Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."
Vimanmek Mansion Palace, Bangkok, Thailand.
Vimanmek Royal Mansion formally the
Vimanmek Palace or Dusit Palace.
Located in Dusit Gardens at the junction of Ratchasima and Rajwithi Roads in the Dusit Area of Bangkok.
Admission fee applies (100Bht for foreigners 2007).
When you visit the Grand Palace, the entrance ticket you buy there entitles you to a free visit on the same day to the Vimanmek Teakwood Mansion.
Entrance by guided tour only, every 30 minutes from 09.30 to 16.00 daily.
Photography is not permitted inside any of the buildings in the Dusit Palace complex.
Stroll the grounds at your leisure, where photography is permitted.
We visited Vimanmek Mansion Palace, Bangkok in October 2007 and found a large walled, secure complex of buildings, 15 of which were listed in the free
pamphlet, given with your ticket, as public accessible (numbered 1 to 12 and 14 to 16 inclusive - No 13!), in fact two of the buildings were not accessible. (Numbers 6 & 7). We would
say however that the remaining buildings were enough to cope with in a day! Much more than we expected.
The Vimanmek Mansion Palace, Bangkok was, in fact, a former Royal Summer Palace of 81 rooms. Originally the summer or 'Munthaturaltanaroj' Residence of the
Chuthathujrachathan at Koh Sri Chang, located off the coast of the fishing town of Sri Racha, Chonburi province.
You will get to see in to about 30 of the
rooms during your conducted tour. The 40 minute English commentary given during the compulsory guided tour was barely comprehensible by one of the three
guides (taking about 10 rooms each), and delivered in a robotic fashion by the other two guides. We would recommend that you read up a bit, if only from the free pamphlet before starting the tour, this will help you understand the history of this interesting building (but not its contents).
Vimanmek Royal Mansion, formally the
Vimanmek Palace or Dusit Royal Palace, was reconstructed on its present site in Dusit Gardens, once rice paddy fields between Padung Krungkasem Khlong (canal) and Saem Sean Khlong. Close to today’s Dusit Zoo, it was rebuilt as the Vimanmek Teak Palace, including the orangery, in 1901, as a Royal Palace for use by King Rama V, King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910), his
family and concubines, whilst a new palace was being built.
The building was eventually abandoned in 1935 and used for storing royal possessions. Why the King left this grand Royal Palace, we have no
idea, but he must have loved living at Vimanmek Teak Palace with its pure English Victorian feel. Vimanmek Teak Mansion is said to be built without the use
of any metal nails!
The Vimanmek Royal Mansion, formally the Vimanmek Teak Palace, was restored in 1982 at the request of Queen Sirikit on the occasion of the Royal
Bicentennial Celebrations of Bangkok as a city. There are extensive gardens, outbuildings and lotus ponds full of fish.
The Vimanmek Royal Mansion architecture is unique in that its style reflects a western influence and is the largest golden teak building anywhere in the world.
Vimanmek Mansion was the first building in the country to have electricity and indoor sanitation.
Today the Vimanmek Mansion Palace, Bangkok is a museum and major tourist attraction. Most of the exhibits are of photographs, furniture and personal
possessions of King Rama V and other items chosen by Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Sirikit, some from her own personal collections, to represent the history
of Thai culture, handicrafts, art and science.
The twice daily performances of traditional Thai dancing and music mentioned in some guide books and on some web sites were curtailed in late 2006, a bit of
a disappointment to us.
Vimanmek Mansion is the largest of the ex-royal residences in Dusit Garden, owned and operated by the Bureau of the Royal Household and maintained as a
showcase of the national heritage for future generations in 31 exhibition rooms, some of which retain the past's atmosphere, especially the bedrooms. Other
rooms display silverware, ceramics, ivory and glassware.
Buildings in the complex are (numbered as per the free pamphlet):
1 Royal Elephant National Museum - 2 Elephant stables with displays about Thailand's Royal 'White' Elephants.
2 Local Textile Exhibition Hall - Local textiles, patterns and pieces old and new from across Thailand.
3 The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall - Separate entrance fee applies - an Italianate marble building, with wonderful painted ceilings.
4 Abrisek Throne Hall - A teakwood building housing a fine handicraft exhibition.
5 Vimanmek Mansion - Vimanmek Royal Mansion formally the Vimanmek Palace or Dusit Palace - Described above.
6 Suan Bua Plew (closed during our visit).
7 Suan Bua Residential Hall (closed during our visit).
8 HRH Princess Bussaban Bua-phan Residence - Exhibition of H.M. King Bhumibol's Photography (No.1).
9 HRH Princess Arun-wadi Residence - Exhibition of H.M. King Bhumibol's Photography (No.2).
10 HRH Princess Puang Soi Sa-ang Residence - Exhibition of Antique Clocks from the Royal Collections.
11 HRH Princess Orathai Thep-kanya Residence - Exhibition of Antique Textiles.
12 Krom Luang Vorased Thasuda - Exhibition of Antique Ban Chiang Pottery.
14 Suan Hong Residence - Exhibition of Royal Ceremonial Photography.
15 Royal Carriage Buildings No's 1 and 3 - Royal Carriages through the ages (including the Royal Tuk Tuk!)
16 Royal Paraphernalia Building No.2 - Exhibition of Articles of High Rank.