The city of Bangkok has a long and rich cultural heritage that is best showcased in the many dazzling royal palaces and mansions that dot the capital. Bangkok’s biggest attraction is the Grand Palace, a breathtaking golden palace that stands out in the midst of Bangkok city hotel high-rise buildings like the contemporary Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok and many more.
Whilst Bangkok has more than a few beautiful palaces to see, there are some that can be found outside of the city that hold a charm of their own, like the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. Located 60 km north of Bangkok, near the ancient city of Ayutthaya, is the eminent Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. Also referred to as the ‘Bang Pa In Summer Palace’, it was primarily used a summer residence by the Siamese royalty.
The palace complex consist of numerous structures positioned in several locations around a large park. The best way to view all the buildings is to rent an electric cart, especially on hot days when walking for long hours under a hot sun is not advised. Originally erected by King Prasat Thong in 1632, the complex was abandoned during the Burmese raids in 1767, and subsequently laid to waste. In the 18th century, King Mongkut (Rama IV), started a restoration of the palace and most of the structures standing today were erected by his successor King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who is also responsible for cultivating the surrounding area into sprawling gardens which features of European-style designs.
A two-storied, Chinese-style palace and throne room, the Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun, the only building open to visitors, features fabulous ornamental tiles, delicate porcelain fretwork, and a stunning red lacquer interior. Another eye-catching structure is the Ho Withun Thasana, or “Sages Look-Out”, a colourful tower that stands 30 meters high, which was used by royals as an observatory to view the celestial skies. Though not as grand as the palaces in Bangkok, the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace is definitely worth a visit if you’re passing through the area.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.