I woke up at 5.45am to get ready for my sightseeing to Ayutthaya. My tour agent arrived exactly at 6.40am to fetch me to the pick up point where the rest of the other tourists were also waiting. We were driven in a coach for the one hour journey before arriving at Bang Pa-In Palace. The tour guide briefed us on the history and background of the palace afterwhich we were allocated 1 hour to tour the whole place. I paid for the buggy service to take me around while everyone else decided to walk. The young Thai buddy took me from one point to the other. He knew the right spots where he should stop so that I can have a nearer view of the palace.
Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as Summer Palace was originally built in 1632. Most of the buildings standing today were constructed during 1872-1879 and restored in 1991. The compound is divided into two sections, the Outer and the Inner Palace. The Outer consists of buildings for the public and ceremonial use while the Inner Palace is reserved for the King and his immediate family. There are 4 principal buildings in the Outer Palace. The first stop for me was the Ho Haem Montien Devaraj (Golden Palace of the God King) -
a small stone structure in the form of a Khmer-style prasat (residence of a king or god with a corncob shaped super structure) dedicated to King Prasart Thong of Ayutthaya.
Next was the Aisawan-dhipaya-asana Pavilion (The Devine Seat of Personal Freedom), a Thai style pavilion with four porches and a spire roof in the middle of an outer pond.
The buddy drove through the bridge which connected to the other side of the pavilion. Even though I chose the buddy service instead of walking, I still felt the heat from the burning sun.
I arrived at Phra Thinang Varobhas Bimarn Residential Hall (Excellent and Shining Heavenly Abode) and noticed the signboard indicating that everyone should dress appropriately and clothing should be long. Since I was wearing an angle length pants, I hired the Thai long wrap around. The 200baht paid will be refunded when you return the wrap.
I was now at Phra Thinang - a Neo-classic style one-storey mansion, built by King Chulalongkorn in 1876 as his residence and throne hall. Tourists are allowed to view the mansion's interior but strictly no pictures are allowed.
Another in the same viccinity was the Uthayan Phumisathian Residential Hall (Garden of Secured Land), the favorite residence of King Chulalongkorn. It is of a Victorian architecture design, built in 1877.
While buddy drove further, my attention was also drawn to the beautiful garden with plenty of trees and not be missed is the elephant shaped plants.