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Experience an age-old ordination ceremony

Published March 21, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Experience an age-old ordination ceremony

Travel log March 18, 2019 01:00

2,720 Viewed

The annual Poi Sang Long Festival is an age-old ordination ceremony undergone by boys between seven and 14 years of age of the Thai Yai ethnic group in northern Thailand, and particularly Mae Hong Son province.

The annual ceremony normally takes place at every temple in Mae Hong Son, but visitors are recommended to head to Mueang and Pai districts to witness more ceremonial rituals.

The ceremonies consist of taking novice monastic vows and participating in monastery life for a period of time. Usually, a large group of boys are ordained as novice monks at the same time, as the Thai Yai people in Mae Hong Son believe that it will help gain more merit than a typical ordination.

The ceremony normally goes on for three days.

In the ritualistic ceremony of the first day, or Sang Long receiving day, the boys will enter a tonsure ceremony and dress up in the Sang Long dress. Prayers are chanted that invoke the pre-enlightenment period of the Lord Buddha when he was the “Jewelled Prince”. The boys will then be called “Sang Long”.

On the second day or “Krua Lu parade day”, the boys will be carried on the shoulders of their male relatives or mentors, called “Ta Pae Sang Long”, as their feet are not allowed to touch the ground except at home and in the temple. Golden umbrellas or “Ti Kam” in Myanmar style are used to protect them from the sunlight.

On the last day of the ceremony, which is called “Kam Sang”, the Sang Long or novice monks will enter the monastery for a period which can vary between weeks, months or years.

This year, the grandest Poi Sang Long Festival is scheduled at Wat Hua Wiang in Mueang Mae Hong Son, from April 2-5, 2019. Ceremonies are also scheduled at other villages and temples across Mae Hong Son. Some temples hold the event as early as March 20-23 or later, from April 19-22.

Mueang district

  • March 20-23, 2019 at Wat Pang Moo, Pang Moo sub-district, with the Krua Lu parade day taking place March 22;
  • March 28-30, 2019 at Wat Huai Sai Khao, Huai Pha sub-district, with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on March 29;
  • March 28-31, 2019 at Wat Pha Bong Nuea, Pha Bong sub-district with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on March 30;
  • April 2-5, 2019 at Wat Hua Wiang, Jongkham sub-district with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on April 4;
  • April 8-10, 2019 at Wat Mai Hoong, Huai Pong sub-district with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on April 9;
  • April 19-22, 2019 at Wat Mokjampae, Mokjampae sub-district with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on April 21.

Pai district

  • April 9-13, 2019 at Wat Sri Don Chai, Pai with the Krua Lu parade day taking place on April 12.

Visitors can also head to other districts including Khun Yuam, Mae Sariang, Pang Mapha to witness the ceremony.

For more information, please contact the TAT Mae Hong Son Office on Tel. 05361 2982-3 or E-mail:

An event not to be missed for boxing aficionados

Published March 14, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

An event not to be missed for boxing aficionados

Travel log March 12, 2019 01:00

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The World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony, held annually at the Ayutthaya Historical Park, allows the opportunity for hundreds of Muay Thai practitioners from around the world to express their gratitude to their masters in the time-honoured tradition known as the Wai Kru ceremony, as well as to celebrate the aged-old martial art of Muay Thai.

This year, the event’s 15th edition, the ceremony will be held during March 16-17. The two-day event will include the Miracle Muay Thai Festival at Wat Langkha Khao (opposite Wat Maha That), organised by the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), held on both days.

Demonstrations of Thai handicrafts will also be organized, including Yantra tattooing, Yantra writing, Aranyik sword making, Thai martial art performances, and energy testing through ancient Muay Thai boxing drills; such as, kicking a banana tree, punching limes, chopping water, etc., Thai food stalls, and Muay Thai boxing souvenirs. The Thai martial art performances include pole, and sword fighting. Visitors will also have a chance to meet and greet with well-known Muay Thai boxers.

A ceremony will also be held to pay respect to ancient Thai kings and warriors who protected the sovereignty of the land; namely, King Naresuan the Great, Phrachao Suea, and Phraya Phichai Dap Hak, with a Wai Kru dance performed by all participating Muay Thai boxers.

