The Dusit Palace complex is a well-known site in the Thai capital Bangkok, consisting of a number of grand buildings which have served as residences for the royal personages of Thailand. The complex was founded by King Rama V (also known as Chulalongkorn) at the end of the 19th century and has functioned as the primary residence of a number of Thai monarchs including the present king.

The visitor will observe that the Dusit Palace compound is very different from the more traditional and conventional Grand Palace. King Rama V after touring the aristocratic residences of Europe decided to model his new palace on these royal edifices. This theme is obvious in the Western layout and architecture of the compound. Today more than a century later the complex looks as regal as ever, and the visitor will see a number of palaces, edifices used for political purposes and museums at the venue.

The unmistakable Vimanmek Mansion is one of the most resplendent buildings at the site. This grand edifice has the distinction of being the largest building to be composed wholly of golden teakwood on the globe. Today it functions as a museum dedicated to the late King Rama V, displaying numerous objects of interest such as antique items of furniture, porcelain, glassware, a collection of photographs and other pieces of memorabilia from the monarch’s period of rule. Another fascinating museum is the Abhisek Dusit Hall, which displays Queen Sirikit’s extensive collection of handicraft artworks fashioned by rural artisans.

Not to be missed is the majestic Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall which once functioned as a reception area. Today it has been transformed into a museum but is still occasionally used for state events. The Hall is noted for its magnificent appearance which demonstrates Italian Renaissance and Neoclassical architectural styles. Another building at the complex is the Chitralada Palace which serves as the residence of the current monarch and his Queen.

With so much to see and admire a visit to the Dusit Palace complex will prove a captivating experience for visitors of all ages.

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Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.