Dusit Palace Park
Following his visit to Europe in 1897, King Rama V decided to bring some of the European style back with him. The grounds of what is now named Duset Park were used to create some grand examples of this imported European architecture and style. The park contains 13 royal residences within its grounds but the two most notable buildings are the large Italian renaissance style Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the other a large 3 story teak mansion named Vimanmek Palace. Vimanmek Palace is the world's largest golden-teak building. Construction was completed in 1901 and it was used as Rama V’s residence until 1906. In 1982 Queen Sirikit had the palace renovated for use as a museum dedicated to Rama V by displaying his personal artefacts such as art, photos and things he had collected. Dress code here is strictly adhered to in all buildings so you must cover your shoulders and men to wear long trousers, women a long skirt or sarong. There is clothing for hire at the entrance. There is also a strict no photography policy and you will be asked to put all belongings in a locker. You can only see the interior of the house by guided tour, starting every 30 minutes from 9.45am to 3.15pm and lasting about an hour. Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall was commissioned by Rama V in 1908 and completed in 1915, five years after his death. It was designed by two Italian architects and Carrara marble imported from Italy for its construction. This building also acts as a museum and also houses an ‘Arts of the Kingdom’ exhibition of Thai crafts made by people working for the SUPPORT foundation. The foundation was set up by Queen Sirikit of Thailand to give rural Thai’s handicraft skills to provide and income and preserve Thai cultural heritage. There is a gift shop with various handmade items for sale. You can walk between the two buildings through the beautifully kept gardens. Entrance: Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is 150B, Vimanmek Mansion adult/child/student 100/20/20B. If you have a ticket from the Grand Palace less than 7 days old you can use it to enter both for free. Open: Buildings are open Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00am – 4:00pm, ticket office closes at 3:15pm. Closed on January 1st (New’s Year Day), April 13th-15th (Songkran Days), August 12th (Queen’s birthday), October 23rd (King Chulalongkorn’s Memorial Day), December 10th (Constitution Day) and December 31st (New’s Year Eve) Address: Dusit Park, Ratchawithi Rd, Dusit, Bangkok Getting here: The nearest BTS station is Phaya thai and the Tewet Pier is the slightly closer river stop. It’s a bit of a walk from either, so unless you fancy a long walk just hop in a tuk-tuk.