Lying on the banks of the Chaopraya River in Ayutthaya Province, Bang Pa In Palace was constructed by King Prasat Thong in 1632. Although it was abandoned throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the palace was subsequently restored by King Mongkut. However, at the present the palace complex is only used for occasional state functions.
The buildings of the palace flaunting a European design are nicely laid out along an artificial ornamental lake. Although the compound houses several significant buildings, only two of them are open for the public: Withun Thatsana, anobservatory with several balconies, and Phra Thinang Wehat Chamrun, a Chinese-style residence flaunting an ebony and red lacquer interior.
Among the other noteworthy buildings is Phra Thinang Warophat Phiman – a two-storey building that once housed the apartments and the reception hall of King Mongkut and Phra Thinang Aisawan Thippa- an elegant Thai-style pavilion standing in the midst of the lake. Among all the buildings of the palace, this pavilion is the only example of classical Thai architecture and houses a statue of King Chulalongkorn, who built it.
The main building of the complex is a reconstruction of the original building. While this modern building seems to embrace rather a “Paris Metro” art-deco feel, the original has had the style of a Swiss Chalet. Among the other enticing features at the complex are vast gardens, a charming abode called Warophat Phiman and Aisawan Thiphya-Art also known as the Divine Seat of Personal Freedom.
Nevertheless, Withun Thatsana, the towering observatory is must visit for those arriving to see the palace complex. Inside this tall observatory are spiral stairways leading to white and black marble-floored verandas, which grant unparalleled views of the entire palatial area.
An ideal way to savour the sights and sounds of Thailand is to take a cruise in Bangkok. A fascinating excursion is the Chao Phraya cruise offered by the ultimate cruise provider, Anantara Cruises Thailand. Carrying you on a historical voyage laden with modern comfort, the cruise lets you marvel at lively markets, stately temples and observe the grandeur and exquisite natural beauty of Thailand.