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“Very pretty but virtually impossible to enjoy due to the hordes of tourists” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vimanmek Mansion

Vimanmek Mansion
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$41.39*
and up
Private: Half Day Tour of Vimanmek Museum in Bangkok
Ranked #93 of 524 things to do in Bangkok
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Closed for renovation Built by King Rama V, this palace is the largest teak structure in the world featuring a unique blend of Victorian and delicate Thai architecture.
Sydney
Level Contributor
86 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Very pretty but virtually impossible to enjoy due to the hordes of tourists”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

We visited this impressive teak mansion and its surrounding complex several times over the years, but it's been a while and we thought we'd pop over again, combining the day out with a trip to the Dusit Zoo next door (see separate review).

Entry is 100 THB for foreigners (approx $3.50), with another 150 THB if you want to visit the larger, more impressive Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall on the palace grounds, which houses Thai art masterpieces.

There have always been strict regulations about appropriate clothing (no bare shoulders for women or men, no shorts, leaving shoes at doors, no photography indoors). On this occasion, though, things had been taken to extreme. We were not only not allowed to take in bags: we were also forced to lock up phone, camera, etc in lockers which cost another 20 THB. Visitors are then patted down by door attendants AND pass through an electronic scanner before entering the building.

That's all fine, but what is new is that staff yell at you to stop if they see you taking photos of the buildings EXTERNALLY. There are no signs saying it is not allowed, but the message is clear.

I remember both the teak mansion building and its contents being very impressive in the past, but to be honest the crush of people made it impossible to see a single thing, and all our efforts were focused on finding a way out of the one-way passages and back out of the building. There were literally back-to-back crowds of mostly Chinese tourists occupying what seemed to be every available millimeter of space, with their tour guides loudly describing what no one could see anyway.

There are several other smaller buildings dotted around the complex to which you are granted admission with your teak mansion ticket. Two of these house photographs by and of the King, including one filled with photos mostly of his family. They are both beautiful and touching, as it is clear there is a great deal of love in the family.

Your ticket will also allow entry to the small Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall which has some lovely Thai handicrafts and trinkets on display.

Because of the sheer numbers, the staff are unusually brusque and abrupt and queues for absolutely everything including toilets and refreshments long.

I don't know if there is a day of the week or time of day which you can attend when the car park and roads approaching the complex are NOT full of massive tour buses, but if you can time your visit for then, go. Otherwise, it's an expensive, hot and frustrating couple of hours out.

Visited April 2013
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4 Thank maruschka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore River, Singapore
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great if you like teak...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

While the grounds are beautiful and the buildings impressive, the rather strange "no photography/no cellphones" culture at the Vimanmek Mansion makes it an odd place for the modern tourist. Once you enter, you'll be asked to divest yourself of your phone, camera, purse, backpack and other devices by placing them in a 20bhat coin op locker (30 for the super size locker) and walking to the various buildings on the grounds. Kudos to the photography exhibits between the two mansions: The King of Thailand has taken some excellent portraits and you can see them here. It seems it's a tradition, as some of the old, faded portraits in the mansion were taken by King Rama V. This is actually one of the things I didn't like about the museum: the photos are fading (not much you can do once that starts), and there is little you can see from the hallways you are herded through. Some of the displays are so far from the thresholds that you can only guess what it being displayed.

The architecture is beautiful, the grounds are well-kept. This one is definitely for hard-core history buffs looking for pieces of the late 19th/early 20th century or those into unique architecture (the teak spiral staircase is lovely; too bad you can't climb it!).

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank DonnieWorldwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gent
Level Contributor
162 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Too crowede though !!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

This teak house is so beautiful. It's really a very nice palace and there is a very nice collection of furniture. But it's too crowded. When we were there it was jampacked with busloads of Chinese tourists. What a pitty! But it is worth the visit (after all).

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank goalgent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Unique Glimpse into a Royal Mansion”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

Vimanmek Mansion was built to be the residence of a Thai king, and is the largest Golden Teak structure in the world. You get to walk through its corridors and glimpse into roped off rooms into the sumptuous decor that shows a fusion between Thai and European design. A strict dress code is enforced ... no shorts for men, and no shorts skirts for the women. If you need to, you can purchase (not rent) a sagong at the entrance. Sandals are fine, as you leave all footwear at the entrance to the mansion anyway.

Tho somewhat impersonal, the tour through this mansion is fascinating and a very unique experience. I think now it could have been enhanced if I had been with a knowledgable guide.

BTW, no cameras of any kind are allowed, and storage lockers are provided for stowing your cameras and cellphones and bags prior to entering the mansion.

Visited April 2013
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1 Thank LosBound2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
443 reviews
248 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 343 helpful votes
““Amazing architecture on the outside, impressive collections on the inside””
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

The entrance ticket to Vimanmek Mansion is included and valid for 7 days, when you purchased the entrance ticket to the Grand Palace.
This mansion is the world largest Golden Teakwood Mansion and is really worth the visit but there are very strict rules, such as No Shoes, No Bags, No Cameras & No Hand phones is allowed in the Mansion.
You could use the coin operated lockers for 20 Bath to keep your valuables at the Security Point. The Architecture on the outside is amazing and the decoration on the inside is very impressive as there are antiques, sculptures, personal collections and portraits of the King himself being displayed.
The whole building is Air-conditioned and it would take about 45 minutes to look around.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Gerard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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