A day at the museum
The Siriraj Hospital compound is home to six fascinating small museums
It may be hard to believe that people have been born with two heads, but once you step onto the second floor of the Adulyadejvikrom Building, in Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok Noi, you will such exhibits, and much, much more.
Founded nearly 120 years ago, Siriraj Hospital has collected an enormous number of anatomical and clinical specimens from around the Kingdom. These collections are now displayed in six different small museums.
The first is the Ellis Pathological Museum, which shows visitors the history of pathology in Thailand through specimens of infected organs.
Perhaps the most interesting museum is the Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Museum, which features evidence and memorabilia collected from various crime and accident scenes, including human remains.
Among the displays is the mummified body of Si Ouey, the 1950s serial killer whose name will forever live in infamy for his attempt to achieve immortality by feeding on children's livers.
Another gruesome exhibit contains the blood-stained clothes of Nualchawee, a nurse who was murdered by her doctor husband.
The Ouay Ketusingh Museum of Thai Medicine History places the emphasis on the history and evolution of traditional Thai medicine.
Visitors can learn about the medicinal properties of different herbal medicines, their active ingredients and the equipment used to prepare them. One of the many exhibits shows how babies were delivered in the past.
If you find the exhibits in these museums too technical, then try the Parasitology Museum.
This museum educates visitors about parasitic lifeforms, for example pinworms and roundworms, and the health hazards that come with them. Visitors can learn about the life cycles of various parasites, as well as how to avoid contracting them.
There are also displays of venomous insects and wildlife such as snakes. One of the most stunning exhibits is the 75cm wide scrotum, which was removed from a man afflicted with elephantiasis.
There are two more museums in the hospital compound. The first is the Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory, which contains exhibits covering the evolution of primates over the past 70 million years, with a focus on humans when they first came into the picture several million years ago. There are also prehistoric tools and pottery on display.
And last, but not least, is the Congdon Anatomical Museum, which reveals how the different systems of the human body function.
Siriraj Medical Museum is open from 9am to 4pm, Mondays to Saturdays. Admission is 20 baht for Thais and 40 baht for foreigners. Children and students get in free of charge. Photography is not allowed inside.
(Sources: Bangkok Post)
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