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Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

The Suan Pakkad Palace Museum makes up a small complex of eight traditional Thai houses that once belonged to Prince and Princess Chumbhot. In 1952 they decided to turn their residence into a museum.

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The Suan Pakkad Palace Museum makes up a small complex of eight traditional Thai houses that once belonged to Prince and Princess Chumbhot. Originally, the houses were the residence of this royal couple, but in 1952 they decided to open the doors to the public. Currently visitors can see that the complex, or cabbage patch, the translation of Suan Pakkad, is a well-cared for tropical garden with ponds that enclose the traditional houses. Visitors can walk from house to house without having to climb stairs, but rather enjoy a tranquil walk.

The act of deciding to turn the residence into a museum can be regarded as an act of sharing, something that was never done amongst a royal Thai family before. It is said that their rationale in doing so was because of the consideration towards mankind. They believed that while treasured materialistic possessions were private property, in a larger sense they formed a part of mankind’s heritage. This form of though is what led them to believe that their possessions should be made accessible to everyone. Each house
contains fine arts and antiques that belonged to the royal couple, allowing visitors
to observe ancient antiques.

Aside from these antiques, the museum provides a great way for visitors to view examples of traditional domestic architecture. Perhaps one of the greater examples is the Lacquer Pavilion, a building that is over 450 years old. This building dates back to the Ayutthaya period (14th century to the 18th century). The building elegantly features gold-leaf jataka, Ramayana murals, and scenes from a daily Ayutthaya lifestyle. Visitors should not get entrapped in the beauty of the murals, as the larger housing structures that lie at the front of the complex are also just as worthy of attention. These residences contain displays of Khmer-style Hindu and Buddhist art, as well as a collection of historic Buddha’s.  

This museum has grown, with an unrelated addition that was built in 1996. The Chumbhot-Panthip Center of Arts is what greets visitors nowadays, and what houses prehistoric Ban Chieng artifacts, which date back to the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages. Visitors will see painted ceramics, bronze weapons, tools, and Ban Chiang pottery that are over 4,000 years old. These artifacts point to the greatness of Southeast Asian civilization, which is just
as worthy of attention as Egypt and Stonehenge, in regards to technological and
social advancement. 

Visitors that are interested in attending will be happy to know that the museum can be accessed via the BTS Skytrain. The BTS station closest to this location is the Phaya Thai station. Opening hours are from 9:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Additionally, the entrance fee is set at 100B ($3.00 USD). 

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