Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 7th August, 2009

Suan Pakkad PalaceSurrounded by high rise buildings, busy roads and elevated railway lines, the Suan Pakkad (‘Cabbage Garden’) Palace complex is a small green oasis in hectic Bangkok. The former residence of the late Prince Chumbhot Paribatra of Nagor Svarga — one of the numerous grandsons of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) — features eight linked traditional wooden Thai houses displaying extensive collections of antique furniture, porcelain and other artefacts from South East Asia, China, India and the West. In one corner of the compound stands the fine Laquer Pavilion, a 17th century contruction which was originally part of a temple on the Chao Praya River near the historic city of Ayudya. The Prince had it transported to Bangkok as a 50th birthday present for his consort, Pantip. Unusually, the home was opened up to the public by its royal inhabitants as they believed other people should be able to enjoy their carefully-collected treasuers. Nowadays, the complex — which includes a modern arts centre and archaelogical museum — is owned and operated by the Chumbot-Pantip Foundation, one of Thailand’s largest philanthropic bodies.  The Paribatra family’s most famous scion these days is Sukhumbhand, the Democrat Governor of Bangkok and former Chaimran of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD).

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