Music and sea breezes at the Krabi Naga Fest

Published February 27, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Photo: Krabi Naga Fest 2018
Photo: Krabi Naga Fest 2018

Music and sea breezes at the Krabi Naga Fest

Travel log February 25, 2019 09:44

The Krabi private and public sector in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand is holding the Krabi Naga Fest 2019 from March 1-3 on Khlong Muang Beach in Mueang District, Krabi.

Under the theme of ‘Breezing Beach & Music’, the event’s three-day programme offers festival goers a wide variety of activities to enjoy including performances by well-known pop-jazz musicians and singers, cultural shows, street shows and a local product fair. Fresh seafood and other local cuisine will be available throughout the event, produced by the area’s four- and five-star hotels and resorts.

The Krabi Naga Fest 2019 takes place from 17.00-24.00 hrs daily and entrance is free.

For more information, please contact the TAT Krabi Office on Tel. 07562 2163 or e-mail:

Floral fair in the heart of Bangkok

Published February 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Floral fair in the heart of Bangkok

Travel log February 19, 2019 01:00

This year, the annual Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair takes place at the Park of Nai Lert in the heart of Bangkok from February 21-24, 2019, from 09.00 – 20.00 hrs.

This event aims to enhance Thailand’s image as one of Asia’s most female-friendly destinations. The highlight of the event, a 575-square-metre floral carpet, is one of the largest floral carpets ever created in Asia, while the event’s specially curated “X Factors” ensures a unique floral experience.

The different “X Factors” on offer at the Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair 2019 include:

Flower x Art – features flower installations under the concept of “Floral Carnival” by 20 by-invitation exhibitors. There is also an extravagant exhibition of floral garlands at Nai Lert Park Heritage Home.

Flower x Fashion – brings more than 40 talented young artists to showcase their skills with handmade products at the Art Market. Meanwhile, the Exhibition Gallery showcases 45 shops of luxury products from jewellery, decorative items and local textiles, to name but a few.

Flower x Taste – presents Nai Lert Pier, the floating market selling local delicacies; Ma Maison, and authentic Thai home cooked recipes with special floral ingredients to be featured during the event; Lady L, offering floral western recipes; and The Backyard, featuring more than 20 renowned food vendors and food trucks for sumptuous dining experiences.

Flower x Play – at the sales gallery presenting seven workshops for various interests such as floral mixology, frame loom weaving, art-to-wear and photography classes.

Flower x Competition – comprising a floral chandelier competition and a “Happy Garden” competition.

For more information, please see

Travel back to the times of King Narai

Published February 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Travel back to the times of King Narai

Travel log February 14, 2019 11:24

Local and international tourists are invited to travel back in time, and experience the glorious era of King Narai the Great that will be beautifully re-enacted during the King Narai Reign Fair 2019, from 8-17 February 8-17 at King Narai’s Palace in Lop Buri. The event is being organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Lop Buri Office, together with Lop Buri Province and the local public and private sector.

The 10-day event is being organised to pay homage to King Narai the Great, who lived from 2123–2198 B.E. (1580–1655 AD). During his reign, King Narai turned Lop Buri province as well as Thailand (then known as Siam), into the centre of culture, religion and diplomatic relations.

Highlights include a regal ceremony and a spectacular procession to pay homage to King Narai the Great, a specially-organised ‘changing of the guards’ performance, a light-and-sound presentation as well as a host of cultural displays and dances.

This year, the TAT Lop Buri Office has organised a ‘retro’ market bringing in more than 50 shops from across the province to offer traditional food and beverages in exchange for ‘ancient’ Thai bullet money. With vendors donning traditional Thai costumes, visitors are encouraged to arrive in their preferred forms of traditional costumes.

As well as the fair, tourists are recommended to visit Lop Buri’s iconic provincial symbol, Phra Prang Sam Yot, a former Hindu shrine built in the 13th century in the classic Bayon style of Khmer architecture. For more information see

“Fusing Forward” – Bangkok Design Week 2019

Published January 31, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

“Fusing Forward” – Bangkok Design Week 2019

Travel log January 29, 2019 11:33

Bangkok Design Week 2019 (BKKDW 2019), is being organized through January 26 – February 3, 2019 under the theme “Fusing Forward” to reflect Bangkok’s potential as a gathering place for creatives and producers, who work to combine knowledge from various disciplines locally and internationally, new and old, to create products and services for commercial purposes and a better quality of life.

