The Mrigadayavan Palace

Advised by his doctor to rest and restore his health in a cool dry place. His Majesty King Vajiravudh, Rama VI, chose to spend his summers at the seaside in Petchaburi. He become dissatisfied with the RoyalResidence at Chao Samran Beach because of unhealthy conditions.
His Majesty therefore decided in 1923 to build a summer palace near the beach in Huai Sai Nua, Cha-am, District, using materials from the dismantled buildings of the former residence. The new side was drier and cooler. With lush natural forest and fresh water. Few people lived nearby, though a train station was not far away.

The area, Huai Sai, means the stream where hog beer drink. His Majesty named the new palace "Mridadayavan" which maintained the original meaning of the place while adopting the auspicious name of the park where the lord Buddha gave his first sermon. His Majesty forbade hunting within the vicinity of Mrigadayavan.

King Rama VI made the first designs of the palace himself. He assured good ventilation with high ceilings and fretwork on all walls.
Building the entire structure on stilts ensured the ground could be kept clean. Ants were controlled byniches for water around each concrete pillar and along the plaster walls that connect to the ground. Bringing all his ideas together, His Majesty chose an italian architect,
Ercole Manfredi, who worked in the Civil Works Department, to make the final architectural drawings.

The palace consists of three groups of buildings. All buildings are one story high, built of golden teak, and stand on a total of 1.080 concrete pilars. Covered wooden corridors connect all the buildings.

King Vajiravidh was able to spend only 2 summers, in 1924 and 1925, in this Palace. Then he passed away on November 25, 1925.

The sevakamataya Group of Buildings :
The sevakamatya Group of Buildings is considered a part of the Front Court, where both men and women could join in official events.It consists of a pavilion-like theatre, an audience hall, an office for the Royal Aide-de-Camp General and a room for night duty chamnerlains. This part of the Palce also served as the official entrance for the King.

The Bisansagara Group of Buildings :
The Bisansagara Group of Buildings was the King's personal residence. It consists of a Royal Suit Which has an office, a bedroom, a dressingroom and a bath room, together with a dinning pavilion, a Royal bathing pavilion with changing rooms, and groups of rooms for Royal pages and other personnel.
During his first Royal visit in 1924, King Rama VI found his first group of residence not very comfortable because it was set back far from the sea breezes.
A new building was thus added to the front of the dining pavilion. This new building has coverd verandas to shade the rooms from sunlight. During the second Royal visit in 1925, King Rama Vi stayed in this new residential complex and gave permission to Chao Chom Savatana, who was pregnant, to stay in the nearby former Royal residence.

Samudabiman Group of Buildings :
The Samudabiman Group of Buildings formed the inner court of the palace, where men otherb than the king were forbidden to enter.
This part of the palace begins at the long corridor which branches off from the Bisansagara group.
This group of buildings consists of the residence for H.M. Queen Indrasakdisaei, buildings for her sister, and her entourage during the King's first visit in 1924, a dinig pavilion and a Beach pavillion. The King usually had his lunch in Thai style in the dining pavilion in the inner court.

Renovation of Mrigadayavan :
The life of H.M. King vajiravudh was all too brief. Though His Majesty used the Summer Pallace for only 2 seasons, it captured the spirit and pleasure of that time. It also shows the life of the royal court in both its official and personal aspects.
The Mrigadayavan Summer Palace Foundation and the department of Fine Arts have tried to conserve and restore all the buildings, which were deserted for decades, to their present condition. When the Royal Family and their entourage traveled in those days, most furniture and other accessories were brought for the occasion from Bangkok and taken back when the King and his court left.
Few pieces of the original furniture remain from the two Royal Visits. However, for the understanding of how the King and his court lived at the Summer Palace , some contemporary pieces have been placed in the most important rooms.
In 1965 H.M. KingBhumibol Adulyadej granted Royal Permission to the Border Patrol police to use the buildings and the area of Mrigadayavan Summer Palace for special training courses and as a base camp.
The Foundation has also setup special exhibitions on the Royal Family.

Open daily during : 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Text taken from 'Mrigadayavan The summer Palace Cha-am Thailand' entrance brochure

Mrigadayavan Palace Photo Gallery