Bangkok’s Forensic Pathology Museum
A behind the scene look at crime scene investigation
This was not something that would have been on my radar at all. Although some are magnificent, I often find many museums to be a little dry for my tastes, and even the word museum might send me walking in the other direction. I’d much rather explore the sites in which their artifacts originate! This museum, of course, is a little more challenging in that respect. I don’t think there’s ever been a scenario where I’d rather jump the police line of a crime scene to get a closer look at what’s going on. It’s just not my cup of tea (and all the power to you if it’s yours!). The science of forensic pathology I find fascinating mind you, and I used to spend countless hours watching CSI Las Vegas when it was at it’s pinnacle on the air waves. That helped formulate my primary spark of interest in this particular museum.
Upon entering this wing of the first section (Ellis Pathological Museum), you are welcomed by some fairly tame displays, illustrating the history of forensic pathology in Thailand. I must forewarn you that almost everything written in this area is in Thai. Just through the displays alone, you can see just how far the technology has advanced, and the long standing history that has existed here in Thailand.
The next room is one that is not for the squeamish. It is a room filled with pre-natal cadavers. Most of them had varying defects which caused them to die before birth. They have all been preserved in plastic encasings and are on display on podiums around the room. One might think this is morbid, but it is through the research done on these corpses, that forensic pathology is able to help understand these complications, and help in preventing similar situations in the future. The most interesting, in my own opinion, was the genetic mutation of one of them which caused the fetus to develop with two heads.
Following this, there are several more rooms of various themes. One of the rooms focuses on heart complications. Another corridor focuses on head traumas, with display cases of the skulls in which the forensic pathology research was performed (with photographs of the heads prior to the research above them). There was also a room dedicated to the victims of the 2004 Tsunami which devastated much of South East Asia! It is a darkly lit room, with a mannequin reenactment of the chaos that ensued during the forensic pathology investigations which were taking place around the clock during the aftermath.
The following section (now entering the Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum) is said to contain one of the highlights of the whole medical museum. It is curiously placed nonchalantly amidst the endless shelves of past evidence, skulls, mummified cadavers and other pieces from the forensic pathology investigations. The highlight is the remains of Thailand’s first serial killer of modern history, Si Ouey Sae Urng, known also as “Si Quey”. He was a cannibal who preyed on children in the 1950s. Though execution is not common place in modern Thailand, this particular beast was sentenced to death, and then put on display to deter future violent crimes of this nature.
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Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.
Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).
*Please Note: This is not recommended for a “first date” – though a “4 month dating” celebration (as we were doing) seems to be ok… as long as you clear it with your partner first.
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Do you have any interest in Forensic Pathology? Have you ever been to a museum like this before? What’s the most interesting museum you’ve been to, and what made it so great?
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