It is located on Sanam Chai Road in Phra Nakhon District, in the former building of the Ministry of Commerce. This building won an outstanding award of art and architecture preservation in 2006 from the committee on art and architecture preservation of the Association of Siamese Architects under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King (ASA).
The museum serves as a learning centre on ethnology, anthropology, and other fields related to Thai society and Southeast Asia, in order to instil consciousness and understanding of the Thai people in their history, nation, culture, and localities, as well as connect relative ties with neighbouring countries. New methods of a display with modern media have been applied to enable participation of visitors in learning and understanding historical stories of the Thai nation.
The contents on display in the form of the ‘Essays on Thailand’ have been divided into 16 rooms in the three-storey building. The first floor exhibits rooms of ‘Immersive Theater’ and ‘Typically Thai.’ The second floor displays rooms of the ‘Map Room,’ ‘Bangkok, New Ayutthaya,’ ‘Village Life,’ ‘Change,’ ‘Politics and Communications,’ ‘Thailand and the World,’ ‘Thailand Today,’ and ‘Thailand Tomorrow.’