Five key activities will be held in different parts of Bangkok, including Charoenkrung, Klong San, Sukhumvit, and Rama I:

• Showcase & Exhibition

A showcase and an exhibition of prototypes and products which reflect the potential of designers and creative businesses in Bangkok and other cities around the world. 

• Talk & Workshop 

An activity aimed to enhance knowledge and inspiration by learning from Thai and international creative minds. 

• Creative District Project

A project to promote Charoenkrung as a Creative District, in support of both commercial activities and community wellbeing, acting as a prototype for creative area development which leads to practical use. Examples include the addition of green space, an adaptive reuse of unused space, an improvement of traffic flow in the Charoenkrung area, and tours.

• Event & Program 

A program to support creative practitioners to demonstrate their potential in various ways, including music performances, film screenings, artistic performances, as well as open house.  

• Creative Market 

Creative market for new and veteran entrepreneurs for building business opportunities, networks, and market channels. 

BKKDW 2018, the first Bangkok Design Week, attracted more than 500 partners and collaborators from the public and private sectors, academic institutions and cultural organizations. More than 400,000 visitors participated throughout the 9-day festival period.

For more information, please contact TCDC Bangkok at or call 0-2105-7400.

Thailand Tourism Festival showcases 5 regions

Published January 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Thailand Tourism Festival showcases 5 regions

Travel log January 21, 2019 09:14

5,898 Viewed

The Thailand Tourism Festival 2019 takes place from January 23-27 in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park with five ‘tourism villages’ representing the regions of Thailand plus two additional zones:

Central Region Zone – presents the heritage of old Siam through a traditional Thai house and the former rural way of life back in the days through demonstrations, such as, traditional garland making.

Northern Zone – showcases the beautiful hand-woven cotton and silk textiles the region is famous for, presenting the intricate patterns. The zone reflects the artistic nature of the people of the North plus a range of contemporary arts inspired by the region.

Southern Zone – presenting new perspectives of the South that go beyond the beaches and islands including the secondary cities such as Surat Thani and Phatthalung, the hidden gems in major cities like Phuket’s Peranakan and arts in the three southernmost provinces.

Northeastern (Isan) Zone – brings Thailand’s more vibrant cuisine to life. Food is one major inspiration for travelling to this region, linking it with traditional festivals and cultural values while promoting its three main tourism clusters: North Isan, Central Isan and South Isan.

Eastern Zone – presenting new perspectives of the East under a ‘more fun’ concept through replicas of landmarks most synonymous with the region in combination with three dedicated corners for 3D photography backdrops reflecting the region’s identity.

Perhaps most importantly, there is also a ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’ waste initiative zone to help raise awareness and promote responsible and sustainable tourism through various activities, games and more.

TAT Studio – provides daily live broadcasts of the TTF 2019 in all formats: news reports, special scoops, interviews plus activities and performances. It comprises a live digital TV studio, a 1672 traveller companion information centre, an ‘Or Sor Tho’ magazine section, and virtual reality games and lucky draws.

For more information, call the TAT Contact Centre on 1672.

Lots of Northern charm at the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival

Published January 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Lots of Northern charm at the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival

Travel log January 15, 2019 01:00

The annual Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankamphaeng Handicraft Festival is held to celebrate and recognize the community that creates Thailand’s most famous handmade umbrellas from Saa, or mulberry bark, paper. This year marks the event’s 36th edition, which takes place from January 18-20, 2019.

Over the three days of the festival, visitors can enjoy umbrella and lantern decorations of shops and houses along Bo Sang Street, exhibitions of umbrellas, a beauty pageant bike parade, cultural performances and more. The final day features an Indonesian dance and fashion show, a traditional Lanna community market and the final round of the beauty pageant.

For further information, contact the TAT Chiang Mai Office on Tel 05324 8604-5 or e-mail:

The magic of Mae Hong Son: nature, fascinating culture and rural charm

Published January 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Mae Hong Son's Wat Chong Kham. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Mae Hong Son’s Wat Chong Kham. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The magic of Mae Hong Son: nature, fascinating culture and rural charm

Travel log January 07, 2019 14:15

2,098 Viewed

To the northwest of Chiang Mai and nestled along the border with Myanmar, the mountainous and largely forested province of Mae Hong Son offers plenty of scenic natural beauty and outdoor activities to go with it, a captivating rural charm blended with a refreshing laidback vibe, and the fascinating culture of its ethnically diverse people.

