Apart from court life exhibitions at various quarters of Mrigadayavan Palace, visitors can also visit the nearby Chao Phraya Rama Rakop House, in which the Foundation of Mrigadayavan Park has collaborated with the Department of Fine Arts, Ministry of Culture, in restoring this house to its original splendour. Chao Phraya Rama Rakop House is now available for hosting private functions. In addition, there is also an exhibition on court life at the royal pages’ quarter that is located along a row of buildings behind the palace buildings.
Friday - Sunday 0900-1630
This residence is commonly known by locals as the residence of Chao Phraya Rama Rakop, the chief aide-de-camp to King Vajiravudh. Word of mouth has it that King Vajiravudh presented the residence to Chao Phraya Rama Rakop as a wedding gift upon his marriage to Khun Ying Prajuab Sukhum. This narrative was adopted due to two main reasons. First, the residence’s design is special–an unusual three-pronged structure made of concrete instead of wood like the other 23 residences in the area, which has all since succumbed to the environment–making it suitable as a wedding gift for one of the King’s favourite aides. Second, the residence to its left belonged to Tao Indra Suriya, Chao Phraya Rama Rakop’s brother, and it made sense that the brothers’ residences would be near each other.
However, the acquisition of a map (undated but likely made between 1923-1925) of the Palace grounds from the National Archives revealed that the residence was actually built for the then Minister of the Interior, Chao Phraya Yommaraj, who oversaw the construction of Mrigadayavan Palace. His letter in 1924 addressed to King Vajiravudh requesting reimbursement for the construction of a residence promised to him within Palace grounds further supports this narrative.
Nevertheless, there is evidence that Chao Phraya Rama Rakop did have a residence in the Palace; the court circular for 10th May 1925 documents that King Vajiravudh attended a ceremony to commemorate Chao Phraya Rama Rakop’s new house at Mrigadayavan Palace. However, the residence is not on the map. One reason for this inconsistency could be that the map was made before Chao Phraya Rama Rakop’s residence was constructed.
Another theory is that the residence could have been intended for Chao Phraya Yommaraj but was actually used by Chao Phraya Rama Rakop. All of the buildings at Mrigadayavan were built with a specific purpose in mind, but their actual uses sometimes varied from their assigned purposes; the map could have documented the intended use rather than the actual use of the residence. It is possible that Chao Phraya Yommaraj gave Chao Phraya Rama Rakop the residence, as Khun Ying Prajuab Sukhum, Chao Phraya Rama Rakop’s wife, was one of Chao Phraya Yommaraj’s daughters. And hence, the residence became known by locals as the Residence of Chao Phraya Rama Rakop.
The residence has been restored along with the Palace, and now serves as a Tea Room where visitors can have Mariage Frères tea with traditional Thai snacks while enjoying the nice ocean breeze.