Chaiya National Museum: Exploring Southern Thai Heritage in Surat Thani455
BY The Bear Travelers

Chaiya National Museum: Exploring Southern Thai Heritage in Surat Thani

A typical visitor to Thailand may have spent just a few hours in Surat Thani. As a transit hub to the Thai islands on the east coast, many travelers arrive and depart on the same day, often missing the country's hidden gems. However, we recommend exploring Surat Thani, as you'll discover delicious Thai cuisine, beautiful beaches, hidden waterfalls, and unique attractions that few have heard of.

Surat Thani Thailand Three Buddha Statue Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan Ancient Temple Chaiya Districtsurat Thani Province South Thailand

Today, we'd like to introduce a distinctive attraction in Surat Thani: the Chaiya National Museum. Situated at Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya in Tambon Wiang, the Chaiya National Museum is a renowned museum focusing on ancient and archaeological artifacts in Surat Thani. It is known for its extensive collection of genuine items, including prehistoric and historical artifacts, local handicrafts, and shadow puppets.

If you're planning a trip to Surat Thani, don't miss the opportunity to explore this fascinating cultural destination.


The Bear Travel  Fun Fact!

If you are looking for big deals while traveling to Surat Thani, you can plan your trip during spring.



Surat Thani's Most Renowned Historical Museum

Buddha Relic Pagoda Stupa Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan Surat Thani

The Chaiya National Museum is at Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya in Tambon Wiang, Amphoe Chaiya, Surat Thani. It is a prominent historical and archaeological museum in the region, renowned for its collection of prehistoric and historical artifacts, local handicrafts, and a shadow puppet.

The museum comprises two main buildings:

  • The first building showcases stone and bronze statues from the ancient city of Chaiya, including deities like Vishnu and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

  • The Chaiya National Museum's second building houses prehistoric artifacts from Dvaravati, Srivijaya, Lop Buri, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya. This museum section also features art objects and various crafts alongside these relics.

What sets the Chaiya National Museum apart is its focus on the era when Chaiya served as a trading hub on the route between India and Southeast Asia.

The museum's visiting hours are from Wednesday to Saturday, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 20 THB for Thai citizens and 100 THB for foreigners.


The Bear Travel  Trivia

After a visit to the Chaiya National Museum, if you need to explore the glamour of other tourist places, the well-known Phra Borommathat Chaiya is located next to it. You can similarly go to another outstanding destination, Suan Mokkh Aphalara M.       



Unveiling the Rich History of Surat Thani

Ubosot Chedi Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Temple People Travel Visit Pray Respect Buddha Statue Surat Thani Thailand

The museum, originally named the "Surat Thani National Museum," was founded in 1935 by Phra Kru Sophon Jitsikaram, the Chaiya Ecclesiastical District Officer. He was responsible for safeguarding and collecting various artworks and artifacts from the temple, local authorities, and the royal courtyard. This led to the Fine Arts Department officially recognizing the establishment as a "small museum."

1950, under the leadership of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, the director of Chaiya National Museum, construction of a new museum building commenced. The funding for this project was derived from the proceeds of book sales entitled "The archaeological site around Ban Don Bay." The building was designed using traditional Thai architecture and was completed in 1952.

Subsequently, in 1956, a second museum building was constructed on the north side, featuring a larger footprint. This expansion was made possible through an annual budget allocation from the Fine Arts Department and a government appropriation sponsored by Pol. Maj. Phat Nilwattananon, a member of the House of Representatives in Surat Thani.

The new building, known as "Sala Nilwattanaon," was established when the temple required modernization. Consequently, all the sculptures and monuments were relocated from the temple premises and exhibited in the newly constructed building.



Exploring the Museum's Nearby Sightseeing Spots 

Chedi Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Temple Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Temple Chaiya District Surat Thani Thailand

Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Ratchaworawihan

The Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Ratchaworawihan is a Buddhist temple renowned for its ancient relics and religious significance. It's within walking distance of the Chaiya National Museum, making it an ideal destination for a day filled with history and local culture.


Oyster Farm

Visit the oyster farms in Surat Thani, and you'll discover a new meaning of 'fresh.' Kratae and Than Thong canals host thriving oyster farms lovingly tended by locals. If interested, you might arrange tours and have insightful conversations with the farm owners.


