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.
The palace dates back from the rein of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and was built between 1872-1889.
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.
King Prasart Thong Shrine holds the statue of King Prasart Thong. It was built during 1872-1876.
Aisawan-Shipaya-Asana Pavilion is located in the middle of a pond on the palace grounds. It was built between 1872-1876.
Varobhas Bimarn Residential Hall used to function as a throne hall. It was completed in 1872 and renovated into a one-story building in1885.
Uthayan Phumisathian Residential Hall is considered the principal building in the palace. It was completed in 1877.
Wehart Chamrun Residential Hall was built in Chinese architecture and took 10 years to build. It was completed in 1889.
The Nine-Chamber Mansion is a large colonial-style building located behind Wehart Chamrun Residential Hall.
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.
The Mansion for H.M. Queen Sukhumala Marasri was built in Western architecture.
The Mansion for H.M. Queen Sri Savarindira is surrounded by green vegetation.
The Memorial to H.M. Queen Sunanda Kumariratana honours her death and that of her children in a boat incident on May 31, 1880.
The palace gardens are beautifully decorated with vegetation that looks like animals.
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.