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Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace, Hua Hin - Cha-am - Marukhataiyawan or Maruldshathayawan Summer Palace - Rama VI Summer Palace
The Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan, King Rama VI Summer Palace is situated about 10km north of Hua Hin and 10km south of Cha-am, inside the Southern Border Police HQ Compound signposted off the main route Highway 4 via a 2km access road.
We visited the Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace or Maruldshathayawan Summer Palace in February 2008.
This luxuriously restored seaside palace of King Rama VI, Phra Ratchaniwet Marukhathaiyawan, is open daily from 0800 to 1600 and a small entrance fee applies.
The originally smaller Rama V palace was designed by an Italian architect and allegedly completed in just over a fortnight in 1923 for King Rama V, built at the beach in Tambon Haui Sai Nuea, Amphoe Cha-am and later occupied by King Mongkutklao also known as King Rama VI.
The extended golden teak summer palace building was abandoned after King Rama VI's death in 1925. The building was ravaged by the salty sea breeze for almost half a century until restoration work was started on the three two-storey wooden pavilions facing the sea, once referred to by the king as "the palace of love and hope", during the 1970s.
Today the Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace structure and grounds looked almost as good as it once did, with its stylish open structure composition of stilted verandas and fine latticework painted in subtle pastel shades of blue and beige, set off by the red of the roofs. The cool simplicity of the regally appointed palace can be appreciated today by everone.
The first building you enter after the entry pavilion is the Samoson Sewakamat Hall, the royal reception hall, hung with chandeliers and circled by a first-floor balcony. Once used as a theatre and ballroom. The upstairs rooms are now sparsely decorated with a few portraits reproduced from the royal family's photo albums.
The northern rooms were used by royal attendants like the king's equerry and senior officers of the army who attended him. The king occupied the centre suite of rooms, the Phisan Sakhon Hall, with the best sea views and access to the dining area and promenades, these living quarters consists of a bathroom, royal bed chamber and study.
The front of the building has a pair of long walkways towards the beach and a pavilion for bathing costume changing, whilst the whole of the southernmost wing and Samut Phiman Hall was the queen's and the concubines' apartments.
The red teak floors are of particular note and the reason why visitors must go bare-foot through the entire building.
While we were at The Royal Palace of Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan there were musicians playing traditional Thai timpani musical instruments in one of the rooms behind the king's bedroom, the sound carried right through the building, giving it a lived in feeling. The musical tones were very pleasing to the ear.
We made the trip to Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace or Maruldshathayawan Summer Palace as part of a full day's sightseeing trip in and around Hua
Hin with a privately hired 'taxi' tour with "Jack's Tour", besides visiting the Marukhatayawan Palace - The old Royal Summer Palace for King Rama VI, we also
visited Khao Hin Lek Fai - Hua Hin Overlook, Luang Phor Tuad Statue - Big Buddha Monument at the Huay Mongkol Temple, Pala-U Falls - Kaeng Krachan National
Wear long trousers / long skirt and no 'strappy' tops or singlets for Royal Palace and Temples. Take with you the following: plenty of drinking water, toilet paper, sun hats, sunglasses, camera and binoculars.
We also recommend that you take fish pellets and monkey food.
For those of you who are prone to being bitten it is advisable to take insect repellent.
Items annotated (TAT)
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