Bhubing Palace was built to be the residence of the Royal Family and their guests during their visits in Northern Thailand. It was built in 1961 so it is relatively recent and this is reflected in its architecture.
Due tot the fact that it is still in use, it is not a museum. It means that you actually cannot visit the buildings themselves. Even visiting the parks is prohibited if the Royal Family is there.
It also means that the dress code to enter the premises is VERY strict. For women as for men, you will be forbidden to enter if your knees, shoulders or cleavage is showing. We saw on another tourist that transparent fabric is also prohibited. Fortunately you can easily borrow clothes for 40 THB (1 EUR) in the shops nearby, which is what Silviu had to do because of his shorts.
The entrance itself cost 50 THB (1.25 EUR) per person.
How to get to Bhubing Palace
The best way to get there is to get a red car or a taxi. You can try to negotiate half a day private tour but it seemed to us too expensive (apparently around 1200 THB aka 30 EUR). Otherwise, if you manage to share it you can negotiate it around 100 THB (2.5 EUR) per person for one way from the city center.
From Doi Suthep, they advertised 40 THB (1 EUR) per person one way but you actually need to be minimum 4 persons to get this price or you need to book both ways directly. It still means you may need to share it and therefore wait for more customers…
By foot you have a nature trail leaving from Doi Suthep that takes about 2h30 one way apparently.
We were not really lucky in our negotiations so we decided to do like we did for Doi Suthep: start walking and try our chance by stopping a car, hitchhiking style. It took us less than 5 minutes to find one! Again it was full and I ending sitting on the floor by Silviu’s legs but for a 20 minutes trip generously offered we were not complaining at all!
What to see at Bhubing Palace
Buildings of different architectures
As I said before you cannot visit the buildings but you can still see them from outside. And the least to say is that they have interesting and different architecture! The main Royal Residence and Royal Guests Residence are white buildings, mixing modern and Thai styles. But the other buildings tend more towards the “holiday bungalow style”! Some are made with logs, some with eucalyptus, other with bricks… they are called chalets, cabin or villas… all have a relatively normal size and a humble style (from the outside at least).
I will spoil the surprise (or go straight to the next paragraph) but this is a glimpse of the unexpected things we saw and visited: a water reservoir just for the Palace, a beautiful glasshouse, secret gardens, a private rain forest, endangered ferns, giant bamboos, strawberry fields… And the Royal dog! At least it belongs to the place (it had a collar and the guards all knew him). He came along with us for a part of the visit.
And tons of flowers!!
No need for explanations, just enjoy the gallery!