Just before Bangkok became the capital of Thailand (or Siam as it was back then), the capital was briefly established at Thonburi, on the other side of the river from the current capital. The capital was moved to Thonburi by King Taksin (no relation to the recent Prime Minister) once he had regained control over the country after the Burmese attacked and destroyed the old capital at Ayuthaya.
In his new capital, Taksin built a palace next to Wat Arun. The palace is now part of the headquarters of the Royal Thai Navy, but many of the old buildings have been retained and restored. The palace continued to be used by the royal family throughout the nineteenth century, so there are residences and other buildings built throughout this period.
Getting in to see the original royal palace is possible, but not easy. Visit our online travel guide for more photos and information about Thonburi Palace.