This former royal palace was used by Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) over the summer months, but was abandoned when the French briefly occupied the island in 1893. The main throne hall – a magnificent golden teak structure known as Vimanmek Teak Mansion – was moved to Bangkok in 1910. What's left are subdued Victorian-style buildings set in gardenlike grounds.
Ruen Vadhana and Ruen Mai Rim Talay contain historical displays about the king’s visits to the island and his public works programs, including a lecture to the local people on Western tea parties. Up the hill is Wat Atsadang Khanimit, a temple with Gothic-style windows that contains a small, consecrated chamber where Rama V used to meditate. The Buddha image inside was fashioned more than 50 years ago by a local monk. Nearby is a stone outcrop wrapped in holy cloth, called Bell Rock because it rings like a bell when struck. Visitors can spend a few hours exploring the walkways, nearby caves and well-maintained gardens.