Bang Pa In, Thailand | A Photographers Dream

A graceful European statue in front of a classic Thai-style pavillion at Bang Pa In near Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Situated sixty kilometers north of Bangkok, along the banks of the Chaopraya River, lies the beautiful Bang Pa In, the summer palace of Thai kings since the 17th Century. Predominantly European in style, except for an elegant Thai-style pavilion that’s located for maximum effect within an artificial lake and a lovely tower, the palace's buildings are positioned around a lovely waterway.

A worker raking the lush lawns at Bang Pa In near Ayutthaya, Thailand.

While an interesting and vibrant city, Bangkok lacks the lush green parks of my current home in Melbourne, Australia. I live across the road from a waterway which I can follow for a 3 to 4 hour walk into the city. After a 19-day adventure to Antarctica, which preceded this trip, I'd so much wanted a walk in the green. Bang Pa In did not disappoint.

The beautiful pavilion in the grounds of the Bang Pa In Palace near Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The palace grounds are magnificent and manicured by a team of gardeners. It was a joy to behold, although time constraints limited by ability to explore at leisure, I did manage to see much of the complex.

Keen photographers would likely benefit from a 3-hour visit, ideally early or late in the day, due to the size of the palace and its grounds. Unfortunately I only had an hour available, so I hired a golf car to zip along the pathways between sites. I would have loved to walk around the site, but the golf cart enabled me to get the photos I needed in the time I had. And, not being a golfer, I'd long wanted to take one of those carts for a spin. It was fun.

A monitor lizard enjoying the view at the beautiful Bang Pa In, Thailand.

If you allow 3 to 4 hours for your visit you'll have ample time for photography and plenty of time to rest and soak up the serenity of this most lovely and peaceful setting. I recommend Bang Pa In, both as a visually interesting place for the enthusiastic photographer and also as a respite from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

And did I mention the golf carts.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru