Suan Pakkad Palace in Bangkok

Bangkok Palaces

Suan Pakkad Palace is a place to find visions of Thailand you thought long since vanished in Bangkok. Its name means 'cabbage patch', in reference to when the land was nothing more than just that. Today, however, it's a well-tended tropical garden with serene ponds surrounding eight traditional Thai houses, each of which brims to overflowing with fine arts, antiques and oddities belonging to Prince and Princess Chumbhot.

In a spirit of sharing, they converted their traditional private residence to a museum back in 1952, the first instance of a Thai family doing so. Their philanthropic rationale was that while treasured possessions are private property, they still constitute a part of mankind's heritage and as such should be made accessible to all. Slightly odd then that what greets visitors is an entirely unrelated and recent addition, built in 1996. The Chumbhot - Panthip Centre of Arts houses prehistoric Ban Chieng artefacts dating back to the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. These rare items of painted pottery, bronze weapons and tools, attest to a Southeast Asian civilisation that equals Egypt and Stonehenge in terms of technological and social advancement.

Take a Journey Into a Forgotten Time

The architectural centrepiece at Suan Pakkad Palace encompasses four Thai teak houses nestled between the front of the palace and garden, a family heirloom dating from the 19th Century. Each was transported here from its original location in Chiang Mai and, like most traditional Thai houses, are two storeys high (each is interlinked by upstairs platforms, so you can walk sequentially between buildings without having to trudge up and down stairs).

The first house contains musical instruments, downstairs belonging to Prince Chimbhot's father, Prince Paribatra, a successful Thai composer in his own right. Rare drums, xylophones, gongs and three-stringed fiddles are displayed. Highlights include a Gong Wong Yai, a bizarre-looking percussion instrument with 16 metal discs (each with different pitch), and old vinyl records of a Bangkok orchestra performance in the 1920s. Upstairs is an eclectic gathering of relics from various periods of Thai and Southeast Asian history. Amidst dusty muskets, swords and spears, a portrait of King Rama V, three Buddha images (two in the Subduing Mara pose, one in the attitude of dispelling fear, and classic 7th Century Khmer statue the 'Torso of Uma') stand out.


A Treasure Chest of Historical Discovery

Houses two and three contain decorative items and furniture from their daily lives: late 17th Century drawings, gilded book and scripture depicting the life of Lord Buddha, 19th Century silverware, Benjarong porcelain, food containers and trays inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and ornate commemorative fans donated by Buddhist monks. There is also an exquisite model Thai throne with palanquin and a gold-stitched umbrella that once belonged to Prince Chumbhot's great aunt. The fourth, with balcony overlooking the garden, features a collection of Buddha images from different periods of Thai history.

Houses five to eight were added to the grounds later, and are located to the west of the property. These contain, in sequence, prehistoric arts from Ban Chiang and a colourful collection of minerals, shells and fossilised fish, a small museum exhibiting the elegant Thai masked dance Khon, with full-sized masks, puppets and clay figurines on display, prehistoric artefacts from Kanchanaburi province - alongside Chinese-styled ceramic wares and terracotta sculptures, and some of the prince and princess' beautiful household items including glassware, silverware and porcelain.

Standing out though is the Lacquer Pavilion, tucked away quietly at the back of the tranquil grounds. This dates to the 17th Century and was originally located at a temple near Ayutthaya. The prince bought it in a sorry state as a birthday gift for the princess in 1959. Now fully restored, it's an exquisite example of Thai architecture, with richly carved gilded wood walls and an interior filled with lively Ramayana and Buddha mural paintings drawn in gold on black lacquer. Next to this is a wooden barge Prince Paribatra used for King Rama V's royal processions.

Suan Pakkad Palace

Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00
Location: 352-354 Sri Ayudhya Road (five minutes walk from BTS Phaya Thai), nearest area Pratunam
Tel: +66 (0)2 245 4934

Related Tour

Jim Thompson House & Suan Pakkard Palace Tour

This is one of our many handpicked tours that are tried and tested – prior to being offered to you. Many years of experience working closely with tour operators will ensure we offer the best experience possible. If you wish to book this tour or read More about it. Read More...

Related Pages

Jim Thompson House Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson's house serves as a museum showcasing Thai architecture and art. The house, located along one of Bangkok's few remaining canals, originally came from outside Bangkok. Read More...

M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home M.R. Kukrit’s Home

Set on a picturesque pond garden, M.R. Kukrit’s Heritage Home offers a pleasant journey into the life of Thailand’s former prime minister and multi-talented personality. Read More...

Kamthieng House Museum Kamthieng House Museum

It is hard to believe that somewhere as calm and green as Baan Kamthieng House Museum is located in one of the busiest junction’s on Sukhumvit, surrounded by towering hotels and in the shadow of Terminal 21 shopping centre. Read More...

Bangkokian Museum Bangkokian Museum

The Bangkokian Museum in Bangrak is hard to find and is not even very well known. It's a simple, discreet museum but the charm is in the pleasure of discovering this small frozen-in-time gem. Read More...

Best Selling Hotels in Petchburi

IN : Loading...  

Send us your feedback

Help us keep this website up-to-date by sending us your comments and suggestions. If your question is about a hotel please use this link - For TOUR questions and enquiries please use this link

Hotel Quick Finder

Check In:
Check Out:
Bangkok Attractions
Download our Free {place} Guide

Asia Web Direct Travel Club members have access to our free travel guides, and lots of other travel specials and benefits from the Asia Travel Specialists.

Please enter your details and we'll send your free {place} Travel Guide to you straight away. We will also add you to our free Asia Web Direct Travel Club Newsletter.

All fields are required.

We will not pass your details on to any other company or individual. We take your privacy seriously!

in Loading... out