RockFish Museum

The RockFish Museum proudly displays stone carvings and sculptures depicting marine life found in Thailand. Established in 1992 by a fisherman, this museum is a must-visit for zoologists and marine life enthusiasts, offering unique insights into the aquatic world.


Namtok Vibhavadi

Namtok Vibhavadi is a picturesque waterfall and a popular weekend getaway. This waterfall is conveniently located on the way to the Donsak Ferry airport, and you can reach it by taking direct buses. Some other bus routes also include stops at this beautiful natural attraction.


Monkey Training College

A fascinating stop near the Donsak ferry terminal is the Monkey Training College, where monkeys are trained to become skilled coconut collectors. Run by a Thai-Canadian couple, this facility ensures the monkeys' well-being and employs a reward-based training system devoid of cruelty.



Khanom, situated in southern Thailand, is a tranquil beach town in the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province district. It boasts incredible natural wonders, with its backdrop against the Gulf of Thailand making it a hidden gem. Enjoy various activities, including swimming in the crystal-clear waters, sunbathing on the pristine beaches, and exploring mystical caves.



Why Visit the Chaiya National Museum IN Surat Thani

Buddha Relic Pagoda Stupa Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan in Surat Thani

The rich history of Surat Thani is beautifully unveiled at the Chaiya National Museum. This museum, located in Thailand's most prominent southern province, is a treasure of historical artifacts and handicrafts that narrate the region's fascinating past. What sets this museum apart is its vast and extensive collection, predominantly from when Chaiya was a pivotal stopover on the ancient trade route connecting India and Southeast Asia.

Though it may appear modest initially, the Chaiya National Museum accommodates two substantial buildings. The first building proudly showcases a remarkable array of art from bygone eras, featuring stone and bronze sculptures that once graced the ancient city of Chaiya. Notable among these sculptures are depictions of the God Vishnu and Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.

The second building, known as the last one, is a treasure trove of various artifacts from prehistoric times to significant historical periods, including Dvaravati, Srivijaya, Lop Buri, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya. In addition to these historical relics, this museum section also houses an impressive collection of art objects and various noteworthy works, shedding light on the region's rich heritage.



How to Visit the Chaiya National Museum IN Surat Thani?

Aerial View Highway Traffic Road with Cars View Amazing Aerial View Road Skyline Long Bridge Surat Thani Thailand

To reach the place from Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), you have several transportation options:

  • By Car: You can drive from Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) to Surat Thani by highway no. 35 (Rama II Road or Thonburi-Pak Tho Road). This route will take you through various provinces; the total distance is approximately 685 kilometers.

  • By Bus: Bus services run from Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) to Surat Thani daily. These buses often serve routes to popular destinations like Samui and Phangan islands. The estimated travel time is between 10 to 12 hours.

  • By Train: You can also opt for a train journey. Trains depart from Hua Lamphong railway station in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok). Different types of trains are available, such as conventional, rapid, express, and private express trains. After reaching Udon Thani, you must take a bus to Surat Thani. The total travel time is typically around 9 to 11 hours.
  • By Airplane: You can fly from Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) to Surat Thani for a quicker option. There are daily flights available for this route.


These options should provide flexibility to choose the different modes of transportation that best suit your preferences and schedule.


The Bear Travel  Did you know?

The Museum has a broad collection of various artifacts dating back to prehistoric times.




Maps & More Information 

Chaiya National Museum is in Tambon Wiang, opposite Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Ratchaworawihan. This is a national museum in the classification of History and archaeology. It is responsible for the protection of antiques and objects of art, which are the property of the state, and to empower public relations services. So it is a must-visit during your Thailand culture exploration.

Chaiya National Museum Exploring Southern Thai Heritage in Surat Thani


Entrance Fees

20 THB for Thai citizens.
100 THB for Foreigners.
FREE for children/students.

Business Address

155 156 Wiang, Chaiya District, Surat Thani 84110

Business Hours

09:00 - 16:00  |  Wednesday to Sunday

Phone Number

+66 (0) 77-431-066

Email Address


Chaiya National Museum


9.3844991, 99.1802978



Written by
The Bear Travelers

Hi! We're The Bear Travelers, passionate about exploring the world with friends, family, and loved ones. Join us on our spectacular journey as we dive into chosen destinations and share unforgettable experiences, capturing the essence of travel through engaging posts.


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