While Mae Hong Son can of course be visited year-round, the best time to visit is during the cooler months of November to January. Many people will visit Mae Hong Son from Chiang Mai, on an excursion of a couple of days or longer. While daily flights and bus services are available from Chiang Mai, a popular option is to travel the Mae Hong Son Loop tour route by rented car or motorbike.

The Mae Hong Son Loop is a journey of some 600 kilometres that starts and finishes in Chiang Mai, and it can be taken in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. The Loop can be done in three or four days. It passes through picturesque countryside, taking in places like Mae Chaem on Thailand’s highest mountain Doi Inthanon, the riverside town of Mae Sariang, the market town of Khun Yuam and the popular town of Pai along the way.

In earlier days a sleepy and somewhat remote Shan town, Pai lies on the banks of the Pai River and is today known for its fun and chilled-out new-age scene, often being compared somewhat to Bangkok’s backpack mecca of Khao San Road. There are guesthouses and fancier hotels, restaurants, cafes, handicraft shops, bars and a choice of activities on offer like rafting, tubing, trekking and cycling as well as hot springs to enjoy.

Among local sights to visit around Pai is the Memorial Bridge across the Pai River which was built by the Japanese during World War II and is a ‘must-see’ photo op for mostly Thai visitors. This is located about nine kilometres from town and is near Pai Canyon, another attraction and an area of eroded red sandstone with gullies and ochre-coloured ridges dotted with pines. As well as the main viewing area, side trails lead off into the Canyon and surrounding woodlands which can be good for birdwatching.

About five kilometres from town is Ban Santichon, offering a traditional Chinese village experience complete with clay houses, eateries serving Yunnan cuisine like pork hocks with buns and steamed black chicken with Chinese herbs, Chinese tea tasting, pony riding and the chance to dress up in traditional Yunnan attire.

For early risers, the nearby Yun Lai Viewpoint is a spot from which to watch the sun rise.

A sight in Pai that is not so well known to tourists but is worth the visit is the bamboo bridge, namely Kho Ku So, which translates into the Bridge of Merit. Around eight kilometres out of town, this bamboo bridge pathway stretches for over 800 metres across rice fields and leads to the bamboo temple. It was built by locals for the monks who previously had to walk for some six kilometres to the village to get food.

On the section of the Mae Hong Soon Loop between Pai and Mae Hong Son town, Tham Lot makes for an interesting side visit. About 10 kilometres off the route, this is a huge cave system once inhabited by prehistoric man and where ancient clay pottery and carved wooden coffins have been found.

If bamboo bridges happen to be your thing, there is another one to see between Pai and Mae Hong Son town. This one being the picturesque Su Tong Pae, the Bamboo Bridge of Faith and Success in the village of Kung Mai Sak, some 13 kilometres north of the city. This 500-metre-long bridge crosses the Sa-Nga Stream and a rice field to link the village and a hillside temple thus allowing the monks to go out for morning alms.

While in the area, the border village of Ban Rak Thai (literally meaning ‘the love Thailand village’) can be visited as well. The village was settled by former Kuo Min Tang fighters from Yunnan province in China, after the communist takeover of that country, and there is Yunnanese Chinese food to enjoy as well as Chinese tea shops, and the enchanting scenery of the surrounding valley and hills.

Nearby is the Pang Ung, Pang Tong Royal Development Project where the picturesque scenery has earned the area the nickname of the ‘Switzerland of Thailand’. Pang Ung used to be an illegal opium planting area until an initiative of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej saw the area, and its people transformed into a place that now grows various types of produce like avocado, persimmon, Chinese pear and Chinese bayberry.

Just outside of Mae Hong Son town is Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu, a hilltop temple affording panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside, while in town itself is Wat Chong Kham, which has appeared in advertising campaigns for the province. Wat Chong Kham is close to the location of the nightly Mae Hong Son Walking Street market that operates from October to February and which is worth exploring for some great local food and locally-inspired gifts to take back home.

