On October 31, 2023, Ms. Erlap Sriphirom, the Director of TAT Phetchaburi Office, unveiled the historical significance of the Maruekkhathayawan Palace, a cherished tourist destination situated in Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province. Notably, the palace recently earned acclaim by clinching the prestigious New Design in Heritage award, coupled with Special Recognition for Sustainable Development from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2021. This same year, UNESCO bestowed upon Phetchaburi Province the title of a network of creative food cities, and the adjacent Kaeng Krachan Forest Group attained recognition as a natural World Heritage Site. The Maruekhathaiyawan Palace Foundation, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Petcharattana Ratchasudasirisophapannawadi, has initiated a vital fundraising campaign for the conservation and restoration of the Maruekkhathayawan Palace.
The core of this campaign involves becoming a member of the royal patronage and participating in a reading of the royal compositions known as Madanapatha, also referred to as the “Legend of the Rose.” This event marks the 100th anniversary of these royal writings and is scheduled for Saturday, the 25th, and Sunday, the 26th of November 2023, commencing at 5:00 p.m. The venue for this performance is the enchanting Mattanapatha Park, nestled within the Maruekkhathayawan Palace grounds. Those who share an interest in this endeavor are cordially invited to journey to Phetchaburi Province and witness this captivating performance.
Ms. Klaomas Yip In Soi, the Director of the Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace Foundation Office under the Royal Patronage, disclosed that Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace is currently closed due to ongoing renovations aimed at enhancing both its natural ecosystems and its role in promoting arts and culture. This extensive renovation project is part of the effort to transform the palace into the King Mongkut Museum. An invitation is extended to all who value the preservation and inheritance of our national heritage to join this mission by applying for a Buranopapatham membership, a lifetime commitment.
A substantial portion of the funds raised will be dedicated to replacing more than 100,000 roof tiles, each weighing one kilogram, which have a direct impact on the structural integrity of the palace’s edifice. The membership fee is set at 6,910 baht and can be contributed in full or through the electronic donation system (e-donation). Remarkably, this membership opportunity is accessible to only 109,600 individuals.
For the grand performance involving the reading of royal compositions such as Madanapatha or the Legend of the Rose, combined with captivating music and performances, scheduled for November 25-26 this year, specific royal passages will be thoughtfully arranged. This event will be directed by Teacher Lek Phattharawadee Meechuthon, a distinguished national artist, and feature musical direction by Anand Nakkong, a Silpathorn artist. The leading actors include Sukanya Sompaiboon (Matthana) and Atsadawut Luengsunthon (Suthet / Chaisen), as well as Sansanee Sitapan (Chandee).
Tickets for this exceptional show are currently available. There are two ticket options: seat tickets for the general public, priced at 1,690 baht, with a limited availability of 100 seats per day, and seat tickets for Buranopapatham members, which are offered free of charge. Additionally, a seat ticket for one accompanying guest of a Buranopapatham member is available at a price of 690 baht, with a limit of 300 seats per day. It is advisable to reserve your seats in advance to ensure availability. For students, the dress rehearsal round on Friday, November 24, 2023, is open for viewing, and it comes at no cost with unlimited seating. Interested individuals can find further information on the Maruekhathayawan Palace and TAT Phetchaburi Office Facebook page.
These upcoming events and the ongoing conservation efforts represent an opportunity for the public to engage with and support the rich cultural and historical heritage of Phetchaburi Province and Thailand as a whole.