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HOURS: Daily 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., last entry at 3:15 p.m.
Near Chitralada Palace, Vimanmek Teak Mansion—itself a former palace—is open for visitors and definitely worth a stop, as it is your only chance to see how modern royalty lived.
King Rama V had the teak structure, originally constructed on Ko Si Chang as a royal resort, moved piece by piece and reconstructed on a plot of verdant, leafy land in Dusit in 1901.
“I very much enjoy living here. If I were still at the Grand Palace, I would be finding the heat unbearable and would have to set out on another trip,” wrote Rama V of the mansion to his son Prince Boripat Sukumbhandhu, and it’s no wonder given the beauty and peacefulness of Vimanmek and the surrounding grounds.
The L-shaped mansion, with its surrounding canals and pavilions, was the king’s home for six years. After Rama V, one of the wives of Rama VI lived in Vimanmek for a short while, and later Rama VII had the structure renovated to add electricity.
For 50 years, however, the structure was used only as a storage facility. It wasn’t until 1982, when Queen Sirikit had Vimanmek restored, that it was transformed into a museum.
These days you can view the royal quarters, lavishly appointed with Thai and imported furnishings from the turn of the 20th century, as well as the bright, airy rooms and surrounding buildings that are filled with old Thai cloths and silks, photographs of the royal family, and even the first Thai-language typewriter.