Inside the Nang Yai museum//Photo by Dae Warunee
Despite its historically rich background, Sing Buri – a province in Central Thailand – is far from a typical tourist destination for either foreign and local visitors. Situated adjacent to the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya and once serving as King Narai’s capital, Lop Buri, Sing Buri can sometimes be overshadowed.
Nevertheless, this province boasts its own uniqueness, particularly for those who are culture enthusiasts. Thai PBS World highly recommends a day trip that includes three main museums, excluding the province’s most popular museum and its landmark, Bang Rachan. This journey will take visitors on an enjoyable ride down memory lane.
Grand Puppet (Nang Yai) Museum at Wat Sawang Arom
One of the largest collections of Nang Yai in Thailand can be found inside Wat Sawang Arom. The museum is important evidence of Nang Yai’s close relationship with Buddhist temples both in the past and in the present. There are nearly 300 leather puppets at the museum, used for several Ramayana episodes including “Suek Yai” (“The Grand Battle”). Sing Buri’s Nang Yai museum is also an active facility with performances given on various occasions, and where masters pass on the art of making Nang Yai crafts and performing to the new generation.
Wat Sawang Arom, Ton Pho, Mueang Sing Buri, Sing Buri 16000
Tel : 036-543 150
The “Mae Nam Noi” Kiln Museum
This archaeological site is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The area of Mae Nam Noi (Noi River) functioned as an “industrial estate” for pottery production in ancient times. Visitors will be amazed by the size of an exceptionally large kiln that has been remarkably well preserved. A shelter has been built around it, and a platform allows visitors to walk around and peer into the kiln. The remains at this site represent the largest historical pottery production area of the Ayutthaya period, spanning from the 7th century BC to the middle of the 18th century.
The second building houses a replica of the kiln and showcases pottery discovered at the site. They include four-handled earthenware jars, clay water drainage pipes, and various building accessories. The significant number of four-handled earthenware jars suggests that they served as containers for various types of goods. This site underscores the area’s significance as a major pottery producer, supplying not only domestic but also foreign markets.
Mae Nam Noi Kiln Site
Open 8.30am-4.30pm (close on Monday)
Choeng Klat Bang Rachan Sing Buri 16130
Tel 036-520 030 / 036-521 512
Museum Sing Buri
Located within a historic landmark – the colonial-style building built in 1911 that once served as the city hall – the Sing Buri Museum is a time-saver for those with little background knowledge about the province. Visitors can virtually explore important temples and their significant Buddha images. This museum serves as a new cultural learning hub, featuring a permanent exhibition titled “Treasures of Sing”.
This exhibition narrates the story of Sing Buri through its history, society, people, wisdom, culture, and urban development, spanning from its inception to the present day.
Visitors can engage in a multimedia presentation that makes learning history enjoyable. Certain sections of the exhibition provide opportunities for interaction, enhancing the overall learning experience. One particular segment, titled “Good City, Good People, Good Things”, unveils Sing Buri’s hidden treasures scattered across villages, towns, and districts, showcasing the diversity of people, cultures, beliefs, cuisine, and modern elements. For instance, it reveals the secret of the four-handled earthenware jar and explains what makes the Mae La snake-head fish of the province so unique.
The museum also highlights the “Sing Buri Model”, which originates from a millennium-old concept designed to control droughts and floods using canals. It’s believed that Ayutthaya employed a similar model for water management. This intellectual and technological treasure aligns with the legacy of Sing Buri as a “Water City.”
The museum aims to engage and interest visitors, especially children and young people. One corner invites young visitors to use prepared wooden blocks to reconstruct their own dream landscape of Sing Buri.
Bang Phutsa Mueang Sing Buri Sing Buri 10600
Telephone : 036 – 699 388
Kids can play with moving blocks to build their own version of Singburi town//Photo by Samatcha Apaisuwan
By Thai PBS Feature Desk
Source: Thai PBS World