What if I say, you can time travel at Kru Kung museum in Rayong. On entering the museum, one realizes that time has frozen there.
An art teacher by profession, Mr. Kung started collecting antiques in 1974 purely as a hobby. It is his passion for antiques that has made him collect more than 25,000 antiques of daily Thai life in all these years. In the year 2016, his home was turned into a museum and he opened the doors for public viewing.
It was for the first time I had visited a personal museum. The very first impression was overwhelming. I can’t imagine someone who is so passionate and has such perseverance to collect each antique. The very humble, ordinarily dressed Mr. Kung welcomed us with a smile to his treasure trove. When he was asked about the museum, his response was rather simple and impressive. He said, “I just wanted to share my collection with the people. I am not much interested in the business. I had started collecting antiques from the age of 18”. It clearly shows that the museum is nothing but a labour of his undying passion for antiques.
The museum has more than 20 small rooms where different antiques are kept carefully. The ground floor makes you appreciate the Barber Shop, Ladies Tailor shop, Theater, Cafes, Grocery store, Photo Studio, Kitchen, Classrooms, Traditional Thai Bedroom, Toys, etc. The barber shop drew my attention where you can see Combs and Scissors kept the same way it used to be kept in the earlier days.
The photo studio is another interesting place to get a glimpse of a variety of cameras and lights that are used in films and old studios in Thailand.
The tea-stall reminds you of the good old days where people used to sit and actually indulge in conversations rather than using mobile phones in today’s world.
The tailor shop is another interesting corner.
What I liked most in the ground floor was the grocery shop. I was absolutely speechless seeing those old shampoo pouches, detergent pouches, bottles and boxes in different shapes and sizes, wooden shoes, school uniforms, soft drinks bottles, stationery, candy, soap, flour, eggs, Tiffin boxes, canned equipment and what not.
The toy section is another interesting corner where you will see a variety of toys collected from different eras. The private theater room left me awestruck with the Broken wooden chairs and projector, that must have been there from many ages.
The classroom set-up with wooden desk scribbled with many large and small letters reminds you that time of your childhood when innocence ruled over intelligence.
The Thai household replica is also an introduction to the traditional Thai lifestyle.
As I was strolling around, I noticed the good old wall clocks and motionless pendulums which were just apt to remind me that I was on a time machine.
The first floor of the Kru Kung museum is all about gadgets, various currencies, old modelled telephones, weighing machines, variety of Thermo steel flux bottles from different eras, kitchen appliances, measuring cans, different variety of irons, cash boxes, table fans, hanging lamps, home décor, etc.
Among all these collectibles, what really impressed me was the wide variety of irons and telephones. I haven’t seen such a huge collection of things of daily life anywhere else.
The Museum is a reminder of the time that passes by so quickly that we hardly pay attention to the tiniest things that play such an important role in our daily life. We are moving so fast that the simplest things are getting blurred in the journey of life. The Kru Kung museum just takes you back to the time when life used to be simple and people used to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. It also reminds us as to how far and fast we have moved on life. It’s always great to take a pause and appreciate life a bit. Because, you never know whether you will get this opportunity again.
My visit to the Kru Kung Museum was nothing less than an emotional roller-coaster ride that brought back my treasured nostalgia.
Timing: 9:00 am to 16:00 pm
Admission fee: 80 Baht per adult / 30 Baht per child/ 150 Baht for foreigners
Number 162/6 Moo 5. KramKram district in Rayong province 21190
Telephone: 087-129 9405
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