The Bang Pai-In or the Summer Palace as it stands today is largely the work of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who is credited with the expansion of the area into a Versaillesque garden filled with trademark European-style buildings. Last restored in the early 2000s, the palace and its grounds are still being used on special occasions by the present King and his royal family for holding grand receptions and banquets. We came here as part of the full-day tour package of the Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In was our first stop. The palace grounds are kept immaculately clean and beautiful that you are almost tempted to just pick out a spot on the manicured lawn, or perhaps near the lake/pond, to just sit for hours to ruminate or have a picnic (neither is allowed, by the way). The grounds are not too large to be covered on foot, but they have golf carts to rent if you are too lazy to walk. There is a small convenience store adjacent to the royal mansion where you can buy cold drinks and ice cream to cool off from the intense heat. There is a much bigger shop at the entrance/exit where you have more snacks and drinks selection, as well as, souvenir items for friends and family back home. There is an entrance fee of 100 Bht for visitors but it's already included in our tour fees. As at all royal sites, proper dressing is required/observed, but you can you can borrow a wraparound skirt or button-down polo at the entrance with a deposit of 200 Baht, which will be given back to you when you return the clothing item after your tour. One thing you will also enjoy, apart from the leisurely walk around the palace grounds, is feeding the fishes and turtles in the pond which serves as the marker separating the outer and inner courts of the palace. In the middle of this pond is where you will see the elegant Thai-style pavilion which they call "The divine seat of personal freedom" built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) which now houses a statue of him built by his son. Another interesting building in the inner complex is the Chinese-style temple residence given by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to then King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). This place is open to the public but you must remove your shoes to enter and enjoy the ebony and red lacquer interior. You can look at the living room/bedroom chambers from outside but taking photographs is strictly prohibited.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.