From the outer court, the cool and pleasant buddy driver drove to the inner court. Situated in the inner court are the residential buildings, pavilions and gazebos laid out in a garden setting. The young buddy driver was good; really he was good because he took me around in an orderly manner. My first stop was the Phra Thinang (Royal Residence) Wehart Chamrun (Heavenly Light).
I walked towards the Chinese style two storey mansion.
The overall red color of the mansion was a stand out. I felt connected to the color because it’s my favorite color. The ornamented floors and ceiling and massive ebony furniture were equally stunning. The combination of gold, silver and porcelain freely used for decorative purposes and the delicate fretwork on the column and windows jived impressively.
This mansion was built by the equivalent of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and presented to King Chulalongkorn in 1889. The ground floor contains a Chinese style throne, whereas the upper storey houses an altar enshrining the name plates of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn with their respective queens.
It's also the favorite residence of King Vajiravudh Rama V1 (1910-1925) when he visited Bang Pa In Palace.
Situated within the precincts of the Inner Palace are the many Western style buildings of one or two storeys for the ladies of the court, of which only a few remain today.
Further down the inner court is the Memorial to Queen Sunandakumariratana who drowned when her boat sank in the Chao Phraya River while she was on her way to the palace. A tomblike monument was set up by King Chulalongkorn to her memory. I took so many pictures but somehow missed the monument. Except for the Royal residence, tourists are not allowed to go inside any of other buildings and even if allowed, you can't take any pictures. I was disappointed on the restrictions yet I had no choice but to abide. I stopped by at the gazebo and sat for while to admire the surroundings. The buddy driver accommodated my request to take pictures of myself for my remembrance.
I was driven back to the entrance after which I tipped the buddy driver for the excellent job. He was so happy that he shook both my hands. The rest of the tourists were not back yet at the entrance. Since I woke up very early, I did not have time for breakfast and needed some food. I saw a stall under the tree and bought a few pieces of the fried goreng pisang and keladi (banana and yam fritters).
I sat under the shady area, filled up my tummy and drank the mineral water I had in hand. The piping hot pieces of fritters were surprisingly delicious that I continued eating each of it while waiting for the rest to continue my journey to other places in Ayutthaya.
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