Vimanmek Mansion & Ananata Samkhom Throne Hall

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June 28th 2012
Published: June 23rd 2017
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After breaky I felt sick, so like yesterday I went up to our room for a sleep, mum thought it was the perfect opportunity to do the same thing; the only problem was by the time Nana decided she should wake us up it was 11:15! We caught a taxi from out the front to Vimanmek mansion, with a lot of trouble with the language barrier. We drove through an amazing wide road (a good 200m) looking onto an even more amazing marble palace, I was very upset when we didn't stop but the driver was taking us to the very entrance. With absolutely no signs we walked hoping for the best, we didn't have to pay as tickets were in included in what we bought at the Grand Palace. As we know now, this building wasn't actually the Vimanmek Mansion but the Ananata Samkhom Throne Hall. I had to buy a sarong to cover my shoulders then we put everything (including our cameras) in a locker. We were given a set of headphones each enabling us to do a self-guided tour.

As we walked up the grand curving stair with the high dome ceiling covered in painting of the sky in amazingly rich colours we could tell that this was not going to be a waste of time. In the first room, octagonal in shape, we saw a huge chandelier and what would have been floor to ceiling hanging rugs if we were in a 'normal' building. An iridescent green catches your eye from over 100m away which turned purple, blue and red depending on where you were. It turned out to be beetle wings- which all died naturally!

The next room we entered was the actual hall, meaning the ceilings were even higher and more impressive and larger in size. In the 'T' shaped room there were large glass cabinets containing different things, all gold, huge and impressive. The items were mainly made for the Queens 6th cycle birthday, the King's 60th year on the throne and the Kings birthday. The majority of the works were made with hair-fine gold, beetle wings and diamonds making them absolutely shine and glow, these things were all made by the SUPPORT foundation which was set up by the Queen when she realised that too many people were unemployed. We saw elaborate thrones, caskets, wall hangings, decorations and other different things. The vast majority were made by 100+ artisans (artists) and took well over 2 years to complete! In another large room we saw a 20X10m carved wooden wall that was 3D and came out a good 20cm, a silk rug thing with a pond scene then the same pond scene on another piece of carved wood.

The whole time we were at the palace we would've seen less than 200 other people, but outside there were easily 1,000 people as it was graduation day and they were all there with professional photographers taking photos. We wondered over to the restaurant for lunch, but unfortunately it was only a café so we bought a chocolate drink thing. When we were leaving I said that there were meant to be 3 more buildings on the same block, so we pulled out the map and sure enough there was and we hadn't even looked through the Vimanmek Mansion. Behind a huge wall we found the Vinnamek mansion but decided to have lunch first. After lunch I went to the toilet and was more than surprised when I looked into the mirror when washing my hands to see a man right there using a urinal with no privacy walls or anything.

We took our shoes off, put everything in a locker and went in. Inside there were four rooms filled with cabinets containing silverwear, half of which you couldn't even see in. The display was so boring that we didn't even spend 10 minutes inside. When we were eating lunch there we two Asians who came in but it was only when they asked if it was worth going into the museum that we started talking; we told them it wasn't worth it then followed them to Vimanmek Mansion. After the long walk to the Mansion it had already shut, even though it was meant to shut at 4pm and it was only 3:30. With nothing else to do we walked out and decided to catch a taxi, while we were looking the two people from the restaurant came up to us and asked if we wanted to share a taxi with them; they were going to Jim Thompson's house. We later found out that their names were Joanna and Stephanie who were on a 3-day holiday from Taiwan, they were very friendly and talkative. When we arrived at
Arts of the KingdomArts of the KingdomArts of the Kingdom

Boats, barges and a palanquin, which was used to convey high ranking members of the Thai royal family, can be found on display
National Stadium station we showed them the way to Jim Thompson's House, although I doubt that we were helpful. They offered to pay for a taxi and then recommended a shop that we go to, NaRaYa, we said goodbye and went into this shop. Although the bags looked a bit Asian, covered with things like teddies, we bought 7 different types of bags that were all incredibly cheap.

We caught the Skytrain back to the hotel and ran down to the pool. For dinner we went to Tops, but as I had a big late lunch I only had a strawberry & banana smoothie. Mum, Nana and I all continued down the street to see more of the market while Pa grabbed his ice-cream and went back for an early night. We came home with some sunglasses, a tuk-tuk ornament, reading-glasses and some DVD's. When we reached the corner of the street to our hotel the biggest rat ran past; needless to say mum and I absolutely freaked and walked past very quickly.

Additional photos below
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 Items made by royal goldsmiths for the monarchs Items made by royal goldsmiths for the monarchs
Items made by royal goldsmiths for the monarchs

permanent exhibitions on the country's national artists and showcases of arts and crafts by the students at the Chitralada Vocational Centre

5th July 2012

Some terrific shots in these slideshows guys mum looks like she is handling the heat well but she should try to smile not pull a funny face, check out the 6th last photo

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