks at the ticket sales office recommended I rent the audio guide for 1000 baht; you get the full deposit back when you return the machine. (In lieu of 1000 baht you can also leave your passport.)
The audio guide only works during the films and recorded presentations; the rest of the time you're at the mercy of your guides. Each room we visited had a different guide; the tour group kept getting handed off from person to person as we moved through the museum. This process made it impossible for me to actually absorb any information from the displays or signage because someone was always talking at us. In addition, you can't go at your own pace because the guides were always hustling us from room to room.
I was the only non-Thai speaker in my tour group. Upon entering a room the guide would give a lengthy speech in Thai, and then come over to me and say about 4 sentences in English, so I clearly wasn't getting the whole story. After a while I gave up and instead just tried to glean what I could from the signage before we got herded along to the next room.
The main exhibits were about Bangkok's founding, the palace and life therein, and traditional Thai crafts and arts. There was also an "exhibit" where we were encouraged to get our photos taken and then they were turned into cartoons (?) and added into a video that we watched. One stop on the tour was to an observation area on one of the upper floors; the views were touted as being amazing, but only two sides of the room have windows and the views really weren't that great. Ironically, the guide for that room forced us to stay in there looking out the two windows for a lot longer than necessary (even though the group was bunched up at the exit, clearly ready to leave). That was one room I wouldn't have minded moving quickly out of, and yet I guess she had to keep us in there longer to stay on schedule.
The museum has clearly put effort into making the exhibits interactive and educational, but I came out feeling like I had just wasted 2 hours of my life and hadn't really learned anything.
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