Visiting Dusit Palace (Phra Ratcha Wang Dusit) is a very different experience from visiting the nearby Grand Palace. Built by King Rama V in 1903, it was meant to be a direct contrast to the traditional yet cramped Grand Palace. As the first Thai king to visit Europe, Rama modeled his palace after the spacious leafy royal residences he observed there, which comes through in the western architecture and layout.
Over 100 years later the complex is still the seat of power today, and there are many residences, organizations and political buildings spread around the grounds. The main highlight for visitors is the Vimanmek Mansion: King Rama V's former home and the largest teakwood residence in the world. There are also over a dozen museums on the grounds including several photography museums, a pottery-salvaged-from-shipwrecks museum and an ancient clock museum.