Thailand: Ayutthaya – Bang Pa-In Summer Royal Palace

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace is the summer palace of the Thai kings. A succession of kings built a series of landscaped gardens and ornate buildings. This is not Versailles or Peterhoff, but it still has a lot of lux elements bordering on being outright kitschy. It’s a total mishmash of styles and designs – there is a Chinese palace, a bridge with Greek statues, a lookout tower, a more western-style royal residence hall, and a stunning Aisawan Dhiphya-Asana Pavilion set in the middle of a lake. Unfortunately, in 1880, the queen and her princess daughter drowned here on this small lake as their boat capsized and it was against the Thai law to touch the royal family – so everyone just watched them sink.