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Originally constructed in 1952 as the private home of their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, Suan Pakkad Palace opened to the public as a museum in 1987.
Comprised of several fine traditional wooden Thai houses and bristling with antiques, traditional furnishings, artwork and an intriguing collection of khon masks, the property sits on what was once a cabbage patch. With this fact in mind the museum's name is charmingly apropos, Suan Pakkad translates as "Cabbage Park."
Although set on busy Thanon Sri Ayutthaya with Bangkok's second tallest building looming behind, the beautiful gardens offer a tranquil retreat from the busy streets. While all of the museum's displays are fairly interesting, the gem of Suan Pakkad is the Lacquer Pavilion comprised of two late 17th century temples that have been moved from their original position between Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In. The ornately gilded interior walls are enough to make a visit worthwhile.
Just a short taxi or skytrain ride from Jim Thompson's House, the two combine to make a nice double-header of old-school Thai houses. Free English tours are provided at the museum although walking around the grounds on your own is a fine option as well.
How to get there
The museum is a five-minute walk from the Phaya Thai BTS station.