Suan Pakkad Palace



Suan Pakkad Palace

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This palace, a group of five traditional teak houses, was originally the home of Prince and Princess Chumbhot. The houses were assembled in the 1950s within a lush garden landscaped out of a cabbage patch – suan pakkad in Thai – that gives the palace its name. Each building has been converted into a museum, and together they house an impressive private collection of art and artifacts that once belonged to the royal couple.

The eclectic assortment ranges from Khmer sculpture, betel-nut sets, and pieces of antique lacquered furniture, to Thai musical instruments and exquisite shells and crystals. More important, perhaps, is the first-class collection of whorl patterned red and white Bronze Age pottery, excavated from tombs at Ban Chiang in Northeast Thailand. The highlight for most visitors, though, is the Lacquer Pavilion, which was built from two exquisite temple buildings retrieved by Prince Chumbhot from Ayutthaya province.

Immaculately crafted, charmingly detailed black and gold lacquered murals inside each edifice depict scenes from the Buddha’s life and the Ramakien. They also portray ordinary Thai life from just before the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. These murals are some of the only ones to survive from the Ayutthaya period. Scenes include foreign traders exchanging goods, graphic battle scenes, and gruesome depictions of hell.

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