Bang Pa-In Summer Palace

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The Bang Pa-In Summer Palace contains a variety of striking buildings spread among manicured gardens, statue-lined bridges, ponds and fountains.

After finding the place well suited to quiet breaks from Bangkok, King Rama V commissioned the palace to include an unusual mix of Thai, Chinese and European architecture in the late 19th century.

Near the entrance, a wooden exhibition hall contains background info on Thai kings and the history of the Palace. The checkered marble verandas of Thansana Tower are worth the climb to catch a cool breeze and take in views over the grounds (mind your head going up the stairs). Nearby, the beautiful red-and-gold Royal Mansion features hand-painted ceramic floor tiles, mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture and an elaborate camel bone carving. By all accounts King Rama V liked a lot of company, and the small houses found along the outer wall were designated for his lady friends. 

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