Bang Pa-In Thai Palace

While in Thailand in November 2012, we took a tour out of Bangkok to Ayutthaya.  The tour stopped at the Summer Palace – Bang Pa-In – before reaching Ayutthaya.

Bang Pa-In

Bang Pa-In

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, lies beside the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya Province. In fact, either the river flows through the palace grounds, or a portion of it has been diverted to form this beautiful waterway.

Chao Praya River

Chao Praya River

You were allowed inside this building, which was like a temple, but more airy.

You were allowed inside this building, which was like a temple, but more airy.

Close up of the roof of the previous building.

Close up of the roof of the previous building.

After falling into disrepair over the previous centuries, most of the present buildings were constructed between 1872 and 1889 by King ChulalongkornWikipedia tells me that Bang Pa-In is used for banquets and special occasions, but rarely by the royal family.

The pavilion in the water was originally build entirely of wood but the base was later changed to concrete.

Thailand November 2012 Thailand November 2012

We were permitted to see the Queen’s sitting room and audience chamber, (no photos) but I had to put on a floor-length skirt in order to be admitted. (I was wearing capri-length pants.)  While donning the skirt in a side room, I saw this light fixture, which I enjoyed as much as the buildings outside.

What vintage? 1920's?

What vintage? 1920’s?

Grand Palace Warriors

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Bangkok Palace and Temple

I believe these figures are called Yaksha. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.

Bangkok Palace and Temple

It was only as I was preparing this post that I realized that in the picture below, the sculptured plant, and therefore the boy, are a copy of the figures in the photos above!

Thailand November 2012

For more photos from the Grand Palace, see my other posts in the last 10 days, here, here and here.

Grand Palace, Bangkok – Details

A side door to what I believe is the residential part of the palace.

A side door to what I believe is the residential part of the palace.

Here are a few of the details seen in and around the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Previous posts on the palace are here and here.

A recessed door.

A recessed door.

Mosaic - from shells?

Mosaic – from shells?

I loved these airy paintings of birds and flowers around the base of one of the temple buildings.

I loved these airy paintings of birds and flowers around the base of one of the temple buildings.

So different from all the bright colours and gold in the rest of the complex.

So different from all the bright colours and gold in the rest of the complex.

Part of a mural.

Part of a mural.

Crowds at The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Before you can enter Buddhist temples and Thai Palaces, you must be appropriately dressed.  That means no shorts for men or women.   The tour group below doesn’t seem to have been very well prepared because many seem to have visited the same shop to continue their tour.

 

Bangkok Palace and Temple

 

This crowd photo below explains why we didn’t stay very long at the Grand Palace. That, and the heat. I notice from the photos’  metadata that all my pictures from this palace visit were taken within an hour!

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Nonetheless, I managed to get a lot of people-less photos.

I wanted to capture these workers, who appeared to be repairing plaster on the underside of a roof overhang. No safety equipment except the shirt, which reads, “this is my lucky shirt.”

"This is my lucky shirt"

“This is my lucky shirt”

More detail from the Grand Palace in the previous and the next post.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Bangkok Palace and Temple

We visited three palaces of the Thai Royal Family when in Thailand in November of 2012:

The Grand Palace: Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand on the Chao Phraya River.

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace lies beside the Chao Phraya River in Bang Pa-In Ayutthaya Province. (Posts to follow…)

Bhubing Rajanives Palace Phu Phing Ratcha Niwet is a Royal Residence located in the Muang District of Chiang Mai Province. It was built in 1961 to accommodate the royal family during state visits to the north of the country. (Posts to follow….)

I’m not sure how much of the Grand Palace we saw, and how much was part of the temple of Wat Pho, in the block next to the Grand Palace. We just wandered around, trying to avoid the massive crowds (see next post) and taking in the details that are so different from those we see in North American or European architecture. This post features roof lines.

Thailand November 2012

Bangkok Palace and Temple

It did rain, briefly, while we were on the site, but it was so hot and humid that it didn’t seem to matter.

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Bangkok Palace and Temple

I had my 50 mm f 1.4 Pentax lens on my Pentax K20D with me that day; it is the smallest and lightest lens I have, so it was a good choice.