A Visit in Bang Pa – In Summer Palace

The old city of Ayutthaya has been a very important part of the history of the Kingdom of Thailand. It has been named as the capital during the old days of Siam. Since it has been considered as a historical spot in the country, then there are a lot of features that a traveler would see in this place.

I’ve already shown the old temples in Ayutthaya and now, I’ll take you to the grandiose side of the province. Just few miles away from those temples is a district famous for its magnificent buildings. Located in Bang Pa-In District is the Summer Palace of the Royal Family of Thailand. They spent their holidays, special gatherings or celebrations and when they have VIP guests, they will bring them here. As I walked thru the gates of Bang Pa-In Palace, an entrance fee is needed and visitors should dress up politely. But not to worry if you forgot to bring some decent clothes since they will provide you for free, just make sure to return it after. I was tied up with a tour package so, I don’t have to pay for the admission ticket. Then, they handed us a booklet. It was eventually the map of the entire palace. It was wide and will take an hour or two to explore. The tour guide told us we can rent the golf cart since it requires hours of walking if you want to see the entire palace premises. But I insisted to do it by foot. So, I started exploring Bang Pa-In Summer Palace.

First, I got to Ho Hem Monthian Thewarat. This is a small stone structure in the form of a Khmer-style dedicated to the king of Ayutthaya.

Ho Hem

Ho Hem Monthian Thewarat

I just spent a minute there and headed to the next attraction which was the centerpiece and the most photograph place of the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace.

I was standing in Gra-Jom Tae, well, there was nothing written about it historically. But as I’ve seen it, it was like a vantage point to see the amazing view of the main attraction of the Summer Palace which were the Phra Thinang Aisawan Thiphya-Art and Tevaraj-Kanlai Gate. It was magnificent like it was floating on the water, showing the reflection as well.

Phra Thinang Aisawan Thiphya-Art and Tevaraj-Kanlai Gate

Phra Thinang Aisawan Thiphya-Art and Tevaraj-Kanlai Gate

Here are other photos I snapped while I was strolling the palace grounds.

Doll's Bridge

Doll’s Bridge

Ho Withun Thasana

Ho Withun Thasana

Ho Withun Thasana was built as an observatory with a purpose as a lookout tower for viewing the surrounding countryside.

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun's ground floor with the Chinese-style throne

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun’s ground floor with the Chinese-style throne

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun or translated in English as the Royal Residence of Heavenly Light is a Chinese-styled two storey mansion. In the ground floor, you can see a Chinese-style throne while on the upper storey houses an altar of King Mongkul and King Chulalongkorn with their queens as stated and written on the guidebook that was given to all tourists upon entering the palace.

The Mansion of Her Majesty Queen Sukhumala Marasri

The Mansion of Her Majesty Queen Sukhumala Marasri

The rest after that point were mansions and memorial statues of the Queens, others were gates and houses. The mansions were really built to fit for a royalty. I didn’t have time to take some pictures since I was in awe and I felt like I was in a kingdom in a faraway land.

Passing every mansions, memorial statues, gates, and bridges, I can’t helped but notice how the people were able to keep it green. The entire palace grounds was landscaped well and it was  really amazing.landscape

So far, my experience visiting the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace was great. Sure it was a feast to my eyes. Though, it may be short but it was memorable.

 

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The Historical City of Ayutthaya

On the third day of my Thailand adventure, I was scheduled to head to a city full of history. It is the historical city of Ayutthaya. Located in the northern part of Bangkok City, Ayutthaya has been famous to all tourists with its unique antiquity. It has been established more than 100 years. It is rich in culture, history and drama. It is also one of the most important sites of the Kingdom of Thailand.

I have booked a tour package thru bangkok.com, check their site by clicking here. They have a lot of tour packages to offer covering almost all provinces of the whole country of Thailand. I chose the Ayutthaya and Bang Pa- In Summer Palace because I wanted to know more about the history of the country. It has been also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I made a reservation online and paid thru credit card for 1,050 THB/ Thailand Baht per person. The itinerary goes like this:

The tour package includes a pick-up service from your hotel. Since I was in Sukhumvit area and a little bit far, so, I have decided to give another place for pick-up. My hotel was near DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Hence, they took hold of me there. It was around 0630H when the tour service arrived. Other tour participants were also being gathered at different hotels within the city. When everyone was all in the van, we went to the terminal of the tour agency which was in Khaosan Road. I was expecting those people inside the van will be my travel buddies but it wasn’t the case. There were more travelers outside and the staff from the tour agency separated everyone according to the package we purchased. I went to the van for Ayutthaya and they gave me a color sticker of yellow and blue and placed it on my shirt. When the group was ready, we left the capital by 0800H.