For those visiting in November and early December, the Bua Tong Blossom Festival in Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam district is a chance to see the mesmerizing sight of the area’s hills and valleys blaze into bright gold as the Dok Bua Tong or wild sunflower is in its blooming season. Held alongside the Festival is a local market selling local arts and crafts and fresh farm produce.

While the Mae Hong Son Loop can be done in three or four days, various side trips can be added to spend as much time as desired meandering through the region. Some suggested places include Huai Nam Dang National Park near Pai, where in the early morning during the winter months a mystical-looking sea of mist can be observed from the viewpoint at Doi Kiew Lom.

At Doi Inthanon, the Great Holy Relics Pagodas of Phramahathat Napamathanidol and Phramahathat Napaphol Bhumisiri can be visited to pay homage, while the Doi Inthanon Royal Project research station with its flower garden and nursery makes for a great lunch stop.

Mae Hong Son is one of the 55 secondary destinations the Tourism Authority of Thailand is promoting through the “Amazing Thailand Go Local” campaign, the aim being to spread more tourism revenue into rural areas and grow community tourism in a responsible and sustainable manner, while also evening out seasonality and weekend/weekday travel flows.

Discover the beautiful city, seaside and hilltop palaces of Thailand

Published December 28, 2018 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

  • Doi Tung Royal Villa, Chiang Mai. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram Temple or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Grand Palace, Bangkok. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Police Museum, Parusakawan Palace, Bangkok. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Phayathai Palace, Bangkok. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park, Phetchaburi. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace, Phetchaburi. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • The Aisawan Thiphya-Art Pavilion in Bang Pa-In Palace, Ayutthaya. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • The Wehart Chamrun Throne Room in Bang Pa-In Palace, Ayutthaya. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Daraphirom Palace, Chiang Mai. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Discover the beautiful city, seaside and hilltop palaces of Thailand

Travel log December 28, 2018 01:00

By Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand

Images of fairy tale castles and towering palaces are not so often associated with Thailand, thus many are surprised to discover there are various palatial palaces spread throughout the kingdom.

The Spectacular Grand Palace

The word ‘palace’ in relation to Bangkok will, for most tourists, immediately bring to mind the iconic Grand Palace. Built with the establishment of the new capital in Bangkok in 1782, this spectacular complex was the home of the king and the royal court and also the administrative seat of government for nearly 150 years.

Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Rattanakosin Island or the historic Old City area and a must-see for any tourist visiting the Thai capital, the Grand Palace boasts beautiful architecture and intricate detail throughout its various buildings, halls, pavilions, gardens and courtyards.

The complex incorporates the Temple of the Emerald Buddha – considered the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand, the Outer Court, the Middle Court including the Phra Maha Monthian buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat buildings, the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter.

Dusit Maha Prasat Hall is reminiscent of the Ayutthaya Throne Hall, while the Phra Maha Monthian buildings have been used for royal coronations but are rarely open to the public.

The Grand Palace’s most iconic and majestic structure is the Chakri Maha Prasat buildings, comprising nine structures and which reflect the taste of earlier times for a blend of European and Thai styles. These were built between 1868 and 1887 and were commissioned by King Rama V the Great. Only three buildings of the former nine structure complex remain today, among these being the famous Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall.

Originally conceived in pure European style, the Throne Hall blends an Italian style classical façade with a Thai-style roof crowned by gilded spires. It was built between 1876 and 1882 and was Siam’s first structure with electricity.

Overall the Grand Palace is an intriguing blend of Thai and European structures, a stunning mix of ceramic-cladded stupas, gothic style façades and golden spires that speak of classical columns and porticos.

Art Nouveau and Late Baroque in Bangkok

Being one of Bangkok’s top attractions the Grand Palace is regularly crowded with visitors, and luckily there are other palaces in the city which are open to the public for visiting. Bangkhunphrom Palace along Samsen Road is a magnificent early 20th century European-style palace known for its ornamental stucco details and elaborate interiors, although it is currently undergoing renovation.

One of the most striking palaces in the Dusit area has to be Parusakawan Palace, which is an extraordinary blend of baroque architecture inside and art nouveau outside. The former residence of the Chakrabongse family, this palace evokes the splendours of rococo or late baroque art in Italy or Austria. In particular, there is the main room with walls covered by mirrors, golden stucco and crystal chandeliers. The Palace also features a police museum.

