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Thailand

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Ayutthaya (Part 3)
(Part 1)

Before Bangkok was the Capital of Thailand, formerly called Siam, Ayutthaya was the Capital of the Kingdom. This was in the period between -say- the 14th Century and 1782.
The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was very prosperous. It was a Kingdom of 34 reigns, covering about 400 years. The period ended when General Taksin built a new Capital in Thonburi, after Ayutthaya has been destroyed by the Burmese in 1768. Taksin became King, but he was removed by General Chao Phraya Chakri, the later King Rama I in 1782. This King Rama I was the founder of the Chakri dynasty, of which the present King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a descendent. Therefore you might also say that the Ayutthaya period ended with the founding of the Chakri dynasty.



View from the chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (1) View from the chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (2)

We continue our exploration of Wat Yai Chai Mongkol here. And we remain near the large pagoda. You can (easily) climb it by the stairs, and the two pictures above show two of the many splendid sights from there. Take your time when you are on top, because there is much more to see that these two pictures can show you!
Around this pagoda numerous Buddha Images were built, as can be clearly seen from these two pictures. On the background of the right hand side picture you can see a more modern Temple that also is on these Temple grounds. Below we will take a look inside.

Modern Temple at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

Here is the Buddha Image that is inside the more modern Temple on the grounds of Wat Yai Chai Mongkol. It is in the same style as the Buddha Image in Phitsanuloke, that can be seen on one of the "absolute beginners' pages" on this site, and like the Buddha Image in the "Marble Temple" in Bangkok, that can be seen on the pages about Temples in Bangkok on this site. Choose these pages from the menu at the top, after you have finished this page!

Bang Pa In Summer Palace

Bang Pa In Palace Bang Pa In Pavilion

Almost every tour to Ayutthaya will also bring you to Bang Pa In, with its Summer Palace, built by King Rama V. I must say that the place now (2000) is over-commercialized and therefore far less attractive than a few years ago. Nevertheless, if you are there anyway, see what they let you see (which also is considerably less than some years ago).
The left hand side picture shows the main building of the Palace (no entrance!) The right hand side picture shows the pavilion in the pond, of which a smaller copy can be found near the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Not shown is a memorial to one of the wives and two children of King Rama V. The Queen drowned, because she could not swim and it was strictly forbidden by anybody but the King to touch the Queen. Otherwise she easily could have been saved! If somebody would have tried to save the queen, it certainly would have cost him his life.
Also not shown is a Chinese-style pagoda.
My main problem with Bang Pa In is that the relatively high entrance fee only gives you some outside views of most buildings.

Elephant-shaped trees Bougainvillea

The garden is free accessible, however, and it is a garden to be enjoyed. The pictures here show you some fine elephant-shaped tree-cutting and some of the magnificent bougainvilleas, that -by the way- can be seen on many places in Thailand.

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