** This is a part of a series of posts about my blog trip to Thailand. **
The Mrigadayavan Palace is a charming beach side groups of wooden pavilions used as a summer palace by Thailand’s King Rama VI. The atmosphere is cool with a verdant greens and there is an ample supply of fresh water. I never realized how much I miss seeing lush greens after living in Dubai for almost five years until I saw the gardens in the palace.
Mrigadayavan was known as the ‘Palace of Love and Hope’ because this is where the King and his wife spent their days anticipating an heir.
This all teak summer palace raised by concrete pillars and linked together by a series of walkways was built in 1923 by HM King Rama VI. The King himself drafted the original style and design and Italian architect Ercole Manfredi drew the final plans.
When we were there, the sea breeze was so soothing you would want to make time stop and just soak in all the fresh air. Look at this: the feel of the wooden floor makes the palace ambiance feel so homey and just warm.
Wouldn’t you love to sit on these sofa with a good book?
The King and Queen would take in fresh the fresh sea breeze and relax in this nature-filled atmosphere of this beachside retreat – a great respite to the stuffy and formal environment of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
~ Fresh sea breeze all year through ~
The open dining room where the king used to entertain his guests.
There are 16 buildings of golden teak, in Thai-Victorian style, all connected by elevated airy walkways designed to catch the breezes from all directions.
There’s a long corridor leading to the sea.
Continuing the story of the royal family in this palace: The queen became pregnant four times, but unfortunately, she was unable to carry her pregnancies to full term.
This summer palace’s walls are witness to the story of the King and the Queen – including their fallout and the King marrying another woman. A daughter was finally born, but only hours before the King died.
A more detailed Royal Love Story can be found here.
It is said that plays would also be staged regularly at this palace, with the King himself taking part. It was during one such performance that brought together the royal playwright and the actress Tew Abhaiwongse (the King’s would be second wife) together.
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.
The palace is open for viewing everyday except Wednesday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is 30 bahts for adults and 15 baht for children under 15. Dress restrictions apply – so no shorts, short skirts or totally sleeveless T-shirts are allowed. Sarongs and T-shirts are available for those who turn up wearing any of the above just before you enter the building. Also no shoes are allowed to be worn, but you are given a bag to carry them around with you, so you can put them on again when exiting the building at the other end.
Next up: A visit to Plearn Wan – Hua Hin’s nostalgic village; something like a time machine, a step back into the Hua Hin of yore.