Many reviews have been written about Madame Tussauds around the world and what makes this one in Bangkok any different? We all know about the famous wax figurines conceptualized and created by Madame Tussauds in the early French Revolution period and now undertaken by her predecessors around the world.
Did you know significantly that no two Madame Tussauds around the world exhibits all the same wax figures? At least two thirds of the exhibits reflect famous persons and personalities unique to their region. For instance, you will not find the Chamber of Horror exhibit which is unique to London in a Madame Tussauds in Bangkok; rather you would find famous Thai and Asian personalities. So which ever country you go to that has a Madame Tussauds exhibit, do make sure that you go visit at least once. They are also always adding on to their exhibits with new figures.
For those of you who have never been to a life-like wax figure museum, this is a good place to start. Prices for the entrance at Madame Tussauds are also much cheaper in Bangkok comparatively. Going up the lift to the sixth floor and walking a short corridor will bring you to the entrance of the famed Madame Tussauds Bangkok Wax Museum. The wax figures are uncannily realistic from the facial expressions, facial hair and resemble the actual person to perfection. When we looked closely at the figures, it would seem like they can come to life at any moment!
There are a few historical persona displays near the entrance but most notably is the one of Mahatma Gandhi. He is dressed in his white cotton tunic, glasses hanging off the brim of his nose and walking stick in hand, it might just as well really be him walking along the streets of India on a typical day. Other notable historical figures include Mao Tze Tung (never realized he was that tall in person!) and several other heads of state in the “Head of State” room. Here you can pose with the Queen of England and wear a crown to sit next to her, which makes a very regally amusing scene or take a picture with President Obama and the First Lady at his desk in the White House! You can hardly tell the difference between the wax figures and the real person! If you want a good quality picture, there are Madame Tussauds personnel on hand to take a great picture for you and they even know the best angles. There are several heads of states here on display from Asia and around the world such as former Prime Minister of Malaysia, YB Tun Dato’ Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
The new concept of Madame Tussauds in Bangkok means that these figures are not just displayed in glass cases for you to admire, rather it is a unique opportunity for you to interact with these wax figures. Yes, you got that right! You can actually interact with them, which means you can touch them, pose up close with them, hug them or even appear to be right where they are notably famous at doing! You do not get such opportunities at other Madame Tussauds around the world except for a few, so this is the concept where it is no longer just another wax museum! There are also many interactive games you can play in here such as a goal scoring interaction game in the soccer sport section with David Beckham, and trying to score a hole in one with Tiger Woods golfing simulator plus a few others located at different places in the museum. These will keep even the kids entertained!
Those of you who are sport fanatics will relish the time you get to spend with the likes of David Beckham and stand right next to him, or play golf with Tiger Woods, shoot a hoop with Yao Ming ( he is incredibly tall!) among several other famous sport personalities. If that is not enough, go check out the Martial Arts section where lo and behold, you get to pose with Bruce Lee in his famous yellow and black stripped costume, or greet the crowd with Jackie Chan, and spar with Tony Ja, Thailand’s famous martial art expert and movie star from the series “Ombak”. Every picture you take is an opportunity that would not have been possible unless you know these celebrities up close and personal!
Walking further into the hall is the Television Talk Show area where you get to sit in on an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she looks so real right down to the freckles on her skin, or sit next to Will Smith or George Clooney. In the movie celebrity section, there is Bruce Willis, Anthony Hopkins, Jim Cary, and Johnny Depp, Elizabeth Taylor and even Nicholas Cage among many more which would make it a fun time with your favorite movie star, hero or heroine!
Then there are the great music icons like Justin Bieber the teenage superstar, Nickhun and Jay Chou who are local and Asian rising music stars not to mention off course the likes of Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga who unveiled her wax figure while on tour in Bangkok. You can get away with saying you had a photo session with the stars while on holiday in Thailand! Technically you did, even if only with their wax duplicates but none would be the wiser with the uncanny resemblance! For the kids, there is there ever popular Doraemon, which is a first attempt at Japanese anime cartoons and which we hope to see more in the likes of popular manga characters.
After all the exhibits downstairs, make your way one level up to the exhibit where it all started. Here you will meet the effable yet demure Madame Tussaud herself, closely examining one of her beloved head sculptures with a keen eye. Madame Tussaud seems to jump to life as she holds up a head sculpture. In the room is a brief history on how the now famous Madame Tussauds wax museum started from making effigies of politicians during the French Revolution to give a three dimensional tabloid of the political scene in those days and to get the people up close to the sometimes notorious persons of which many were actually sent to the guillotine! You also get to see how wax figures are made from the concept, the rough sculpture and making of the master molds. It is an interesting process because every little detail is recorded and added into the sculpture. You will see how a life-sized wire armature is constructed in the desired pose and layered with clay for the sculpting process. There is also a whole tray of glass eyeballs to choose from for that “just right” look, though it looks kind of eerie to see a whole tray of different colored eyeballs starring right back at you! There is an in progress head sculpture that shows how the face is painted and facial hair as well as a wig is implanted, giving the figure that realistic look. There are also the different types of paint used on the wax figures and how it is applied. You can say that the exhibit on the process of creating these figures are just as interesting as the wax figures themselves and gives you a deep appreciation into the amount of creative work put into each figure to bring it to life.
Just before you leave the exhibits, there is a small counter where you can play with the cold wax method of creating a hand cast. Yes, you can get a wax casting of your own hand as a keepsake and in psychedelic colors too in any pose you want! There is also a small gift shop where you can get other Madame Tussauds memorabilia including the photos professionally taken for you in the exhibits area. You can spend several hours here having fun taking pictures in all poses with your favorite characters and they are very willing models for you, never complaining about the many camera clicks in their faces and all the hype of enthusiastic fans!
Madame Tussauds in Bangkok is a great opportunity for you to mingle and rub shoulders with famous celebrities from around the world, leaders of states and countries, World and Thai royalty, movie stars, talk show celebrities, famous singers, sport personalities and even artists, opera singers and legendary musician and artists or scientist. It is a worth-while experience and not to be missed when you visit Bangkok city and should make Madame Tussauds a part of your sightseeing itinerary for Bangkok as there are not many in the Asian region, the other being in Hong Kong.
The Madame Tussauds in Bangkok is located at the Siam Discovery Center on the 6th floor. Siam Discovery Center, Siam Center and Siam Paragon are all inter-connected so you can actually spend a whole day within these three buildings to shop, sightsee, eat and be entertained and conveniently located at the Siam BTS entrance. Tickets for Madame Tussauds are available in the online booking site at thaitourismguide.com for your convenience. So when you are visiting Bangkok, do make sure you drop by the Siam Discovery Center to do a discovery of your own with the fabulous wax figures of Madame Tussauds incredible wax museum!