Lamphun City Museum of Lamphun Municipality.
A count all the museums in Northern Region; especially in Chiang Mai and the
nearby provinces would reveal that there are simply hundreds of them.
Mostly, their purpose is to be a depository for ancient artifacts and
historical information to reveal times gone by to modern generations.
Sometimes, the objects are old Thai currency or ancient property more than
1,000 years old, which give an insight of what life was like in times gone
brands of matches.
Recently, some groups of enthusiasts have come up with
the great idea to collect artifacts older than 60 years which are in danger
of vanishing from our lives; and have built a city museum in which to store
and exhibit them. This museum is Anek Nawimul’s House Museum, located on
Poland Canal, Phutthamonthol No.2. The museum exhibits old books, cameras,
tin toys, etc. and takes the form of a small curio shop. This museum has
received enthusiastic support and earned rave reviews from everyone who has
visited. It is considered the most interesting city museum in Chiang Mai at
this moment, as there is still no other museum, which seriously exhibits
such a wide variety of interesting vintage objects.
In the Northern Region, but located just outside Chiang Mai, there is one
other place which is very interesting and certainly worth a visit. This
place is called “Muang Lamphun City Museum”, temporarily located at Sam
Thahan (Three soldiers) petrol station and is believed to be the last one of
its kind in Thailand.
Narenthr Phanyaphoo, who collects ancient properties and
is the person who campaigns on behalf of the Muang Lamphun City Museum
project, said that this museum was a showcase of what the center of
Lamphun’s trade area looked like 50 years ago. Nowadays, the shops that
once sold produce in this thriving market town have vanished from our life
owing to changes in modern living. It is very noticeable that the old-style
single storey grocery stores, or what was called “Huean Pae” are rarely
seen because there have been replaced by modern grocery stores like
Muang Lamphun City Museum affords us a glimpse of yesteryear by exhibiting
properties such as “Areesawad” stationary shop, “Lamphun Osoth”
pharmacy, “Tiao Phairat” grocery store, “Kankraithong” barber,
“Ko-ehng” cafeteria and “Jek Kao” photo shop. There is also a
simulation of an old-style theater called “Hariphunchai Drama” which was
a popular feature of Lamphun 50 years ago. These shops are faithful
reconstructions of the shops in “Huean Pae” style on Yongyos Road and
Wang Sai Road.
Narenthr also said that he got the idea of a city museum
from a photo exhibition of pictures of old shops in Lamphun, becoming even
more inspired after visiting Anek Nawigmul’s House Museum in Chiang Mai.
He, too, thought about the many small local museums with a collection of
objects, which, by themselves, are not sufficiently interesting to stimulate
visitors. He decided to bring them under one roof and make this city museum.
Muang Lamphun City Museum is a fine example of a contemporary museum that
offers an authentic picture of life as it used to be 50 years ago. This
museum provides the perfect choice for those people who like to visit
museums. Importantly, it does not need to pay for guides; instead, parents
and grandparents can explain the past stories to their children who visit
Narenthr also said that this museum will never become jaded because there is
a different contemporary exhibition each month; such as a bicycle
exhibition, a clock exhibition, a turntable exhibition and a photo
exhibition. There is also old-style movies; such as Inseethong (Golden
Eagle), Yak Wat Jaeng (Giant at Temple of Dawn), Hanuman, Ultraman, etc.
There are also contemporary products exhibited in the museum; such as
Cat-brand chewing gum, marbles, tops and scientific balloons.
Lamphun Municipality supports Muang Lamphun City Museum. In the future, the
municipality will use a larger building known as Khum Ton Kaew, owned by
Chao Ratchasamphanthawong (Chao Phuthawong Na Chiang Mai), and built in the
reign of King Rama VI. The municipality rents this building from Lamphun
Chinese Association and in the future, Lamphun will become the center of
museum tourism. Those who are interested in visiting the museum or wish to
contribute old objects can visit at Sam Thahan petrol station, Lee Gate
Junction, Tel. 0-4611-2500.
objects used in daily life.