Bang Pa-In Travel Guide

Bang Pa-In is a stunning palace just 60kms north of Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Praya River. It was historically the summer palace of the kings of Thailand and dates back to the 17th century, pre-dating the establishment of Bangkok as the capital city.

Despite dating back four centuries, it was unused from many decades in the 18th century and therefore fell into disrepair. It was not until King Rama IV revived it in the 19th century that it once again became the impressive sight which it is today. The palace is no longer a royal summer residence and apart from being a tourist attraction, it is infrequently used for state occasions.

It is a beautiful building somewhat European in style with a famous Thai-style pavilion in the middle of a pond. This has become the showpiece of the palace and was built by the highly revered King Rama V in the 19th century. The pond serves to divide the public outer area of the palace from the inner private areas.

Only some of the buildings are open to the public, which includes the most lavish and interesting building; the Chinese throne hall and residence. This building was a gift to King Rama V from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in 1889. The main residence is not open to the public as it is still occasionally used by the royal family.

Getting There & Away

The nearest city is Ayutthaya, which is just 1 hour away by road or rail from Bangkok’s international airport. There are frequent buses and trains to Ayutthaya from Bangkok’s rail and bus stations and from here it is possible to take a taxi to Bang Pa In.