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New Bangkok Museum Dedicated for King Taksin at ICONSIAM

Zheng Zhao Junk ICONSIAM floating museum
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ICONSIAM has teamed up with Right Man Co Ltd to present a new travel experience – the first of its kind in ASEAN with the Zheng Zhao Floating Museum. 

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Thonburi, the former capital of the Kingdom, and the legacy of its ruler King Taksin the Great, the life-size statue of King Taksinholding a sword is enshrined on the deck of the museum. 

King Taskin has been a revered King among Thai-Chinese descendants and his life and works across all fields from warring combat operations, rebuilding the nation to trading skills to make Thonburi the major port city along the Chao Phraya River are exhibited in the museum that is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm at ICONSIAM pier (pier 5) from now onwards.

The junk returns in grandeur style this year and the Si MahaSamut Junk is transformed into the Zheng Zhao Junk named after the Chinese name of King Taksin which means the King of Siam (the royal name the Chinese Qing Dynasty called him). The dock is enshrined with the life-size, standing statue of King Taksin the Great holding a sword. The statue is crafted by sculptors who spend 40 days to make the perfect statue in honor of the great warrior King in Thai history. Facial features and posture are based on the Grand Statue of King Taksin and his statue at his shrine in the Old Palace (which is under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy). Every process from casting, carving with fine clay to molding, construction, and coloring is painstakingly crafted to make sure that the result will reflect King Taksin as the great, strong and decisive commander. The museum also celebrates the King's vision to choose Thonburi as a new capital of Siam after the fall of Ayutthaya Kingdom as well as his all-round abilities to urgently rehabilitate the nation until it has been civilized today.

ICONSIAM floating museum

After onboard, the route will start from the top to the lower floors. The first room is Caption's Room retelling the history during King Taksin's seven-month efforts to liberate the nation from the Burmese invaders after the second fall of Ayutthaya. King Taskin possessed exceptional skills in both battlegrounds and waterway battles and visitors will bring back to the battle route in winning back the nation. The route began in the eastern province of Chanthaburi where the King took over after the fall of Ayutthaya. There, he ordered to construct and repair the battle boats and gathering the junks of Chinese merchants to be modified for military operation too. Then, he led his fleet to the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. The next room is the Troop Room designed to portray the atmosphere and life of the crews. On display are mattresses, pillows, hammocks and various utensils to pinpoint the existence without much comfort. Sailors had to sleep in a tight communal space, often for several months for the end. Much of the space must be reserved for foods, freshwater, weapons, and other necessary tools. The lowest floor houses the Hall of Civilization displaying products and weapons together with an exhibition featuring major incidents in the reign of King Taksin the Great. The chronology of the wars he fought to unify the kingdom, his initiatives and royal works in administration, society, religions, arts, and cultures as well as Thonburi-China trade relations and diplomacy are also presented to honor his great abilities and contributions to the country.

The state-of-the-art interactive and multimedia maps are used to give visitors memorable experiences as if they are traveling back to the sailing route of the fleet of junks to liberate the kingdom in the Thonburi era. The boats of traders constructed in Siam during that time had been largely adapted from Chinese junks thanks to the long trading tie with Chinese merchants since the Ayutthaya era. King Taksin was ordered to gather and construct many Chinese junks used for waterway battle and his naval troop was the great and significant force to beat the invaders that laid siege to Ayutthaya. The Chinese junk was thus considered as a symbol of the prosperity of Siam. Visitors will also be thrilled with the battle led by the great warrior King in the Projection Mapping technique to illustrate his mastering in warring combat operations as he effectively managed to battle against enemies during his reign to free the kingdom. His royal works and initiatives to rebuild the nation across all fields from administration, society, to religions, arts and cultures as well as his vehement efforts to restore the morale of people are also celebrated in the presentation via a reproduction of the royal play composition of Ramayana, Tripitaka, exhibition boards, and Interactive Mirror allowing visitors to enjoy a role play of citizens living in Thonburi era with a fusion of nationalities. During the 15-year reign, King Taksin the Great had developed the word trade routes by ordering the junks to sail to different places for tying the trading relationship between Thonburi and foreign countries particularly China with his aim to bring the commerce back to life and make Thonburi prosperous. His trading skills are featured through a giant screen with Interactive Scrim technique as well as a display of exported goods of Thonburi and imported products.

All you need to learn about Thonburi and the greatest contributions of the warrior King Taksin can be found at the Zheng Zhao Junk – the one and the only floating museum on the Chao Phraya River. It is open from now onwards, from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm at ICONSIAM pier (pier 5), ICONSIAM on Charoen Nakhon Road. For further information, call 1338 or visit www.iconsiam.com 

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