Bang Pa-In Royal Palace in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

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Bang Pa In Palace

Top choice in Ayuthaya

Ornate buildings are sprinkled across Bang Pa In Palace's 19-hectare gardens. First established in the 17th century, the palace was revived in the 19th century by kings Rama IV and V, the latter adding most of its European styling. Today an eclectic assortment of architectural styles is arranged around manicured lawns, including the intricate Chinese-style Wehart Chamrun, the orange-and-red-striped observatory Ho Withun Thasana (1881) and a Thai pavilion that appears to float on the water. Dress modestly.

The palace grounds are ideal for strolling but renting an electric buggy (400B for one hour, 100B per hour thereafter) is a handy way to stay in the shade.

To reach the palace, take the train from Ayuthaya (3B to 20B, 15 minutes, 16 daily) to Bang Pa In station and then jump on a motorcycle taxi (around 20B) or túk-túk (50B) to the palace, which is 1.7km away. If you're driving, there's a large car park nearby (20B per vehicle).

Round-trip taxi transfers from Ayuthaya should cost around 800B.

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