We traveled all the way to Ayutthaya which is known as the second capital of Siam and has been famous with ancient temples and ruins. It was about an hour and a half trip and we got there around 0930H. The tour guide introduced herself. Her name is Pha, nevermind the whole name coz it’s long. We went out of the van and there was another group who joined us. Our first stop was at the temple called Wat Phu Khao Thong.

Wat Phu Khao Thong is a massive white-grey landmark in the province of Ayutthaya. In English, it is a Monastery of the Golden Mount. This landmark has been known as one of the highest chedis in northeastern part of Ayutthaya. If you haven’t known, Ayutthaya has been one of the capitals of the Kingdom of Thailand. The country’s capital has been moved four times due to war, flood, fire, and rebellion as what the tour guide told us. We were given 45 mins to wander around. We were allowed also to get to the top view deck of the wat to get a panoramic view of the place.

Wat Phu Khao Thong

Wat Phu Khao Thong

Notice to Tourists

Notice to Tourists

View of the temple on top the Wat Phu Khao Thong

View of the temple on top the Wat Phu Khao Thong

The Statue of King Naresuan

The Statue of King Naresuan

HIghest Chedi

HIghest Chedi

Chedis near the monks house

Chedis near the monks house

Buddha statues

Buddha statues

View on top of Wat Phu Khao Thong

View on top of Wat Phu Khao Thong

After Wat Phu Khao Thong, we went to another historical place.  It took about 15 minutes to get there. We arrived in Wat Lokaya Sutha.

Wat Lokaya Sutha was once a massive temple complex but sad to say that all we can see were piles of rubble and ruins. But what made it worth visiting is the largest reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya which is at eight metres high and 42 metres long, lying in an open field. The difference between this reclining Buddha to that of Bangkok’s in Wat Pho is that the Buddha in Ayutthaya is sleeping. While in Wat Pho, the Buddha is about to enter nirvana.

The Reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya

The Reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya

Reclining Buddha at peace

Reclining Buddha at peace

Wat Lokayasutha Information

Wat Lokayasutha Information

Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha

Notice to  Tourists

Notice to Tourists

The Feet of the Reclining Buddha

The Feet of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Lokayasutha Ruins

Wat Lokayasutha Ruins

Reminders before taking Photos

Reminders before taking Photos

The View

The View

Ruins

Ruins

Wat Lokayasutha Prang

Wat Lokayasutha Prang

At 1100H, we went to another historical site. We got to  Wat Maha That just half an hour. The tour guide told us the story behind Wat Maha That. The story of the touristic highlight of the monastery which is the head of Buddha wrapped on roots of a tree. She also told us the do’s and don’t’s in taking pictures with the image of Buddha and that everyone should pay respect.

Wat Maha That or in English, the Monastery of the Great Relic is one of the most important monasteries of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It is considered a religious centre since it has relics of the Buddha. In the past, Wat Maha That has been the venue for important royal ceremonies.

What you will see upon entering Wat Maha That

What you will see upon entering Wat Maha That

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Head of Buddha

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Reminder to Tourists

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Wat Maha That

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Wat Maha That grounds

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Wat Maha That near the line of Buddha statues

 

After Wat Maha That, we went in a local restaurant which was arranged already by the tour guide. In this restaurant, we were given an hour to have lunch and enjoy Thai home cooked foods which to my surprise were not spicy.

An hour after, we were called and headed to the next destination which is Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is also one of the most important historical sites of the Ayutthaya period. This is used to be the model of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.

The Three Chedis where the ashes of the late Kings of Thailand were placed

The Three Chedis where the ashes of the late Kings of Thailand were placed

Wat Phra Si Sanphet temple grounds

Wat Phra Si Sanphet temple grounds

When touring Wat Phra Si Sanphet, you just imagine the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. For those attractions in the capital city were taken from this temple in Ayutthaya. It took us about 30 to 45 mins to wander around the temple grounds after the tour guide gave us some little history about the place. Those 3 tallest chedis will catch your attention right after you enter the ruins. According to the tour guide, the ashes of the Kings of Thailand were placed on top of those chedis and every chedis around the grounds were the family members of the royal family. Thus, it is considered important and every people should show respect when in vicinity.

Right after visiting those temples, we then headed to the last destination and attraction in Ayutthaya. And that was the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace which I will talk about in my next post.

Note:

The tour package includes,

  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel downtown Bangkok
  • Transportation in A/C vehicle
  • English-speaking guide
  • Lunch
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance