Bangkok is known for many things – unfortunately, museums are rarely part of the typical tourist bucket list. But if you want to escape the temples, palaces and malls, there is a gateway to a different reality: “Art in Paradise” allows visitors to be part of optical illusions. Fancy being part of a fairytale, a classical painting or on the cover of a magazine? Read my personal review of this museum of optical illusions.
What is Art in Paradise about?
Art in Paradise is a place where optical illusions, technology and our obsession with taking pictures meet. Visitors are invited to be part of 3D illusions. I have to admit, when we arrived, the “sets” for these illusions looked very fake at first sight. However, when you take a picture, they do become realistic.
There are two ways to experience the different illusion set: the first is simply by taking a picture with your phone or camera. The second one is the mobile app of Art in Paradise. Some stations have a sign that you can use the app. It is very simple: you open the app, hold the camera toward the set and there will be an additional optical illusion: wings swinging, water running or soap bubbles. The pictures and videos will be directly saved to your photo album on your phone.
Art in Paradise calls itself a “3D art museum”. I actually would not call it “art museum”. Firstly, if I think about an art museum, I think about exhibited artworks which give credit to the artists. Or, similar, to the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, an experience of a different kind curated by artists. Even though Art in Paradise “borrows” some works by classic artists, they do not always give credit. Furthermore, there was a copy of an artwork of Patrick Hughes without mentioning the artist at all. It rather appeared as if this was a project by the museum. I also struggle with the label “museum” for Art in Paradise. I would rather call it “experience” but maybe I am getting into a discussion which is too philosophical.
Arrive at the museum right when it opens at 10 am to avoid the crowds. Later in the day, the place gets very crowded and it will be challenging to have the sets to your own.
Bring socks – I did not know that you have to take off your shoes to enter the museum. If you feel uncomfortable walking barefoot in a place like that, bring socks.
Download the app beforehand. I am usually reluctant to download apps. But for this particular visit I think it is worth downloading. There are quite a few sets which are more fun with the use of the app. The app is for free.
We spent about 1.5 hours at Art in Paradise. The scenes are located in multiple rooms and floors. It is possible to go back and forth and it will also depend on how many pictures you want to take and how busy the museum is.
Even though I would not consider Art in Paradise an “art museum” in the stricter sense, I had a great time. I liked merging into a different reality and even though I do not like to pose for pictures, it was fun to think about funny ways to use the backgrounds.
In my opinion, it is a great activity with children as well. However, I think the children need to be old enough to understand that the “action” of the museum, i.e. the result of the illusion, will be on the phone. There was a family with a five year old and a toddler. The older child had a great time but the toddler was clearly too young to understand and got bored.
Tickets and Opening Times
A regular adult ticket is BHT 400 (about USD 13, EUR 12). Concessions are available for children and students.
Art in Paradise is open every day from 10 am to 10 pm.
How to Get There
Art in Paradise is located at Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadaphisek, a mall complex near Thailand Cultural Centre MRT station.
The most convenient way is to take the underground (MRT) from Asok. At Thailand Cultural Centre, take Exit 3 and walk up to the road. Turn left when you leave the station and you will see Esplanada right in front of you. Art in Paradise is on the 4th floor.
Alternatively, you can come by taxi or car. There is parking available at the mall. However, considering Bangkok’s traffic, I think the MRT is the fastest and most convenient solution.
More about Bangkok
All information as of the date of publishing/updating and based on the personal visit of Elisabeth Steiger and the information provided at the location and the official website of Art in Paradise. We cannot accept responsibility for the correctness or completeness of the data, or for ensuring that it is up to date. All recommendations are based on the personal experience of Elisabeth Steiger, no fees were received by the recommended places above.