A Tribute to Mae Fa Luang, The Mother of us all
When Princess Srinakarin, the mother of King Rama IX, passed away in 1995 it was one of the saddest times in Thailands modern history. This remarkable woman was born a commoner, daughter of a goldsmith in Nonthaburi province and grew up in Thonburi near Wat Anongkharam. Throughout her life, she never forgot her humble beginning and devoted her considerable energy to improving the life of all Thais. The most well-known of her achievements was the establishment of the Doi Tung Foundation to assist the northern hill tribes.
In 1993, King Bumipol Adulyadej expressed his wish to renovate the area around his mother childhood home in Thonburi as thanks to Princess Srinakarin who is still referred to as Mae Fa Luang meaning "The Mother of Us All".
Her original home had no longer existed so owners of some similar buildings in the area gladly donated them to the King for his project.
The Princess Mother Memorial Park has a reproduction of the house where she lived as a child set in open space with beautiful gardens. There are two exhibition halls, the first devoted to her life including signed photographs such as the one of her at the age of 14. The photographs with supporting text chronicle her life and finally her cremation ceremony in 1996. The second exhibition hall recounts her active life and many achievements in establishing projects. It includes some very personal items such as a Mickey Mouse needlepoint that she made for The King.
A gazebo shelters a statue of the Princess Mother and a small shop nearby sells products manufactured by some of her projects.
How to get there: Bus Routes 6, 43. The park is located on Soi 3 Somdet Chao Phraya Road, Khlong San.
Open : Garden - Daily 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Museum - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2437 7799, 0 2439 0902