The Birthplace of Thai Currency
If you happen to cross the Chao Phraya River via Rama VIII Bridge, you will notice two gigantic buildings: a chateau and a modern, curved concrete-roof building. Both of them are now under the supervision of the Bank of Thailand (BOT). As we know the main mission of the BOT as the central bank of Thailand is to conduct monetary policy to ensure economic stability for relentless growth. The BOT has another significant role: sharing knowledge culture about the history of Thailand’s currency and economics. Located at Bangkhunprom Palace, a former residence of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand, the BOT is welcoming visitors to its new facility: The Bank of Thailand Learning Center that houses the Bank of Thailand Museum, a hi-tech library, and a co-working space. The Learning Center occupies a building that was once the sole banknote-printing house of Thailand from 1969 to 2006.
Bank of Thailand Museum
Of real interest to visitors is the first room that hosts a banknote-printing exhibition with three massive printing machines on display. Don’t miss the “Security Room”, once regarded as the safest place in the Kingdom. The 5-story museum traces the history of the world’s currencies and Thailand’s money, and highlights the interesting facts about the BOT’s mission and responsibilities. The exhibits are labelled in Braille for the visually impaired and in QR codes.
This museum is open for all to see. Entry is by advance reservation, however. Guided tours are conducted at 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, 11am, 1pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Each tour consists of 80 people at the maximum and takes 90 minutes.
Prince Vivadhanajaya Library
Besides general books, this library is well stocked with financial publications. It boasts the “E-resources Corner”, a multimedia room and a safety room (the BOT’s main archives) where all the printed banknotes, important documents and other records are kept. Furthermore, the meeting room and the auditorium are open for use by working groups.
There are plenty of open spaces reserved for temporary exhibitions and other events. The building is designed for leisure or working purposes. The spacious outdoor garden has spectacular river views.
reLimited-edition banknotes from previous special occasions | Photograph: Teerarat YaemngamlueaThe museum café serves light refreshments with the luxury of a river view. Coffee tables, working corners, power outlets are everywhere. This place would be of interest to those looking for inspiration.
Entry to the Learning Center is free until July 4 when an admission fee of THB 50 is introduced. The center charges an annual membership fee of THB 1,500.
The Bank of Thailand
273 Samsen Road, Watsamphraya
02 283 5353