Tuesday 8th August 2017
|4:00 – 6:30 pm||Sightseeing: Royal Archieves of Queen Sri Savarindira and Royal Archieves of Prince Mahidol of Songkla-Princess Srinagarindra at Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University and Mahidol University Campus Tour by Tram|
|7:00 – 9:00 pm||Dinner|
Royal Archieves of Queen Sri Savarindira and Royal Archieves of Prince Mahidol of Songkla-Princess Srinagarindra at Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University
Wednesday 9th August 2017
|9:00 – 10:00 a.m.||Visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (Wat Phra Kaew) & The Grand Palace|
|10:00 – 12:00 noon||Visit Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles – Thai Arts and Craft Workshops|
|12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.||Lunch|
1. Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram & The Grand Palace
Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the official name of Wat Phra Kaew, the royal monastery situated on the northeastern/ northwestern corner of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. It houses the statue of Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon (Emerald Buddha) and is the place where significant religious ceremonies are conducted. The construction of the temple was completed in 1784 and there have been constant renovations during every reign from King Rama I to IX. The interior of the Ubosoth and the entire compound walls are decorated with mural paintings. Apart from these, other highlights within the temple include the eight stupas, Phra Si Ratana Chedi, the model of Angor Wat, etc. This royal monastery in the precincts of the Grand Palace was one of Thailand’s first attractions introduced to the world when the tourism promotion began 50 years ago. In addition to the importance as the home of the Emerald Buddha, the architecture of various different eras is an enchanting characteristic. One of the majestic embellishments here is the world’s longest mural painting portraying the enthralling epic of Ramayana on the compound walls.
According to the Bangkok poll conducted by Bangkok University in 2010, the highest vote from tourists for their most favorite destination in Thailand went to Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. Both local Thais and foreigners are unanimous in their opinion. The temple truly deserves ‘the best of the best’ tourist attraction in Thailand. The Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion is also located within the Grand Palace compound on the right hand side before entering the palace’s inner gate. This place displays a collection of coins and other monetary exchange units used in Thailand, as well as Royal regalia. The pavilion is open daily from 8.30 to 15.30 and admission is free.
2. Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles
In 2003, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit requested permission to use a then-vacant building on the grounds of the Grand Palace to house a new museum of textiles. The 1870 Ratsadakorn-bhibhathana Building was graciously granted for this purpose by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The office building—for many decades the Ministry of Finance—was completely renovated and turned into a state-of-the-art museum; its modern facilities include a new lobby, galleries, storage, an education studio, library, lecture hall, and Thailand’s first dedicated textile conservation laboratory. Nonetheless, its past is still very much present, in the preservation of its original façade and many internal architectural details.
The ratsadakorn-bhibhathana building
In the early Rattanakosin period (1782-ca. 1810) a single-story army barracks was built on this site. Following the original three-zone Palace organization designating the outer area for the military, the middle for offices and residences for the king and male courtiers, and the inner for women of the court, the building is located just inside the outer wall of the Grand Palace, to the right of the visitors’ entrance gate. In 1870, early in the reign of King Rama V, the barracks was demolished and the present Italianate building was erected. It is probable that the Grassi brothers, three Italian architects recruited that year to work in Bangkok, were involved in its design. The new building was named for its first occupant, the Royal Department of Tax Revenue (later the Ministry of Finance) and was twice enlarged between 1870 and 1918. Following the ministry’s departure in 1987, it became the Office of Royal Ceremony.
The transformation of this office building into a textile museum was superintended by Mr. Grittip Sirirattumrong of DSDI International Co., Inc., a specialist in historic preservation and reuse. Fascinating traces of the building’s nineteenth-century origins were found during renovation, including a pediment ornament bearing the emblem of King Rama V and a cache of 33 cannonballs, relics of the site’s military past. The finished museum combines sleek, modern galleries and state-of-the-art back-of-house facilities while that retaining a wealth of period architectural details that honor the building’s original era and style.