Case Studies

Elegant Island Escape

Charismatic Phra Chudadhuj Palace awaits visitors on Koh Si Chang

A wooden pier stretches out into a blue sea. Nearby, period buildings dating from the reign of King Rama V sit among majestic trees; it’s a picture-postcard scene.

This spectacle awaits anyone looking to indulge their quest for both natural and cultural attractions on Koh Si Chang — or Si Chang Island — in Chon Buri province. It is the location of Phra Chudadhuj Palace, the only palace located on an island in all of Thailand.

“Phra Chudadhuj Palace is a perfect place for travel lovers to take in the fresh air. Somewhere to relax and unwind — to swim in the crystal-clear waters off Koh Si Chang and to be taken back in time to another era,” says Wandee Worawee Rakchart, head of the Chudadhuj Palace Museum Unit on Koh Si Chang.

Phra Chudadhuj Palace was built in 1892 by King Chulalongkorn. He named it after his son, His Royal Highness Prince Chudadhuj Dharadilok, who was born there. The prince would later come to stay at the palace on numerous occasions. The King was also happy with the palace and had many other buildings constructed on the site. On the beautiful grounds you can still see many of the original plants that date back more than one hundred years.

The 200-rai (80-acre) palace grounds are under the supervision of the Office of Art and Culture of Chulalongkorn University. The buildings and grounds have been renovated to restore their original beauty and the palace has been established as the Phra Chudadhuj Palace Museum. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over the opening ceremony of the museum on Jan 12, 2004.

Those visiting the museum will be fascinated by the exquisite details of this historic site. Students from Koh Si Chang School, who have been taking part in a local history learning program, have in the past acted as junior guides to welcome visitors. Among the must-see attractions on the site are:

  • Phra Chedi Ubosot (Pagoda Chapel), Asdangkanimit Temple. The chapel is decorated in Gothic-style art. The doors and windows are gracefully curved and pointed, with the upper portions featuring exquisitely patterned stained glass.
  • The Wooden House by the Sea (The Green House). This was originally the residence of the members of the Royal Family when they visited Koh Si Chang, before the palace was built. Now it has been lovingly restored so that tourists can visit and learn about the island.
  • Ruen Wattana (Wattana House), Ruen Phongsri and Ruen Abhirom display items relating to important events on Koh Si Chang. Visitors can study the biographies and personal histories of prominent figures in the history of the island, as well as details of the buildings, during the reign of King Rama V.
  • Manthat Rattanaroj Throne Hall has the base foundation of what used to be a royal residence, as King Rama V had it decommissioned to be rebuilt as a part of the Vimanmek Mansion in Bangkok.
  • Asadang Pier. Built of wood during the reign of King Rama V, it reaches far out into the sea. It has been lovingly restored and has become a popular photo spot for tourists visiting Koh Si Chang. This photograph of the bridge was selected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to be featured on the “Unseen Thailand” stamp set in 2004.

Apart from showcasing art, history and culture, the Phra Chudadhuj Palace site contains an area set aside to be used as the Koh Si Chang Marine Science Research Center and the Aquatic Resources Research Institute of Chulalongkorn University, where training and seminars are held for those interested in using the facilities.

“A one day trip to see Koh Si Chang and Phra Chudadhuj Palace is an enjoyable experience. If you like to relax and soak up the beautiful scenery or visit other tourist attractions on Koh Si Chang, there is a variety of accommodation available to choose from,” says Ms Wandee.

Travel Tips

Free admission.
For more details, visit

By Boat

Travel to Phra Chudadhuj Palace and Koh Si Chang from Koh Loi pier in Sri Racha. The journey takes 45 minutes and the fare is 50 baht per person. The first boat leaves from Koh Loi pier to Si Chang at 0700 hrs and the last boat leaves at 2000. The first boat from Si Chang to Koh Loi pier departs at 0600 hrs and the last trip is at 1900.

Transport on the island

  • Samlor Skylab (tricycle tuk tuk): 250 baht per vehicle for travelling around the island;
  • Song Taew (Pickup truck taxi): 500 baht per vehicle;
  • Motorbike rental: 250 baht per day and 300 baht overnight.


You can check out a range of options available on the Si Chang website, or by downloading the Si Chang application.

This article was originally published in CU Around February 2019, Vol.62, Issue 2, Page 12-13, available at