Ancient palace, Marukhathaiyawan Palace in Cha-Am,Petchaburi Pro

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mrigadayavan Palace

Hua Hin

With a breezy seaside location 12km north of Hua Hin, this summer palace – Phra Ratchaniwet Mrigadayavan – was built in 1924 during the reign of Rama VI. Set in a beautiful garden with statuesque trees and stunning sea views, it's a series of 18 interlinked teak buildings with tall, shuttered windows and patterned fretwork built upon stilts.

The functional but elegant style of the palace was a result of Rama VI suffering from rheumatoid arthritis; the court’s Italian architect designed it to maximise air circulation and make the most of the seaside location. A slow-motion renovation means there will be no interior access for many years (access may not resume even after the renovation is finished, but this is still uncertain), which is unfortunate, but it's lovely on the outside too and still worth a visit. There's also a nature trail here.

The palace is within the grounds of Camp Rama VI, a military base. It's easiest to get here with private transport but you can also catch a Hua Hin–Cha-am bus and ask to be dropped off at the camp's front gate. As this is a royal palace, legs and arms must be covered, otherwise you'll have to pay 20B to wear a sarong.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hua Hin attractions

1. Cha-am Forest Park

5.68 MILES

Out on the edge of town, an easy bike ride from the beach, this park is known not for its beauty, but rather its white-handed gibbons. The gibbons usually…

2. Klai Kangwon Palace


Phra Ratchawang Klai Kangwon (Far from Worries Palace) is still an official royal palace and not open to the public. You can see just a little bit of the…

3. Jao Mae Tubtim Shrine


This Chinese temple is built on the city's namesake 'Stone Head'. It's a pleasant place to get a view of the seaside.

4. Clock Tower

8.82 MILES

A helpful navigational landmark in the middle of town.

5. Baan Silapin

8.85 MILES

Local painter Tawee Kasangam established this artist collective in a shady grove 4km west of town. The galleries and studio spaces showcase the works of…

6. Hat Hua Hin

8.91 MILES

Hua Hin Beach is a pleasant, but not stunning, stretch of fine white powder lapped by calm grey-green waves. Remarkably shallow, it's made for strolling…

7. Hua Hin Train Station

9.03 MILES

Probably the most beautiful train station in Thailand, this red-and-white icon was built in 1926 to replace the original station. It has a Victorian…

8. Khao Hin Lek Fai

9.22 MILES

In the hills west of the city, a winding drive up Flintstone Hill takes you to several viewpoints of Hua Hin and the gulf. Viewpoint #4, across from the…