I remember The Museum of Floral Culture Bangkok for its fabulous flowers and cats! You read it right, the museum not only has an enchanting connection with flowers but also with cats. So, for cat lovers there is another reason to visit the museum. However, there are people like me who are slightly phobic to any animal, however small, harmless and cute. For them dealing with the cats could be the biggest challenge.
The Museum of Floral Culture is the brainchild of the famous Thai floral artist Sakul Intakul. It is located in the Dusit residential area of Bangkok. The building is a 100 year old teak mansion built in colonial style. They discourage photography inside the building but they would happily let you click outside. You can also click picture of the outdoors even when you are within the building.
The museum offers an insight into the role of flowers in the daily life of Thai people. They also highlight the influence of other neighboring countries on their floral culture, including India. Even though I am a big fan of flowers and I love to click flower pictures, I never seriously thought about flowers in our daily life or they way they are used in particular cultures. The area around the museum is equally beautiful. The back yard has a huge lawn, a beautiful pavilion and a lovely water body.
I guess all I could relate to them before the visit was at the reception of a hotel or in a garden. But they are really everywhere, in our weddings, celebrations, even funerals. They also highlight the different Thai styles of flower arrangements. I was quite awestruck by the style that resembled chandeliers! The museum offer workshops for flower arrangements.
I was most attracted by the orchids growing around the place. I saw some that were just hanging with open roots with no soil, nothing to go with the plant other than a frame. I was told that they survive on air and water spray!
The Museum of Floral Culture serves a wonderful tea if you care to stay back and order for it. We sat down and I ordered Vietnamese Lotus Tea which was most delicious. However, I had the the company of numerous playful cats which made me so jumpy and nervous. Actually there is a family idiom that ‘no one says no to tea in the Dwivedi family’ and I guess this was the only time I thought it was not a good idea. The fool that I am around animals, I just could not handle the cats. I was accompanied by the TAT Director, New Delhi, Runjaun Tongrut to the museum and I was doubly conscious that I was making fool of myself. But the nice lady that she is, she never said anything to me and has treated me most kindly ever since!
So, if are in Bangkok and you love flowers and cats do visit the Museum of Floral Culture!
PS. My trip to Thailand was sponsored by TAT New Delhi