One of the most stunning pieces of architecture in Bangkok is the Phayathai Palace, which employs neo-gothic and Romanesque styles to manifest an authentic European palace smack in the middle of Bangkok. Tour this unique site as part of your cultural itinerary when you stay at a luxury Bangkok resort such as the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa. Its welcoming hospitality and charming surrounds make it an ideal choice out of the 5 star hotels in Bangkok. The Phayathai Palace was built back in 1909 as temporary royal residence for the monarch of the time, King Rama V. Its sumptuous interiors display a distinctly rococo influence that with intricate frescoes rendered on the ceiling, Corinthian columns that are exquisitely gilded, and an elaborate network of carved fretworks. The Palace boasts a unique history as it was once the experimental site of a concept known as “Dusit Thani”, translating to “Heaven on Earth”, and experiments took place on the complex’s grounds, spanning 160,000 square metres, to test drive the nation’s transition from monarchy to municipal government, and finally to a parliamentary form of government. Rendered to resemble a utopia, the complex even comprised “citizens”, who were attendants of the court who were granted the opportunity to vote for a leader each year. After Rama V’s passing, the notion of Dusit Thani fell into disfavor. Now an administrative centre of the city, it is the only building where one can stroll around unimpeded. Sit back and enjoy a bite and beverage at the Café Norasingh, whilst you soak up the impressive history of these grand surrounds.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and intends to visit them all someday.