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Phayathai Palace

European style century old Royal Residence in Bangkok

Phayathai Palace Bangkok
Phayathai Palace
Name
Phayathai Palace
Date
1910
King
Chulalongkorn (Rama V)
Location
Thanon Ratchawithi, Bangkok

Phayathai Palace is a marvelous early 20th century Royal Residence in the heart of Bangkok. As it stands a bit out of sight, it is not much known and seldom visited, especially by foreign tourists. Phayathai Palace, also known as Phaya Thai, Phyathai or Phya Thai is located close to Victory Monument in downtown Bangkok.

The Palace was built by King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) in 1910 along the banks of Samsen canal, an area that still had a lot of farm land back then.

The King and Queen Saovabha Bongsri used the Palace as a Royal Retreat, the surrounding area was used as a farm where a number of crops were grown and the King worked on agricultural experimentations.

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, an annual ceremony marking the start of the rice growing season, was held here as well. The King did not get to enjoy the Palace long, since he died in October 1910, Queen Saovabha lived there until her death in 1919.

Buildings of the Phayathai Palace

Only one building of the original Palace build in European style remains today, the Phra Thinang Thewarat Sapharom. This beautiful green wooden buildings with French doors all around and a roof decorated with wood carvings was mostly used as a theatre and ceremonial hall.

After Queen Saovabha died, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) had the Palace torn down except for the Phra Thinang Thewarat Sapharom, and had new structures build, creating a new Royal Residence.

The most noticeable feature of Phayathai Palace is a European style round turret with a red conical roof, which reminds of a castle from a fairy tale. The turret is part of the Phiman Chakri Throne Hall, build by Rama VI. This building’s interior is very European with beautiful frescos on the ceiling in Italian style.

This building contained the King’s study where he used to write plays, stories and poems, the Royal bedroom and bathroom and a throne hall. All rooms are styled and decorated differently, but all have a strong European influence.

Adjoining the Phiman Chakri Throne Hall is the Srisutanivat building, that served as living quarters for the female members of the Royal Family.

Two more buildings contain the King’s and Queens private living quarters. King Vajiravudh, who was a gifted writer of novels, poems and plays lived at the Palace a number of years, during which time the Phra Thinang Thewarat Sapharom building was much in use as a theatre.

After the King’s death in 1925, the Palace was used as a hotel to receive state visitors for a number of years. Then the Palace housed the Thai government radio station for a while, after which the Royal Thai Army used it as a clinic, which then became the Phramongkutklao hospital. Today, the Palace has been renovated and turned into a museum.

Phayathai Palace Bangkok
Phayathai Palace

How to get to Phayathai Palace

Phayathai Palace is located on Thanon Ratchawithi, a very short distance from Victory Monument. Easiest way to get there is by BTS Skytrain to Victory Monument station, from where it is a few minutes walk. Walking West on Thanon Ratchawithi, the Palace is on the right side of the road on the grounds of Phramongkutklao hospital.
Get there by Sky Train.

Opening hours & admission

Phayathai Palace is open from Monday until Saturday from 9 am until 4 pm. Admission is free.