If you would like an insight into the lifestyle of the Thai royals in times gone by, there is no better option than to visit Bangkok’s majestic Vimanmek Golden Teak Palace. This magnificent edifice has the distinction of being the largest building on the globe built exclusively of teakwood, and is also noteworthy by not featuring a single nail in its construction. The visitor will see that the design of the mansion reflects European architectural style, although it was constructed with Thai assembly methods.
The imposing palace was constructed in its present location in 1900 by order of King Rama V (Chulalongkorn). This building was initially created as a summer residence in Koh Sichang Island in the province of Chonburi, where Thai monarchs King Chulalongkorn and King Mongkut would come whilst on holiday. In the year 1900 the entire building was dismantled and was painstakingly rebuilt at its present location in Bangkok’s Dusit district.
The palace was used by King Chulalongkorn as his personal residence until the year 1906. After a period in which the palace was largely forgotten, it was refurbished to its former glory through the direction of Queen Sirikit in 1982.
Today the mansion functions as a museum dedicated to the reign of King Chulalongkorn. Many of the rooms are accessible to the public, and visitors may view the King’s residential quarters including his bedroom, living room, study and bathroom. All of the rooms reflect the appearance the mansion would have had a century ago, at the time when the monarch lived here. The whole palace exudes the aura of the Thai royalty, and visitors will be captivated by the meticulously restored chambers including the royal banquet room, throne room, Chinese room and the room in which the King played the piano.
Visitors will see various royal possessions including bookcases, the monarch’s writing desk, Ming Dynasty porcelain, crystal wine glasses, European glassware, gold and silver articles, jewellery, ivory boxes, photographs and paintings.
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