Have you ever been inspired to build or make improvements to your existing home after visiting a friend’s house?
The Kings of Thailand were no different and after a royal visit to Europe in 1897 King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) commissioned the construction of Vimarnmek Mansion amid a recently purchased garden area near his royal city which he christened the “the Dusit Garden.”
Vimarnmek Mansion was completed in 1901, and King Chulalongkorn lived in the mansion until 1906.
A visit to Vimarnmek Mansion appeals to those who appreciate a leisurely walk through landscaped gardens while taking in the grand splendor of Thailand’s architectural heritage, ancient history, and past and present Royal Court memorabilia.
Many first time visitors are surprised to find that the 72 room Vimarnmek Mansion, which is the world’s largest golden teakwood structure, is only one part of this Bangkok area attraction. The central mansion is surrounded by auxiliary buildings (originally built for the King’s consort, princesses and other wives) that serve as timepieces of early twentieth century Thai architecture. All of the restored structures serve as a large complex of museum buildings, displaying everything from ancient artifacts from Thailand’s prehistory to contemporary photographs donated by the current King, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).
Vimarnmek Mansion is listed as one of the seven MUST SEE museums in Bangkok. The other museums on the list are:
- Prasart Museum
- Bangkok National Museum
- Grand Palace
- Thai Royal Barge Museum
- Jim Thompson House
- Erawan Museum
Most large tour groups allow just enough time to visit the main mansion, missing out on much of what is on offer within the museum buildings in the garden. If you want to visit the entire complex, it is best to engage a personal tour guide who can cater to your schedule and make recommendations that suit your specific needs.
It is best to allow for half a day to visit Vimarnmek Mansion, including transport time from central Bangkok locations. A visit to Vimarnmek Mansion can be easily complemented by nearby attractions such as Anantasamakom Throne Hall, Wat Benchamabophit, or the Dusit Zoo.
One of the highlights of visiting the Vimarnmek Mansion is the Ruean Ton building.
- Ruean Ton – A simple Thai teakwood house commissioned to be built by King Rama V as a meeting hall between himself and his friends. This structure, which served as a guesthouse, was created as a result of King Rama V adventuring out amongst the populace in common dress. King Rama V wanted to witness the living conditions of his people for himself.
Parts of Vimarnmek Mansion and its grounds are still occasionally used for state functions and at such times will be closed to the public. Using the services of a personal tour guide ensures your holiday plans are successful.
Vimarnmek Mansion is open Tues-Sat from 8:30am until 4:30pm. Last entrance ticket sold at 3:30pm.
Admission Price: 100 Baht (allows entry into every building and gallery) per person. Entry into Vimarnmek Mansion is free when you show a ticket from the Grand Palace within 7 days of your visit.
Things you should be aware of when visiting the Vimarnmek Mansion:
- Respectful attire is required. Vimarnmek Mansion is a royal residence, and a such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner. This means that men must wear long pants and short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts (no tank tops or sleeveless shirts). Women must wear skirts or pants extending at least to the knee, and also should not wear a top that reveals bare shoulders.
- Photography inside any of the structures is strictly forbidden. Visitors are allowed to take photographs of any outside area of the complex.
- It is recommended that you wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.