Also known as the “Summer Palace” in Thailand, it is called as such because it’s where Thailand’s Royal Family usually stay in the summer.
We were able to do a quick tour of the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace as part of the Viator tour package for Ayutthaya. Since it was supposedly quick, we really tried to maximize taking photos of everything in sight while also listening to our tour guide.
At the time that we visited, the Thais were doing their last minute respects for the late King Bhumibol who passed away last 2016. True to royalty traditions, the wake lasted for a whole year since October 2016 allowing all Thais from all over Thailand to travel and make their personal visits. Since we were there in the middle of October, the usual visiting hours of some temples and even the Grand Palace itself had to be changed. For the Royal Palace, however, there were more guards than usual despite the number of tourists visiting there. We also saw some areas/temples of Ayutthaya itself that were only open for locals and you can see a photo of the late King in the middle of intricate flower arrangements. It was fascinating but also sad at the same time, because you can feel how sad they were.
Interestingly, our guide told stories about the late King Bhumibol of Thailand. We learned that he usually accommodates other royals from other countries in the Summer Palace. Like for example, when Queen Elizabeth of UK visited, the King built a Victorian-style house in one of the areas for her. There’s also one area reserved for the Chinese royalty, which was actually given as a gift to the Thai King.
Visiting the Royal Palace also comes with some very strict rules. That includes dressing up properly, meaning no shorts and sleeveless shirts. The guards will actually do an inspection at the gate and if they think you’re not dressed appropriately, you have to get a cover up or shawl in their mini-store. I’m not sure if you have to buy or you can just borrow or rent. Thus, to avoid such hassle, I highly recommend dressing up properly when you visit. Slippers are allowed though, for convenience, because some areas/buildings do not allow shoes/footwear inside.
The yellow lighthouse was actually cute, it’s part of the area with the English influence and style. I loved the cute little pastel house, too. It looked like cake! Looking over at the lake, you can see how vast and huge the palace ground are. I can imagine the royal children running all around here.
As it was just a quick visit and tour, we had to leave right away to get to the next destination. Nevertheless, it’s definitely something to visit, especially to know more about Thailand’s Royal Family.
That’s it for today, have fun as always!