Bang Pa-In Palace in Ayutthaya Province

Photos and text by Voicu Mihnea Simandan

Ayutthaya is one of my favorite places in Thailand, located about 70 km north of Bangkok. I have been there on several occasions and I never get bored of it. On a very recent day-trip to Ayutthaya, I stopped at Bang Pa-In Palace, located in Bang Pa-In District, about 10 kilometers away from the city of Ayutthaya.

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The palace dates back from the rein of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and was built between 1872-1889.

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The security is quite tight as the palace is occasionally used by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand as a residence and for holding receptions and banquets.

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King Prasart Thong Shrine holds the statue of King Prasart Thong. It was built during 1872-1876.

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Aisawan-Shipaya-Asana Pavilion is located in the middle of a pond on the palace grounds. It was built between 1872-1876.

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Varobhas Bimarn Residential Hall used to function as a throne hall. It was completed in 1872 and renovated into a one-story building in1885.

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Uthayan Phumisathian Residential Hall is considered the principal building in the palace. It was completed in 1877.

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Wehart Chamrun Residential Hall was built in Chinese architecture and took 10 years to build. It was completed in 1889.

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The Nine-Chamber Mansion is a large colonial-style building located behind Wehart Chamrun Residential Hall.

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Withun Thasana Tower is a three-storey tower, soaring 30 meters above the palace grounds. A total of 112 steps on a spiral staircase will take you to the top roof, but only the first two floors are open to the public. It was built in 1881.

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The Mansion for H.M. Queen Sukhumala Marasri was built in Western architecture.

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The Mansion for H.M. Queen Sri Savarindira is surrounded by green vegetation.

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The Memorial to H.M. Queen Sunanda Kumariratana honours her death and that of her children in a boat incident on May 31, 1880.

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The palace gardens are beautifully decorated with vegetation that looks like animals.

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But, don’t be surprised if you see live animals too!

How to get there by car: Both motorways and highways that go to the two airports from Bangkok have exists to Bang Pa-In. Just follow the signs.

Costs involved at the palace:
Car park: 20 baht
Entrance fee for foreigners: 100 baht (brochure included)
Cart rent: 400 baht / hour (100 baht for every extra hour)

Amenities: snacks, soft drinks, coffee, clothes, books, postcards, and souvenirs

What to bring: sunglasses, hat, sun block, umbrella (for both rain and sun!), camera, and plenty of water.

Voicu Mihnea Simandan is a Romanian expat who has been living and working in Thailand since 2002. He is the author of “The Ironman. A Play”, a book for children well-received in educational circles.

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