There is more to the sleepy town of Cha-am than meets the eye. International golf courses and beaches aside - the elegant Mrigadayavan Palace and its surrounding mangrove nature trail has become increasingly popular among visitors.
A royal love story
April 2005 marks the centenary of the birth of Phra Nang Chao Suvadhana Phra Vora Raja Devi, royal consort of King Vajiravudh, Rama VI.
Summer court by the sea
King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, constructed Ban Puen Palace in Phetchaburi in the Western art deco style. King Vajiravudh had a palace built by Chao Samran beach in 1921, but when the flies from the nearby fishing community became too annoying, the king decided to uproot to a new location. Southern venues had been opened up due to the advent of the railway in 1896, and the Cha-am beachside area of Huay Sai offered the perfect solution, and Mrigadayavan Palace was built there. Klaikangwol Palace in Hua Hin was later built by King Prajadhipok.
The first coup and the last absolute king
Royal museum a towering draw
Khao Wang or the Phra Nakhon Khiri royal palace atop a mountain in Phetchaburi province makes for a scenic stroll along its frangipani garden and stone paths. Built during the Ayutthaya period, it was the summer palace of King Rama IV which has now been turned into a museum.
Royal retreat top draw
Phra Nakhon Khiri, the summer palace of King Rama IV in Phetchaburi province, is one of the most graceful national museums outside Bangkok and attracts some 430,000 visitors every year, the highest in the country.