While you are traveling in Thailand, you will come across a royal summer palace en route to Ayutthaya that stands tall in all its majestic grandeur. Just a 60 km drive from Bangkok is the renowned Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. The palace complex was used as an abode during summer by the Siamese royalty and their consorts.
The must-visit in Thailand – Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, situated along the river Chaopraya and dates back to 17th century.
King Prasat Thong is said to have built the palace in 1632 and now the palace is used only for state occasions rather than a royal summer residence.
The park around the palace comprises of several iconic buildings and an artificial pond, rectangular in shape. You can rent an electric cart to get around the place especially during summers.
The reflection of the palace in the pond makes for a great view.
Within the inner precincts of the palace are several buildings; the main residence is a modern reconstruction of the original building. The building is still occasionally used by the royal family and is not open to the public.
An interesting part of the palace is the building in the inner complex which has the Chinese style residence that was gifted to King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in 1889. It has ornamental tiles with heavy ebony furnishings and red lacquer interior. One of the highlights is an intricately carved camel bone dragon. You must remove your shoes to enter and enjoy the interiors. The observatory tower, Sages Look-Out, was used by royal parties to view the surrounding countryside.
The Aisawan Thiphya, the divine seat of personal freedom also known as the ‘floating‘ pavilion, is a typical Thai architectural pavilion in the middle of the rectangular pond. It is said to have been a favourite afternoon spot for young royals to read poetry.
Just outside the inner palace area is the Varobhas Bimarn residence with three public rooms – A formal throne room, a sitting room and a large dining room.
You will also notice a small Thai Buddhist temple called Wat Niwet Thamaprawat, and well worth a trip on the cable car across the river.
The most comfortable way to get to Bang Pa In is to take the luxury cruises available from riverside hotels. You can also reach Bang Pa In by train from Hualampong station.
With a fee to enter the palace grounds, it is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm everyday.
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