Rather than sink it, the Royal Thai Navy has turned one of its old warships into a floating museum.
Adm. Chumsak Nakwijit, commander of Royal Thai Fleet, was joined by Rear Adm. Anupong Thaprasob, commander of Frigate Squadron 1, sailors and commanders for the opening of the HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok museum and learning center aboard the frigate anchored in the middle of Sattahip Bay Sept. 22.
One of two Knox-class frigates leased, then purchased, from the U.S. Navy in 1994, the Phutthayotfa Chulalok is named for King Rama I. Its sister ship, HTMS Phutthaloetla Naphalai, is named for King Rama II.
Both warships were decommissioned in 2017.
In recent years, the navy has sunk its old ships as artificial reefs to boost the marine ecosystem and provide an attraction for scuba divers. But the Phutthayotfa Chulalok and the HTMS Phutthaloetla Naphalai will serve as both tourist attractions and learning centers.
It features an exhibition of the ships’ history and equipment, as well as a coffee shop on the mid-deck, offering a scenic view of the bay.
The ship is open for a 25-person tour once a day on weekdays and twice a day on Saturdays. For more information, contact the Royal Thai Fleet at the Sattahip Naval Base.