One of Thailand’s less known Palaces, the Bang Khun Phrom is a magnificent, early 20th century European style Palace situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya river.
Construction of the Palace was ordered by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) at the start of the 20th century to serve as a residence for HRH Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand.
Three buildings were constructed on the grounds, the main mansion called Tamnak Yai, the Tamnak Somdej building and the Tamnak Ho Residential Hall, the last of which was later moved to Dusit Palace. All structures were build in different architectural styles and designed by different architects.
Today the main mansion of the Palace is in use as the Bank of Thailand Museum. Great views of the yellowish European style Bang Khun Phrom Palace can be had from the Chao Phraya river.
Main mansion Tamnak Yai
The main mansion of Bang Khun Phrom Palace called Tamnak Yai was designed by Mario Tamagno, an Italian architect who designed a great number of buildings across Thailand, including the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the Throne Halls of the Phayathai Palace and the first branch of the SCB Bank in Bangkok.
The very elegant building was completed in 1906. It was build to be the residence for HRH Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand, one of King Chulalongkorn’s sons. The richly stucco decorated building with a tiled roof is in European baroque style. The very elegant rooms are decorated with beautiful frescoes.
After the revolution of 1932, Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand left the Palace and moved to Indonesia, after which the Palace was used for several purposes. In 1993 the Bank of Thailand Museum was housed in the main mansion. The museum was opened by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Tamnak Somdej building
The other building, the Tamnak Somdej was designed by German architect Karl Siegfried Döhring, who designed several other Royal residences in Thailand, including the Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace in Phetchaburi. The building served as the residence for Princess Sukhumala Marasri, mother of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand. The art nouveau style building was completed in 1913.
Tamnak Ho Residential Hall
The Tamnak Ho Residential Hall was build for the occasion of the marriage HRH Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand and his wife. The wooden two storey, green building that was completed in 1903 was therefore also called the “newlyweds residential hall”. In 1998 the building was dismantled and rebuild in its current location in Dusit Palace.
Museum of the Bank of Thailand
Today, the main mansion of Bang Khun Phrom Palace is used by the Bank of Thailand Museum. Various rooms across the two floors contain displays on the history of money in Thailand from the earliest currencies until today.
The currency discovery room on the ground floor contains displays of coins used during Thai history:
- Ancient currency; display of the earliest currencies, such as sea shells, coins of the ancient Dvaravati and Srivijaya empires
- Pot Duang currency; also called bullet coins, used as early as the 13th century
- Thai coins; the first flat coins used from the early 19th century on
Other rooms on the ground floor include the room honouring King Rama VIII, front veranda, discovery room, foreign banknotes room and Thai banknotes room.
On the second floor, you will find the Paribatra room. This room contains an exhibition about the life and work of HRH Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand. The Prince had strong musical skills and composed many musical compositions; on display are a fiddle and music notes written by the Prince as well as other personal items.
The Pink Room named after the colors of its walls was used as a reception room for guests of the Prince. The elegant room is decorated with intricate stucco designs on walls and ceiling. The Blue room was used as a reception room for personal guests of Prince Paribatra’s wife. The Wiwattana Chaiyanusorn room was the bedroom of the Prince’s wife. Other rooms on the second floor are the Meeting room, Hall of fame, Buddha worship room, Chumbhotbongse Paribatra room and Bank of Thailand history room.
How to get to Bang Khun Phrom Palace
The Palace is located on Samsen road on the East bank of the Chao Phraya river, immediately North of Rama VIII bridge. The easiest ways to get there are by metered taxi or by boat. The nearest Chao Phraya Express Boat piers are Rama 8 bridge and Thewes pier, from either of which it is a short walk to the Palace. The Bank of Thailand Museum is found in the main mansion.
Get there by Chao Phraya river boat.
Opening hours & admission
The Palace and museum open every weekday from 9.30 am until 12.00 and from 1.30 pm until 4 pm except on bank holidays. Visitors are allowed inside the museum in groups only, admission is free.
To visit, contact the Bank of Thailand at least one week before your intended visit by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 02-22836723. Taking photographs inside the Museum is not allowed. Visitors should follow the dress code, which means long pants or long skirts, no bare shoulders.