Daraphirom Palace near Chiang Mai was the Royal residence of Princess Dara Rasmi, a consort of King Chulalongkorn of Siam. The mansion with a very elegant interior, known in Thai as Phra Tamnak Dara Phirom has been turned into a museum, little visited by foreign tourists.
The large, wooden mansion on stilts was built in 1913 in a mix of Thai and European architecture. Its style reminds of the Maruekhathaiyawan Palace in Cha-Am, which was built a decade later in 1923.
Palace for Princess Dara Rasmi
Princess Dara Rasmi was the daughter or Inthawichayanon, the last semi autonomous ruler of Chiang Mai, before it was incorporated into Siam. To strengthen the ties between Chiang Mai and Siam she became a consort of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and moved to Bangkok.
A few years after King Chulalongkorn had passed away, the Princess requested his successor, King Vajiravudh, permission to return to her native Chiang Mai. After her return she built Daraphirom Palace, which was completed in 1913. A statue of the Princess stands in front of the mansion. During her life at the Palace she played an important role in the fields of culture, arts and agriculture. Princess Dara Rasmi passed away in 1933, her ashes are enshrined in a white chedi at the Wat Suan Dok temple in Chiang Mai.
Daraphirom Palace Museum
Decades later, Chulalongkorn University acquired the Palace from the Princesses heirs and brought it back in the state it was in when the Princess lived there. Restored to its former splendor, repainted in its original colors, its Palace garden re-created the mansion was opened as the Daraphirom Palace Museum in 1999.
Interior of the Palace
Brought back in its original state, Daraphirom Palace Museum allows a view in the way Princess Dara Rasmi lived during the early 20th century. Hundreds of items were collected and exhibited in the mansion, including many of the Princesses personal belongings and items related to her work in the field of culture, arts and agriculture. On display are antique furniture, arts, photos, musical instruments, dinnerware and much more, many items carry labels in English.
On the ground floor is an exhibition of agricultural tools and equipment used in the Palace farm where the Princess experimented with modern farming techniques aimed at aiding the farmers of the North.
The living room exhibits items the Princess received as gifts from Thai people and foreign visitors, the Royal bedroom contains a collection of the Princesses personal wardrobe. Other rooms exhibit photos of the Princess, personal belongings, household items, musical instruments, dinnerware and other items. A corridor is lined with photographs of various stages in Princess Dara Rasmi’s life.
How to get to Daraphirom Palace
The Palace is located in the Dara Rasmi border patrol police camp just off Route 107 in Mae Rim district North West of Chiang Mai town. The most comfortable way to get there is by private car. Most hotels in Chiang Mai will be ale to book one. Alternatively, take a yellow songthaew from Warorot market in Chiang Mai to Mae Rim for about 30 Baht per person.
Opening hours & admission
The Palace Museum opens daily except Monday from 9 am until 4 pm. Entrance fee is 50 Thai Baht per person.