Today, the palace is open to the public to visit as a tourist attraction. Inside is a complex of Thai heritage museums. These are spread over a collection of separate buildings that were once used as residences for members of the royal family. The highlight of the entire palace complex is “Vimanmek Mansion”, which is built from golden teakwood.
Originally, the mansion was constructed on the island of Koh Si Chang. It was then dismantled and moved to its current location on King Rama V’s command in 1901, becoming his permanent residence for five years. After his reign, Vimanmek Mansion was closed and used for storage. On the occasion of the Bicentennial Anniversary of Bangkok in 1982, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit asked permission from King Rama IX to reconstruct Vimanmek Mansion. This was granted, and the palace was reopened as a Thai heritage museum.
What to do in Vimanmek Mansion?
Visit the World’s biggest teak palace: You can only go inside Vimanmek Mansion as part of an official guided tour. These are in Thai and English, with the English tour typically run at 11.00 and 14.00. The design of the mansion is influenced by the western colonial style. The main building is L-shaped, with three floors. The central, octagonal part of the building, in which King Rama V used to live, has an extra forth floor. The interior of the mansion is separated by color; blue, green, pink, ivory and peach. Each room is beautifully decorated with antique artworks from the early Ratanakosin period. There are 31 exhibition rooms in the mansion, including the bedroom, the reception room, the sitting room and the royal dining room.
Explore the Thai heritage museums: There are many small heritage museums within the palace complex. In these are displayed royal collections of artwork, handicraft, ancient objects, clocks and royal carriages. There are also exhibitions created from King Rama IX’s personal photography collection. In addition, models of white elephants and other important royal elephants are presented in the royal elephant museum. Walk through beautiful gardens: The palace complex comprises many small museums within scenic landscaped gardens. These are very beautiful, and provide a good place to see many common Thai flowers, for example lotus, dok ruk (love flower or crown flower), dok khem (ixora), paper flower and portulaca.
How to go there?
The best way to get to Vimanmek Mansion is by taxi or bus. You can take a bus from the bus stop at Victory Monument. Many routes have stops near the Mansion, for example numbers 28, 108, 515, 539 and 542.
Opening Time: Tuesday – Sunday at 9.00 – 15.15.
Ticket Price: Adults 100 Baht and Children 20 Baht. Alternatively, if you buy an entrance ticket to the Grand Palace at the Grand Palace, then this will come with complementary tickets for Vimanmek Mansion and also Ananta Samakom Throne Hall. Grand Palace tickets cost 500 Baht. The complimentary tickets are valid only for a week, so to get best value for money, visit the Grand Palace first, and then use the combi-ticket to visit Vimanmek Mansion and perhaps Anata Samakom over the following couple of days.
Need to know
Strict dress code: You must wear appropriate dress to be able to enter to the palace.
- Men: long trousers with short or long sleeved shirts (no sleeveless shirts, no torn trousers).
- Women: long skirts or trousers covering the knee with shirts/blouses, or dresses that cover the shoulders (no see-through fabrics, no mini-skirts, no tight trousers). If you dress improperly, then you will be asked to buy some clothes before you can enter the mansion. (Thai skirts 50 or 100 Baht and T-shirt 100 Baht)
Photos: You cannot take photos inside Vimanmek Mansion and the other heritage museums. You will be asked to leave your camera, bags and shoes in a locker before you can go inside the building. However, you can take as many photos as you want outside.