Retired navy frigate opens as floating museum in Sattahip

Adm. Chumsak Nakwijit, Commander of Royal Thai Fleet, chaired the opening ceremony of the museum and learning center on board the HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok.

Rather than sink it, the Royal Thai Navy has turned one of its old warships into a floating museum.

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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.

Navy personnel stand guard as the dedication ceremonies are conducted aboard the HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok.

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.

Little Dinghy sailboats escort the HTMS Phutthaloetla Naphalai, affording her the honor and respect she deserves.

Though faded with years of proud service, the name Phutthayotfa Chulalok is clearly legible on the side of the navy frigate.


After long and distinguished service to the nation, the HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok will now serve as a museum and learning center for generations to come.