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Bangkok Travelbug November 12 The Bottle Art Museum Pattaya
October 29, 2012

The Bottle Art Museum Pattaya

Welcome back to the Bangkok Travelbug. This month we visit a very different and special place. We have heard of miniature ships built in bottles. This museum displays miniature houses and buildings from different parts of the world built in bottles!

Contents (click on the link to go directly to the topic)

Background to the Bottle Art Museum

The Bottle Art Museum Pattaya was the brainchild of Pieter bij de Leij an artist from the Netherlands who started the museum in 1995. He had one student Prapaisri Taipanich who has carried on his legacy. She owns the museum now which has more than 300 exhibits.

Other bottle art museums feature ships in bottles like museums in Enkhuizen Netherlands, Hamburg Germany, Liverpool England and San Francisco USA. Such exhibits are either part of maritime museums or in dedicated bottle art museums.

However this museum specialises in building houses, places of worship and other famous structures in bottles. Many of these buildings have interesting stories too.

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Organisation of the Bottle Art Museum

The Bottle Art Museum is organised into a number of rooms.

  • A reception room is the first room visitors enter where they view a video presentation on the museum and its work. The room has desks and chairs and appears to serve as a class room as well

  • Room 1 – for displays requiring up to three months work

  • Room 2 – for displays requiring four to five months work

  • Room 3 – for masterpieces that require up to a year of work

  • Souvenir shop and canteen

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Creating bottle art

The video presentation in the reception room gives us an idea of the painstaking process in making bottle art.

  • Step 1 - Assemble the desired model from small pieces of wood and paint it

  • Step 2 - Select a bottle of suitable shape and size and clean it thoroughly

  • Step 3 – Place plasticine at the base of the bottle to secure the model

  • Step 4 – Dismantle the model and number the pieces in the order in which they are to be reassembled

  • Step 5 - With tweezers place the first piece in the bottle then apply glue to the second piece and stick on to the first piece in the bottle. Wait for the glue to dry, then repeat this process with the other pieces in the correct sequence. This is the most painstaking stage

  • Step 6 - Use a paint brush with a bent tip to touch up the parts of the model that have been glued

  • Step 7 - Decorate the area around the model as desired

  • Step 8 – Clean the exterior of the bottle of all smudges and stains

Classes on bottle art are also conducted and those interested can call + 66 3842 2957.

Let’s take a tour of this special museum to view the exquisite pieces of bottle art.

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Bottle Art Museum – Room 1

Room 1 displays several models of old houses from various parts of the world. These models took one to three months to complete.

Kariang (Karen) house in Mae Jan, Chiang Rai

The Kariang (Karen) are one of the six major hill tribes living in northern Thailand in the region of the Golden Triangle. They originate from Mongolia and later migrated to Myanmar and Thailand.

House made form artillery ammunition boxes, Laos

Simple thatched roof house of old in the Golden Triangle,
northern Thailand

Home of St Francis of Assisi, Assisi Italy

Francesco Bernadone (1181 – 1226) was born in the town of Assisi, Umbria in Italy. Born to a rich family, Francesco led a wild life as a young man. As he grew older, a change came over him. He forsook his family and wealth and lived in poverty as a wandering preacher caring for the poor.

He founded the Franciscan Order. After his death, he was canonised as St Francis of Assisi. As he was kind to animals he was also made the patron saint for animals.

Here are some old 18th and 19th century houses from the Netherlands.

Temple complex – centrepiece display in Room 1

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Bottle Art Museum - Room 2

Room 2 features models of religious buildings from various parts of the world in bottles. These pieces took approximately four to five months to complete.

Wat Phra Singh Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra Singh (Temple of the Lion Buddha) was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu (reign 1337 – 1355) of the Mangrai dynasty that ruled the Lanna kingdom in northern Thailand.

The temple was built to keep the bones of the king’s father King Kham Fu. The temple was originally called Wat Li Chiang Phra. The name change was because the Phra Singh Buddha image (Lion Buddha) was housed there in 1367.

There is another temple by the same name in Chiang Rai.

Kinakuji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Kinakuji Temple, popularly known as the Golden Pavilion, is an UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s known to be in existence since the early 13th century.

The building was originally home of a former Shogun (hereditary military rulers of Japan from the 12th – 19th century). Upon his death the building was converted to a Zen temple in accordance with his will.

National Theatre, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park, Taipeh, Taiwan

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall opened on 5 April 1976 in memory of the late President Chiang Kai Shek. It’s in the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park where the National Theatre and National Concert Hall are located.

Chiang Kai Shek assumed the leadership of the Chinese National Party (Kuomintang or KMT) after the death of the founder Dr Sun Yat Sen.

Since 1931 the KMT was in constant struggle with the Communist Party of China, a conflict that was only interrupted by the Japanese invasion in 1937 and occupation of the coastal region of China.

In 1945, after the end of World War II, the Communists and Nationalists clashed in an all-civil war. Under severe Communist pressure in 1949, the Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan where they set up the Republic of China with Chiang as the first President.

