The last King of Thailand

Sightseeing around the main historic area of Bangkok, Rattanakosin Island, can be a pretty daunting experience, it’s hot, it’s crowded with tourists, tuk-tuk drivers pester you incessantly, ” Palace closed today, you come with me sir”,  the place is overwhelmed with cheap souvenirs (who buys that junk!), it is however, the go-to place in Bangkok, all roads lead here, most of the main sights are located on the island.
One of the benefits of us having been to Bangkok before, is we can elect to skip the main sights, the Grand Palace, done it!, Wat Pho, been there! the Phra Palace, that’s so last Tuesday!.

Instead, we head to a little know, but very interesting museum, the King Prajadhipok Museum.

The King Prajadhipok Museum

The museum is housed in a registered heritage building, not far from Democracy Monument and has the King’s personal belongings, from his movie and still camera’s to his uniforms and clothes

Crowned King of Siam on 25 February 1926 after many of his older siblings died he inherited serious problems from his predecessor. The most urgent of these problems was the economy. The budget was heavily in deficit, and the royal financial accounts were a nightmare. The entire world was in the throes of the depression.

The King and Queen

The King wanted to allow the common people to have a say in the country’s affairs by the creation of a parliament. A proposed constitution was ordered to be drafted, but the King’s wishes were rejected by his advisers.

Before practical steps could be taken, however, the absolute monarchy was suddenly brought to an end.

A small group of soldiers and civil servants began secretly plotting to bring constitutional government to the kingdom. Their efforts culminated in an almost bloodless revolution on the morning of 24 June 1932 by the self-proclaimed Peoples Party.

The King’s glasses. With frosted lenses over his right eye. The King was in England for eye surgery when he abdicated.

It’s a pretty interesting story and more can be read here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Prajadhipok

The various exhibitions inside the museum guide you through his life and reign from his coronation, through to his eventual abdication in England, where the cold damp weather killed him within two years.

Inside the museum

We quietly enjoyed the whole experience, and except for one other couple, we had the place to ourselves.

Well worth a look if you find yourself in Bangkok and don’t fancy the crowds at the major sites nearby.

Part of the exhibition

 

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