Phra Chudhadhuj Ratchasthan on Si Chang Island
Phra Chudhadhuj Ratchasthan, Thailand’s only island palace, was built in 1889 as a summer palace for King Chulalongkorn and members of the royal family. The palace was named after Prince Chudhadhujdharadilok (Krom Khun Petchabune Indrachai). The conflict between Thailand and France in the 112th year of the Ratanakosin Era, involving armed forces landing on Si Chang Island and the closure of the Gulf of Thailand, caused the construction work in the palace grounds to stop. Later, at the King’s command, some buildings were dismantled to be re-assembled at new locations. Since then, members of the royal family have stopped spending their summer vacation at this island palace.
In 1978, Chulalongkorn University was presented with the right to use this palace by the Treasury Department. It founded the Marine Science Research Station and Centre for Student Training on this island and also carried out the task of conserving Phra Chudhadhuj Ratchasthan and renovating the buildings in the palace grounds.
In 2002, Chulalongkorn University turned the palace into an historical tourist-site and established a museum. On January 12th, 2004, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony of the Phra Chudhadhuj Ratchasthan Palace Museum.
King Chulalongkorn wrote a poem describing the atmosphere of Phra Chudhadhuj Ratchasthan as a place that brings happiness of body and mind to the inhabitants of Si Chang Island. The pleasant natural ambience allows people enjoy their long life.