When we talk about the palace, I’m always thinking of The Grand Palace first. But, actually there are several palaces to be seen in Bangkok. Today I will recommend you Phya Thai Palace. This palace was a farm, a hotel, and a hospital. Nowadays it is a museum which opens to the public.
I have seen the photos of this palace from many Thai websites. The photos of the exterior design of Phiman Chakri Hall (the main building in the palace complex) and also the fresco paintings on the wall and the ceiling inspired me to go to this palace.
While we walked in the palace, I was fascinated with the room decorations. The volunteer guide did a good job; she explained to us the history of the palace. She was knowledgeable of the palace. I realized on that day that the other buildings such as Waikun Thepayasathan Hall, Sisuthaniwat Building, and Thewarat Sapharom Hall are also gorgeous.
The most building I liked was Mekhala Ruchi Pavilion, the two-storey building. I liked how they design the bathroom. Since the pavilion was on the bank of the canal, the bathroom was designed to allow the water from the canal come in to the bathtub. This building also looks new comparing to the other buildings.
It took us around 2-3 hours to walk around the palace. Before you go back , don’t forget to visit Norrasingha Coffee Shop. I like the atmosphere inside; the shop was decorated similarly to the rooms in the palace. This made me feel like I was drinking coffee in a palace, not in a coffee shop.
Update: February, 2014
Location: Rajavithee Road, Ratchathewi District, Near Victory Monument. The easiest way to go there is to get off the skytrain (BTS) at Victory Monument station. Then, walk clockwise through Victory Monument Skywalk around the circle until you see Rajavithee Road. Keep walking on the road until you see Phramongkutklao Hospital. The palace is located in the hospital.
Tuesdays and Thursdays. There will be a volunteer guide to take you around 1 round per day: 13.00
Saturdays and Sundays. There will be a volunteer guide to take you around 2 rounds per day: 9.30 and 13.30.
The tour is conducted in Thai. For foreigner, if you want the English tour, please contact the officer in advance. (Tel: +662-354-7987)
Norrasingha Coffee Shop: Mondays to Fridays, from 08.30-19.00. Saturdays and Sundays, from 10.30-19.00.