Tour an Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I am typically not a museum girl. Usually, I will sprint through them, snapping photos of all the informational placards to read at a later time, if ever. But, after eating bugs at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking market and being bitten by a dozen mosquitos, I figured it might be a good idea to go to an insect museum in Thailand to confirm the exact species of pests that had been the culprits of my torment.

Discreetly positioned on one of the streets in the Chiang Mai city center, there was a dimly lit shop closed off by a bamboo stick, the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders.
Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand

With over 4,000 bug species, this insect museum was off-beat, quirky and a little bit creepy. Right up my alley.

As I approached the door an older man wearing a purposely holey t-shirt came near, Mr. Manop Rattanarithikul. He and his wife were the creators of this incredible bug wonder. He immediately turned on all the lights and welcomed me in, their only guest at the moment.
Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, ThailandInsect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The entrance fee was a mere 100 baht ($3.03 USD) and what you got for your money was a tour of a handful of rooms cluttered with bugs. It was evident that the owners were passionate about what they did. Manop personally showed me around, excited about explaining just about every insect on the bottom floor.

Then he sent me to the upstairs of the insect museum to explore on my own.
Butterfly display at the Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I stood in front of the glass cases filled with colorful butterflies, mesmerized by the many different shades of orange. Now that is one pretty bug I wouldn’t mind collecting.

Then, I moved on to the other critters, most with beady eyes and jagged claws. Many reminded me of the cockroaches and scorpions I had encountered while living in Arizona. Don’t want to relive that.

Happily, what I was seeing here was pinned to a white board and not able to scurry across the floor.
Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand Insect Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand

With hundreds of mosquito species, I quickly realized that finding the little pesky critter that caused my ankles to itch would be close to impossible. That’s okay. I resent them all.

When I was finished, about twenty minutes later, I walked back downstairs to exit. The owner looked at me quizzically, “Are you finished already”?
Did you see the buttery exhibit”
What about the Mosquitos?
“Uh huh”
Did you see the crickets?
He shrugged, slightly offended that I did not spend more time with his passion. That in no way meant that I did not appreciate his passion. That’s one of the best things about passion, it’s different for everyone. What was eerie to me was a beautiful, lifelong dream to him. I respect that.

Is touring an insect museum on your Bucket List of Things to do in Chiang Mai?

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Helpful Resources

Map of Chiang Mai

2018-12-27T13:21:41+00:00February 2nd, 2014|Categories: Asia, QUIRKY, Thailand, TRAVEL|Tags: , , |


  1. The Yum List February 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Ooh creepy!

  2. Mike | Earthdrifter February 3, 2014 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Really makes you appreciate the natural wonder of our world.

    • Annette White February 3, 2014 at 8:38 am - Reply

      True! It was amazing to see how many different species there are of the same kind of bug!

  3. Justyna Maserak February 4, 2014 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Oh my, I love bugs so much! But not dead behind the glass (although mosquitos are an exception) 😉

  4. Zalika @ Hope & Sugar February 5, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Wow!! This is interesting. I had been to Thailand on a work trip and hence didn’t get to see many things… Reading your blog makes me realize how many interesting things I’ve missed. I definitely want to go there again and check out all this!

    • Annette White February 5, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Thailand is filled with interesting thins to see! I hope you make it back one day!

  5. Carl Joe Wright February 7, 2014 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Asia is really fantastic in terms of culture and remnants of its history. from here I’ve seen that Thailsnd is not only vibrant but also rich in its heritage.

  6. Hannah February 19, 2014 at 1:29 am - Reply

    Cool! We were in thailand last month! Sad we didn’t bumped into each other. We are heading to Vietnam soon!

    • Annette White February 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Have fun in Vietnam! I haven’t been there yet, but it’s on my list 😉

  7. Ross March 13, 2014 at 4:17 am - Reply

    That looks a little scary. Not sure if I would like to be alone in a room full of bugs even if they were all dead.

  8. Propane Mosquito Trap July 7, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    LOVE Chiang Mai but I’ve never been the insect museum. Actually I didn’t even know they had one. But for 100 baht, how can you pass that up?! That’s what I love about Thailand…

  9. Muhammad Abdullah October 26, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

    hmmmm…. very interesting pictures, specially the second one with the lady. Nice discovery thanks for sharing!

  10. Thaisnook July 4, 2018 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I haven’t been to the insect museum before but I’d totally add this up to our itinerary the next time we go back to Chiang Mai. I think my kids will definitely love this place. 🙂

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