Palace : Hua Hin Nearby Attractions
Palace of Love and Hope
is 123 km from Bangkok. It is an excellent choice for
those who look for a place of recreation within a short
distance. Apart from its attractive natural beauty, especially
that found in Kaeng Krachan National Park, it boasts three
royal palaces -- Phra Nakhon Khiri, Ramrajnives and Mrigadayavan.
In this article, I will deal only with Mrigadayavan which
comprises three charming beachside groups of wooden pavilions
used as a summer palace by King Rama VI (King Vajiravudh,
One fine day under a clear azure
sky I joined a press tour organized by TAT to Mrigadayavan
Palace in Phetchaburi Province. Once the palace appeared
in my sight, I suddenly realized the meaning of an intrinsic
relaxation. This is due to the wisdom of the architects,
including King Rama VI himself, who designed the palace
to be comfy, cosy and elegant. While visual observation
is a real feast for the eyes, getting to know the background
of the palace will add more appreciation to your visit.
Mrigadayavan Palace is located
on Bang Kra Beach in Cha-am County. It was constructed
in 1923 under King Rama VI's command to be his summer
palace. The palace was built from materials from the dismantled
buildings of the old residence at the nearby Chao Samran
Beach. The atmosphere is cool with a verdant wood and
there is an ample supply of fresh water. Transportation
is convenient as a train station is not far away.
Mrigadayavan was known as the palace of love and hope
because when Queen Indrasakdi Sachi was pregnant, King
Vajiravudh was extremely hopeful in anticipation of an
heir. The king took great care of her throughout her pregnancy.
Regrettably, the queen miscarried. King Vajiravudh finally
got a daughter, Princess Bejaratana, born to Phra Nang
Chao Suvadhana just one day before he passed away.
The palace was initially designed
by King Vajiravudh himself. And the king appointed an
Italian architect, Ercole Manfredi, who worked in the
Civil Works Department, to put the finishing touches to
the design. Its architectural style is western which was
common for palaces constructed at that time because Thailand
had just started its modernization under King Rama V (1868-1910).
of the Palace
High ceilings and fretwork on
all walls facilitated good ventilation and made the most
of sea breeze. Building the entire construction on stilts
ensured that the compound could be easily kept clean.
Ants were controlled by niches for water around each concrete
pillar and along the walls connecting to the ground. This
is a good example of using a simple and non-chemical method
to control these annoying creatures. There is a total
number of 1,080 concrete pillars.
Mrigadayavan Palace consists of 16 golden teak buildings
which are divided into 3 groups. All are linked together
throughout the palace by verandas on stilts. Details of
each group of buildings are as follows:
1. Samoson Sevakamataya Group of Buildings
This group of buildings is part of the front court where
official business was dealt with. Both men and women worked
together there. It consists of a pavilion-like theatre,
an audience hall, an office for the Royal Aide-de-Camp
General and a room for night duty chamberlains.
Looking around, seeing the delicate fretwork and other
decorations of the palace, I saluted the craftsmanship
of the artisans whose dedication was put together to create
the palace's glory.
2. Bisansagara Group of Buildings
This group of buildings was the king's personal residence.
It consists of a Royal Suite which has an office, a bedroom,
a dressing room, and a bathroom. Inside the bedroom, there
stands a four-post bed with a white canopy. The office,
in which King Rama VI loved to sit and compose his poetical
works at night, now accommodates only a desk and chair
once used by the king. Nearby this group of buildings
are lodges for royal pages, next to which is a royal kitchen.
From this group of buildings, at the end of the verandas
on stilts, I saw a beach pavilion whose roof supports
a cross-like post. The post was not intended as a symbol
of any religion. Instead, it was used as an indicator
of the king's activities. That is, when the yellow lantern
was on, it meant that the king would be ready to grant
an audience. And when the green lantern was shown, it
was known that the king was not in residence.
3. Samudabiman Group of Buildings
The Samudabiman group of buildings constitutes the inner
court of the palace where men except the king were forbidden
to enter. It served as the residence for HM Queen Indrasakdi
Sachi. In the same cluster are buildings for her sister
and her entourage, a dining pavilion and a beach pavilion.
King Vajiravudh usually had his Thai-style lunch at the
dining pavilion in the inner court.
The palace had been neglected since King Rama VI passed
away in 1925. It was not until 1965 that King Bhumibol,
the present king, ordered the palace to be renovated.
|For your personal safety and protection
by law, please use the services of travel agencies holding a TAT license