Vimanmek Museum was originally known as the Vimanmek Mansion and is revered for it being the largest golden teakwood mansion in the world. It was constructed in the rule of King Rama V. In 1897, King Rama V paid a royal visit to Europe and was enthralled to see the Royal Palaces there. On his return from Europe he bought orchards and paddy fields between Padung Krungkasem Canal and Samsen Canal and ordered the construction of a royal garden which he named the Dusit Garden.
The Mansion that was originally constructed on Ko Si Chang was dismantled and reassembled in the Dusit Garden as the first permanent residence of King Rama V. It is said that not even a single nail was used during its entire construction. The Mansion thus formed reflected unique blending of the Victorian and the traditional Thai architecture. The celebration for the completion of 72 rooms of the Vimanmek Mansion happened on March 27, 1901. From then onwards it was used as a permanent residence of Rama V until the construction of Amphorn Satharn villa in 1906. In 1932, the mansion was used a storage house of the bureau of the Royal household. It was in the year 1982 that Queen Sirikit sought the permission of King Rama IX to renovate this palace into a museum to pay homage to the late King Rama V.
The Museum now holds the prized possessions of the King Rama V which he collected during his Europe trip. The Vimanmek Museum also holds an interesting collection of King Rama V’s photographs, personal art collection and a whole host of Thai handicrafts. The Museum serves a true representative of the ancient Thai heritage. The grandeur of this place makes it popular tourist attraction visited for its rich and luxurious décor. The most outstanding of the Halls here is the Abhisek Dusit hall which exhibits HM Queen Sirikit’s collection of exquisite handicraft pieces created by rural Thai people. Some parts of this building are also used for various state functions and receptions, at which time the palace is closed for public. One could do well to plan his trip to the mansion and make sure to witness the traditional Thai dances performed here every day at 10:30 and 2 pm.
One important thing to remember while paying a visit here is the ‘dress code’, which basically means that you need to be fully covered and not wearing any kind of shorts or ripped jeans or t-shirts. One could also buy a Sarong (a traditional south-east asian wrap around) while visiting here. The guided tours here are conducted in Thai or English.