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Chiang Mai, Thailand

The World Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

This extensive collection of dead bugs may be the world's most idiosyncratic and personal insect museum. 

This Thailand insect museum might not be the largest or most extensive collection in the world, but what it lacks in scale, it makes up for in homespun (not a spider joke) charm.

The World Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders is the work of husband and wife team Manop Ratana Rittirong Gul, and Rattana Rumpa Rittirong Gul, both former contributors to the Smithsonian. Rattana is a world leader in mosquito research and has contributed almost 500 species of mosquito to the world record, while her husband is a malaria expert. Together they are a husband and wife bug superteam. The walls of their small, multi-floor museum are covered in glass frames full of pinned insects of all varieties including stick insects, beetles, butterflies, and more. Each of the displays is annotated both by scientific info and personal asides. 

In addition to the insectoid taxidermy, the museum features a number of surreal works of art by the duo. There are paintings of women and horses cavorting with giant mosquitoes and rocks that are described as the eyes and meteors. Together, the eccentric collection is both surreal and a bit creepy. The pieces of art are also given informational plaques, but they are mostly filled with personal bits of mysticism that relate to the making and meaning of the works. 

It’s not every museum that allows such an unvarnished look into the minds of its curators, and the combination of the clinical and personal at the site make for a strange, and unforgettable mixture. 

    

Know Before You Go

72 Srimankalajarn Road Nimmanhemin Soi 13 Muang Chiangmai, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Thailand