This is a follow up to my previous post on the Bhuping Palace in northern Thailand near Chiang Mai. We followed signs along a path through ferns and trees and emerged by a huge water feature with fountains. The building on the hill is one of two guest houses with a definite Alpine look to it. There was music playing around the water; I read somewhere that the pieces being played had been composed by the King of Thailand. However, I cannot find any confirmation of that on line. Just as we arrived, clouds moved in at our level creating a very atmospheric photo opportunity. Below is my favourite photo, and I prefer it in black and white. (Do you?)
As we walked down from the King’s water feature, we came across this carving, complete with elephants emerging from the jungle. Here’s a link to another blog with more detail about the Bhuping 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 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
You were allowed inside this building, which was like a temple, but more airy.
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 Chulalongkorn. Wikipedia 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.
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.
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.
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!
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”
More detail from the Grand Palace in the previous and the next post.
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.
It did rain, briefly, while we were on the site, but it was so hot and humid that it didn’t seem to matter.
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.
Near the centre of the Ayutthaya historic district, but far enough away that we boarded our bus to get to it, lies the reclining Buddha. In anglicized Thai: Phra Noon, at Wat Lokayasutharam.
He is 37 meters long and 8 meters high and I posted a coloured version a few posts back for the ‘scale‘ photo challenge.
A closer look at the head of the Buddha.
Around the Reclining Buddha was a terrace with the remains of a number of structures, but without a guide or guidebook it was hard to tell what we were looking at. One main structure stood behind the buddha.
And in front of the grass where people were making offerings and lighting incense was a tree with other gifts to the Buddha.
Seated Buddha Image in the style of the Dvaravati culture. Quite unusual seated position (in what is often called the European way of sitting).
Under the seated Buddha, these offerings.
Following from my earlier posts about Ayutthaya, here, and here, we journeyed a short distance (about 10 minutes away) to Wat Na Phramen, where I took these photos. Thank goodness for internet search engines and for metadata on the photos – which told me there was a half hour break between shooting – or I would have no idea where these were taken.
Near these Buddhist statues was a small but beautifully decorated building, which I couldn’t find in the photos on the linked page.
Pigeons are everywhere in the world…
And lastly, a many-headed Buddha and a very large bell in a building where we were able to get out of the sun.