When it comes to Songkla, the most popular attraction is the Golden Mermaid. For decades, thousands of tourists will visit Songkla for a day trip to visit the golden mermaid. This has been the norm for decades until a couple of years ago, the locals and the council decided to make the old town the reason for tourists to visit and stay for at least a night. One of the main attractions of the Songkla Old Town is the Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama IX.
King Rama IX is the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri dynasty, titled Rama IX reigning from 9 June 1946 to 2016. King Rama IX is well respected and loved by the Thais as the King was involved in many social and economic development projects the help the poor.
If you visited the Songkla Old Town in these few years, you might have spotted the transformation of the area. There are new road signs in English, many new street arts around the old town area as well as new hotels and attractions.
Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama IX is located at one of the old Sino-Portuguese style houses and it has been renovated to turn into a museum.
The owner is Krajang Jaruprukphan, 80 and he is the owner of a goldsmith in Hatyai.
In an interview with Bangkok Post a few years ago, he said that “I never thought that one day I would have the chance to have my own gallery.” When he learned that the house was for sale, he saw the opportunity. As a businessman who likes to collect old Chinese items, he knew that he would renovate the building to exhibit his collections.
“I want to bring back the glory days of Songkhla when the town was busy with traders and tourists,” he said, adding that Ban Nakhon Nai would help attract more tourists.
He wanted his project to attract tourists to his hometown. Krajang spent about 30 million baht to buy the house and another old four-storey building next to it. The budget also covered renovation work.He named the museum Ban Nakhon Nai according to the name of Nakhon Nai Road where the museum is located. Krajang designed his own museum. He has a picture of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s parents holding the prince baby on an exposed concrete wall next to the entrance gate. He has a dedicated room to honour King Rama IX.
It is an old Sino-Portuguese building when we passed by. However, when we enter the building, we are transported to the King Rama IX museum.
There are many King Rama 9 collections which include his sculpture as well as the photos of his royal highness.
We can spend a long time here looking at each and every photo of King Rama IX. The walls are filled with many unique and unseen photos of the late King.
Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama 9 also offers a glimpse of the layout of the old Sino-Portuguese building.
Another cool thing about Baan Nakhon Nai Museum is there is a courtyard and there is a well too.
You will notice there are many small to large Chinese vases throughout the museum. Strangely, some of these vases are cut in half and placed on the walls as decorations. Thus, there are also vintage Chinese chairs, folding screens, wood-carved beds and benches. There are also many sizes of ceramic plates and dolls that are used for wall decorations that make this place so unique.
The Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama IX is one of the attractions at Songkla Old Town. You can also check out various street art scattered around the old town as well as attractions like the city pillar, the golden mermaid, and the local food!
There are many local maps scattered around the Songkla Old Town and you can either walk and drive around. There are many street arts in the old town and each of them offers different visuals and meanings.
In total, there are more than 10 street arts or mural arts painted in different locations of Songkhla Old Town.
For Golden Mermaid statue, it is located at Hat Samila or Samila Beach which is in Songkhla Old Town. This is a very popular tourist attraction and hence you can see many retail shops near the beach.
We have visited this golden mermaid statue a few times and it is located on the beautiful Samila beach.
You will see a crowd lining up for photos for this iconic golden mermaid. The statue is built in 1966 and it is also known as Nang Nguek Thong.
This is Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama IX at Songkla Old Town, you can find parking around the area if you plan to drive here. There are no entrance fees to the museum.
Please do spend some time to explore Songkla old town when you revisit this part of Southern Thailand. You can also read all our stories about Songkla at https://www.placesandfoods.com/category/thailand/thailand-songkhla. Songkla is about 45 minute drive from Hatyai.
Baan Nakhon Nai Museum of King Rama IX Songkla Old Town
Opening Hours: 9am-6pm on weekdays and until 7pm on weekends.
Address: 117 ถนน Nakhonnai, Tambon Bo Yang, Mueang Songkhla District, Songkhla 90000, Thailand
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