Bhubing Palace – Royal Beauty on Doi Suthep
Bhubing Palace (Phra Tamnak Phuping Rajanives), situated within Doi Suthep National Park, serves as the royal winter residence of Thailand’s royal family. Although access is off limits to visitors, its gardens make an impressive sight.
To get to the palace, the best way is to catch a Songthaew from either Chiang Mai University or Chiang Mai Zoo entrance and ride it towards its endpoints – each journey should cost no more than 40 baht.
Doi Suthep is one of northern Thailand’s most revered mountains, its presence woven into all cultures that have ever lived there throughout recorded history. Bhubing Palace adds an exquisite touch to this sacred mountain’s splendor; serving as the winter residence of Thai royal family members since January and now open for visitors year-round – it makes an excellent destination for garden enthusiasts as well as admirers of Thai architecture and landscape design.
The Bhubing Palace can be found in Doi Suthep’s northern region in an idyllic valley surrounded by lush forests and rugged cliffs, constructed originally in 1961 to serve as the royal family winter residence and dignitary guest accommodations. The mountain air’s cool temperatures help promote growth of numerous exotic plant species making this an unforgettable site to discover! Its grounds are well maintained making your visit both informative and pleasurable!
Visitors are not permitted to enter the main buildings, but can wander the grounds and discover its many tiers of beautifully landscaped flower gardens adorned with roses, orchids and other tropical plants.
On the grounds are also found a large water reservoir and teak wood gazebo adorned with totem pole carvings made of teak wood, as well as “The Fountain of Celestial Water of People,” featuring musical fountains with seating areas in all corners of the grounds – but shade remains limited; furthermore there is an adjacent fern garden which boasts indigenous tree ferns as old as one hundred years!
When taking a break from exploring the palace, snack stands and souvenir shops near its entrance are available as alternatives; otherwise it would be wiser to find the songthaew stop near the base of the stairway for people watching purposes.
Journey time between 30 to 45 minutes for Bhubing Palace and Royal Garden is recommended as its roads up the mountain can be extremely steep and winding. Please take caution in this journey.
As with any royal residence, certain areas of its gardens are off limits to visitors. While palace buildings remain private property, however the sprawling grounds feature many sights worthy of viewing – for instance the Suan Suwaree rose garden boasting 274 varieties of roses as well as imported temperate plants in its water reservoir and imported temperate plant varieties are certainly worthy of seeing! Other notable gardens feature orchids, teak wood gazebos, ferns and even giant bamboo forests!
When members of the royal family are away, the Bhubing Palace Gardens become open for public enjoyment. Visitors can wander along its well-laid-out pathways that wind throughout the gardens to take in its vibrant colors and sights. Though large gardens can be navigated on foot with relative ease, you may prefer hiring a trolley car service with driver for an easier experience.
Phra Tamnak Bhubing Rajanives was constructed using Ruen Mu architecture, a northern Thai style known for its grouping of houses. This two-storey building sits atop stilts and contains the royal residence on its upper level while on the ground floor there are areas designated to royal entourage members.
Visitors who appreciate gardens and Thai architecture should make time to visit The Bhubing Palace Gardens, situated adjacent to Doi Suthep temple dating back 14th-century. You can appreciate them any season of the year.
Note that palace buildings are only open to the public during times when members of the royal family aren’t in residence – typically during January through March – so before planning your visit it is advisable to get confirmation from local authorities or tour operators. Even when the palace is closed, you can still visit its beautiful grounds and learn more about Thailand’s culture. Be sure to dress appropriately; shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted as are flip flops and other inappropriate footwear. Attractions such as The Bhubing Palace and Royal Gardens require an entrance fee, but are worth every penny to witness such a unique attraction. Once finished exploring, take advantage of food and beverage vendors offering traditional Thai snacks and beverages after your tour through The Bhubing Palace and Royal Gardens.
The Bhubing Palace showcases traditional Lanna architecture that blends Thai, Chinese, and European elements. Its luxurious buildings and intricate decorations are truly impressive while its beautiful gardens boasting lush greenery and exotic flowers make this palace worth seeing.
The palace houses a Floral Research Center which works to conserve and develop various plant species that flourish in the cool mountain climate, particularly temperate flowers that flourish there. Both its gardens and palace are open for public tours – the first royal guests staying here were King Frederick the Ninth and Queen Ingrid of Denmark who visited in January 1962.
Bhubing Palace serves as the Royal Family’s winter residence; they usually visit it between January and March each year. Furthermore, this place of accommodation allows them to host state dignitaries from other nations who visit.
Although the palace is open to visitors, many of its interior spaces are off limits due to royal use for personal matters. As a result, you will see numerous no entry signs posted around the property to deter you from wandering into areas not intended for you – though some tour operators advertise themselves as offering entry inside palace buildings.
If you want to view the interiors of a palace, it is advisable to contact either your local authority or professional tour operator first for more information about visiting hours, arrangements and accessibility. They will be able to give more accurate answers about current visiting hours, arrangements and accessibility.
A paved road connects Bhubing Palace to other parts of Doi Suthep and can be reached by car, scooter, or Songthaew. Travel time varies between 30 to 45 minutes depending on speed and road conditions.
As the road between Bhubing Palace and Doi Suthep is steep and winding, it’s wise to travel in groups. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing – shorts, sleeveless shirts or other inappropriate clothing is not permitted on its grounds – and bring an umbrella during rainy seasons as they may come in handy!
The Dress Code
As visitors are not permitted to enter the interior of the palace, when visiting it it is important to dress modestly and avoid wearing clothing which might reveal too much skin – both to show respect for its royal residence and as a sign of good manners.
As the palace serves as a venue for official state ceremonies and receptions, visitors should adhere to appropriate attire when attending these events. This means covering shoulders and knees when wearing shorts or skirts as well as avoiding bare chests.
If you’re in Chiang Mai looking for an attraction that combines beauty and history, the Bhubing Palace should not be missed. Set within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, this majestic structure gives visitors an amazing vantage point of northern Thailand’s picturesque views.
Though this palace may not have as long a history as some other landmarks of Chiang Mai, it still makes for a great visit for anyone interested in flowers, gardens and architecture. With stunning surroundings offering refuge from city life for both locals and visitors alike.
Bhubing Palace can be reached 11 minutes up Huay Kaew Road from the city center via car, scooter or Songthaew. Weekday visits tend to be less crowded than weekend and holiday visits.
Visitors are not permitted to enter the actual palace buildings, but it remains an excellent spot for photography and taking in some of Chiang Mai’s stunning scenery. Furthermore, its gardens boast many exotic flower species not commonly found elsewhere in Thailand.
If you want to travel from either Chiang Mai University or Chiang Mai Zoo entrances, Songthaew rides may offer cheaper fares when arriving before 10 AM; make sure to haggle over pricing.