On the site of what was once a cabbage field (suan pakkad), Princess Chumbon of Nakhon Sawan had the palace built as a weekend resort, and after World War II was over, she moved in permanently. Now, visitors can see her collection of arts and antiques, including betel nut utensils, minerals, shells, Khmer Buddha statues and antique furniture sheltered in five traditional Thai houses on the palace grounds. Other artifacts on display date from prehistoric times (Baan Chiang pottery) to the Rattanakosin period, and include objects from other Asian nations. The outside area is equally beautiful; magnificent landscape surrounds the tranquil lake and the Japanese-style garden. In the back of the complex lies the Lacquer Pavilion, a building from the Ayutthaya period. It features beautiful lacquer murals showing illustrations of Buddha’s life and scenes from the Ramakien.
THINGS TO SEE:
House 1: This building contains images of the Thai Royal Family, model boats and six drums. Upstairs are artifacts such as an image of the goddess Uma, Buddha images from the U-Thong period of Thailand, India and Myanmar.
House 2: This was originally a reception area, and displays personal objects such as ivory boxes and bowls inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
House 3: Thai musical instruments, nielloware, Bencharong ceramics and a palanquin are displayed here.
House 4: Originally a dining room in Japanese style, this house has a mother-of-pearl inlaid door fram dating from the 17th century. On the lower floor is an exhibition titled “The cave of Ali Baba”, showing the princess’ extensive mineral collection.
House 5: the upper room displays ancient Baan Chiang pottery, while downstairs there are sea shells, rocks and fossils.
House 6: Sawankhalok ceramics, ancient stone axes, earthenware utensils and figurines from the Sukhothai period can be seen here.
House 7: This is a Khon museum with masks, costumes and accessories, and a model of Ramayana troupe playing a scene from the battle of Kumphakan, as well as video presentations.
Lacquer Pavilion: This is perhaps the most exquisite building in Suan Pakkad Palace. Outside are carvings, lacquer patterns. Inside are pictures in lacquer, covering topics that range from the Ramakien to everyday life in Ayutthaya.
Marasi Gallery: located on the first floor of the Chumbnot-Pantip Art Gallery. Exhibitions are held here regularly to promote contemporary art, photography, ceramics and performance. The Ban Chiang Museum on the second floor displays ancient artifacts and features an exhibition about the details of Bang Chiang art and culture.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Address: 352 Thanon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 2245 4934, 0 2246 1775-6
To get there :
Bus routes 14, 17, 38, 77, 29,39,36
Phaya Thai BTS station
Open: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Mon-Sat
Admission: 100 baht for foreigner, 50 baht for Thai people, 20 baht for students.
Website : www.suanpakkad.com
No photohraphy is allowed inside the buildings.
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