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Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

Weird Museum in Chiang Mai

The Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders in Chiang Mai is a quirky collection of critters which has to be seen to be believed. Every spare surface of the modest venue on Srimankalajarn Road (a couple of streets over from Nimmanhaemin Road, west of Chiang Mai Old City) is covered with beetles, butterflies, stick insects, stones, fossils and seashells. The effect is like walking into a giant kaleidoscope of brightly coloured carapaces.

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History of the Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

The museum is a labour of love, created over the course of more than half a century by Dr Rampa Rattanarithikul and her husband, Manop. Dr Rampa started out collecting and mounting mosquito specimens as part of her work with a malaria control programme in 1959. She personally named 13 new species of mosquito and the collection now includes examples of all 459 known mosquito species in Thailand.

The Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders opened in 2002 and contains examples of more than 10,000 species, each carefully and responsibly collected by Dr Rampa and Khun Manop. The old couple are generally around the museum and are very enthusiastic about their work and their collection, happy to talk at great length about each exhibit.

Getting to the Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

The museum is located roughly halfway between Chiang Mai Old City and Nimmanhaemin Road. Finding it can be a little tricky, though. The building is fairly unremarkable from the outside and, because of its long and complicated name, asking to be taken there will often confuse taxi and tuk tuk drivers. If you ask them to take you to the Green Palace Hotel, you’ll find the museum next door.

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Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

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