Although probably not immediately recognized as a country of art, a visit to Thailand's premier art gallery soon explodes this myth. Opened in 1974, the gallery exhibits traditional Thai art (starting around the 17th century) and moves through the ages to contemporary paintings, sculptures and graphic art created by current local artists. The gallery also houses pieces created by His Majesty the King.
The works on show provide an insight into a very Thai dimension to the medium - Thai art is unique and recognizable in its style. The displays also show clearly how the schools of art such as cubism influenced (but not dominated) the local approach. Especially where contemporary art is concerned, this is an art lover's gallery. As such, if this not your persuasion, the gallery may not warrant an exclusive visit, unless of course you have plenty of time on your hands.
Details: Admission to the gallery is 10 Baht and opens Wednesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00 (but closed on national holidays). It is only 200 metres from the National Museum.
How to get there: One of the quickest ways to get there is Express Boat, getting off at Banglampoo Pier. Walk down the river to Pinklao Bridge, go under the bridge and walk towards Sanam Luang. Turn right and the National Museum is on the right. Go straight on for 200 metres and you will see it.
Chao Fa Road, Ko Rattanakosin District
Opposite the National Theater
Bangkok, 10200 Thailand
Tel: 0-2282 2639; 0-2281 2224
Website (Thai Language): www.thailandmuseum.com/national_gallery/national_gallery.htm (although an alternative choice might be http://www.rama9art.org/ for English)