The Bhubing Palace of Chiang Mai Thailand is located in the Doi Buak Ha, Muang district, and is famous among Thai people because it is the place where the Thai royal residence is nestled within the mountains known as Doi Suthep.
This unique complex of royal buildings known as Bhubing Palace attracts thousands of visitors each year and was specifically built back in 1961 as a winter residence for the Thai royal family. The residence was constructed within Thailand's beautiful Doi Suthep National Park in order to take advantage of the cool fresh mountain air and the abundance of nature provided by this region. The palace and the national park are conveniently situated only 15 kilometres from the popular holiday city of Chiang Mai.
The complex of buildings including the main residence are said to have been designed and constructed using a style of Thai architecture known as Ruen Mu (meaning group of houses).
The palace which took over 5 months to construct was designed to incorporate an upper floor level as the primary royal residence, and a lower level which houses all overseas delegates and dignitaries.
Indeed, the first visitors to stay at Bhubing were King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark who arrived at the palace in January of 1962.
Today, the palace is still utilised by the present King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej (i.e. Rama IX), and the Thai Royal Family. They are are said to be in residence between the months of January to March when this attraction is closed to the general public.
Just outside of the palace grounds is a small village which seems to cater to the tourist trade by selling food and drinks along with a variety of souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, and other handicrafts. In 1964, the king's mother, Somedet Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani (1900-1995) is said to have visited the same village while on her first trip to Bhubing Palace.
Noting the poverty that existed among these hill tribes, at the age of 64 years she took on a new role as patron and began to encourage and support the local community to improve their standard of living. She also commenced an association and love for the newly constructed Bhubing winter palace which she was to visit up until her death.
The grounds that surround the main residence, guesthouse and royal pavilion are about 2 kilometres in size and have been beautifully landscaped within the hilly environment and are kept in immaculate condition. They are beautified by the establishment of various gardens and shrubberies including orchids, roses (which are quite famous) and fern gardens, manicured lawns, nature walk ways and water features such as ponds and fountains.
The best way to travel to Bhubing Palace is by taking either a bus tour or taxi from Chiang Mai city which is only about 25 minutes away. The palace is open to the public between 8.30 AM and 3.30 PM each day when the Thai royal family are not in residence. A strict dress code does apply to all people who wish to visit this site, so modest clothing should be worn by both men and women. There is a 50 baht entrance fee for foreigners.
The best way to travel to Chiang Mai province is by plane, bus, or train. A number of domestic airlines including Nok Air and Thai Airways have daily flights to Chiang Mai's International Airport departing from Bangkok. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
Air-conditioned buses depart daily from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (at Mo Chit on Kamphaengphet 2 Road) and the journey takes approximately 11 hours.
Trains to Chiang Mai depart from Bangkok's Hualamphong Station daily with the journey taking approximately 12 hours.