Pah Jeh Temple, Yunnan, China

Church in the Netherlands

Library in Wat Rakhang, Thonburi, Bangkok

Wat Rakhang is on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River. It’s about a km north Wat Arun the Temple of Dawn. The library was the home of King Rama I before he became king.

After the fall of Ayutthaya, Thonburi became the capital in 1768 under King Taksin. After his death the capital moved over to Bangkok when King Rama I started the reign of the Chakri kings.

Stupa Pha That Luang Vientiane

Pha That Luang, the most important religious structure in Laos, is located about five km north-east of Vientiane. It was first built in 1566 based on the ruins of a Khmer monastery dated around the 12th C.

Wars with neighbouring countries in the 19th C, resulted in the destruction of the shrine. It was reconstructed in 1930.

Bell tower, Wat Boonsrimanekron,
Saraburi, Thailand

Catholic Church in the Philippines

Centrepiece display in Room 2

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Bottle Art Museum - Room 3

The last room features the masterpieces, work that took up to a year.

Log cabin, USA

House in Jordan

Cape Bojeador lighthouse, Philippines

The Cape Bojeador lighthouse was built by the Spanish and first operated on 30 March 1892. The lighthouse is 16.3 m high and located at the north tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines on top of Vigia Nagparitan hill.

It serves to guide ships navigating round the north of the Philippines to the Pacific to the east or South China Sea to the south.

Doi Tung Royal Villa, Chiang Rai

The Doi Tung Royal Villa in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand is the residence of the late HRH the Princess Mother, Princess Srinakarindra (1900 – 1995). It’s built with a harmonious blend of Lanna and Swiss architecture.

Doi Tung is the name of the highest mountain in Chiang Rai at 1,389 m above sea level. The area is very mountainous and home to several hill tribes.

Doi Tung is also the name of a development project initiated by the Princess Mother to help the impoverished hills tribes who were surviving on slash and burn cultivation and opium growing. The project covered the mountainous area of 15,000 hectares with about 11,000 inhabitants.

The project provided basic health and education services to the hills tribes. The hills tribes were also encouraged to grow cash crops, make hand-woven products and other handicraft. These products were bought by the foundation and marketed in major Thai cities.

Doi Tung Cafes sell coffee and coffee beans grown in this area. Doi Tung Lifestyle shops sell hand-woven apparel and other products. The hills tribes stopped growing opium and destroying the forests and the area was gradually reforested.

The hill tribes fondly referred to the Princess Mother as Mae Fah Luang (Royal Mother from the Sky) as she frequently visited their villages which are only accessible by helicopter.

The Princess Mother passed away on 18 July 1995. With her passing, the hill tribes people lost a great patron and benefactor.

Shop house in Thonburi, Bangkok

Thonburi is a district on the west bank of the Chao Phraya across from Bangkok. Administratively it’s still part of Bangkok city. For the stretch of the Chao Phraya River that passes through Bangkok, Thais refer to the west bank as the Thonburi bank and the east bank as Bangkok.

Tower in Parc de l’Espanya Industrial,

Parc de l’Espanya Industrial is a public park in Barcelona built in 1985 in an area of 4.6 hectares (11 acres). The park was the site of a former textile company called L’Espaya Industrial hence the name adopted by the park.

The grounds of the park has several sculptures and a huge artificial lake the banks of which are lined with towers. The model in the bottle represents one of those towers.

In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Parc de l’Espanya Industrial was the venue for the weight-lifting competitions.

Buddhapadipa Temple, Wimbledon London

Buddhapadipa Temple is a Thai Buddhist temple in Wimbledon London. Built in 1980 in traditional Thai architecture, it’s the first Buddhist temple in the United Kingdom.

Here’s a masterpiece that’s too good to miss.

Buddha in a bottle

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Souvenir shop

When you have finished touring the three exhibition rooms, the exit door will lead to the souvenir shop with a canteen selling refreshments. The souvenirs on sale are very attractive bottle art.

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Map to the Bottle Art Museum

View Bottle Art Museum, Pattaya in a larger map

Getting to the Bottle Art Museum

The museum is presently located within the premises of the Kingston Park College which is directly opposite Mini Siam a theme park with scaled down models of places in Thailand.

The location is approximately at the 143 km mark along Sukhumvit Road. The other main landmark in the area is the Bangkok Hospital, Pattaya.

Just enter the main gate of the college and follow the signboard, the entrance to the museum is the rear of the main building.

Admission fees

Adults 200 baht
Children 100 baht
Thais 100 baht

Opening times

The Bottle Art Museum is open every day from

0830 – 1730 hours


Bottle Art Museum
297/1-5 Sukhumvit Road
Tambon Nakluea
Amphur Bang Lamung
Chonburi 20150

Tel: +66 3842 2957

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Where to stay – hotels in Pattaya

For hotels in Pattaya

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Other attractions in Pattaya

Pattaya floating market

Sanctuary of Truth

Viharn Sien

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Next month

The Silverlake Vineyard, Pattaya

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Eric Lim

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