Not far from Victory Monument is Phayathai Palace, an early 20th century royal residence built by King Rama V the Great in 1910. A noticeable feature is the European-style round turret with a red conical roof, which almost seems to have come right from a fairy tale castle. The building’s interior is very European and includes beautiful frescos on the ceiling in Italian style.

Phetchaburi’s Royal Palaces

Around 140 km south of Bangkok, along the Gulf of Thailand, the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi are home to many palaces including the kingdom’s first European-Thai style palace.

Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is perched on a hill overlooking the city of Phetchaburi and while its name means Holy City Hill, it is better known locally as Khao Wang or hill with a palace. The palace complex was built for King Rama IV in 1860 and blends elements of European, Chinese, Khmer and Thai architecture. This was a beloved summer residence for the King, with its white stupa and neo-classical structures, observatory tower and theatre, and while there he liked to observe the stars.

In the town itself is Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace, also known as Ban Puen Palace, which was designed by a German architect and features both art nouveau and baroque style with its curves, ceramics and statues. Large windows from the floor to ceiling help create a bright and spacious feeling in the Palace’s rooms, and the whole interior exudes luxury and grandness. Completed in 1916, the elegant Palace is now home to the Phetchaburi Historic and Arts Museum under the supervision of the Royal Thai Army.

In Cha-am is Mrigadayavan Palace, which served as the seaside palace of King Rama VI. Designated a cultural heritage site in 1981, it is in an ongoing restoration project that aims to restore the Palace grounds and surrounding coastal vegetation in time for the Palace’s 100th  anniversary in 2024.

Blending Thai and Western styles, the Palace comprises 16 teak buildings connected by balconies and corridors and elevated on pillars to aid ventilation, and 23 staircases. For tourists and visiting school groups, Mrigadayavan Palace plays the role of an educational museum with exhibits on conservation and history.

North of Bangkok in the vicinity of Ayutthaya, Bang Pa-In Palace was used by Thai kings and inspired by the royal summer palaces of Europe. Originally built around 1630 by King Prasat Thong, it fell into decay following the war in 1767 and then began to see some restoration in the 19th century under King Rama IV. From 1872 to 1889, King Rama V the Great commissioned architects to redesign the entire compound as a European palace with an Asian touch.

Also known as the Summer Palace, Bang Pa-In Palace is situated alongside the Chao Phraya River. Amid its gardens and landscaping is an eclectic collection of small palaces, pavilions and various structures inspired by the United Kingdom, France and Italy.

There’s the colourful Chinese-style royal palace Wehart Chamrun (Heavenly Light), which served as a throne room, the Warophat Phiman (Excellent and Shining Heavenly Abode) royal residence, Ho Withun Thasana (Sages’ Lookout) a brightly painted lookout tower, and the Aisawan Thiphya-Art (Divine Seat of Personal Freedom), which is a Thai style pavilion in the middle of a pond that offers a sharp contrast with the European style statues and neo-classic pavilions.

Swiss Chalet in the Mountains

Among the palaces of Northern Thailand are Daraphirom Palace just outside of Chiang Mai city and Doi Tung Royal Villa, both former royal residences.

About 20 minutes out of town, Daraphirom Palace in Mae Rim district was home to Princess Dara Rasmi, a consort of King Rama V the Great. This large wooden mansion on stilts was built in 1913 blending Thai and European architecture and is now a museum offering a look into how the Princess lived in the early 20th century. On display are many of the princess’s personal belongings and items relating to her work in the fields of culture, the arts and agriculture. Visitors can see antique furniture, photos, musical instruments, dinnerware and more.

An hour’s drive from Chiang Rai city, the beautiful Doi Tung Royal Villa was home to Princess Mother Srinagarindra. Built in dark teakwood, the Villa affords sweeping views over the mountains of Doi Tung and has a distinctive Swiss flair. Its wooden balconies and rustic style furniture evoke thoughts of a chalet in Switzerland. The Villa is today a museum in honour of the Princess Mother and how she dedicated herself to improving the livelihood of the local people.

Stretching out in front of Doi Tung Royal Villa is Mae Fah Luang Garden, the landscaped expanse filled with hundreds of kinds of plants and flowers.

These are some of Thailand’s most prominent palaces. There are more throughout the country, dazzling architectural gems in their own right, and each one a unique attraction waiting for tourists to discover.

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