" the monkey kingdom at Lopburi and the Bang-pa-in summer palace."

 
   The general statistic of Thailand in 2007 reports about 64 million Thai citizen resides within over half million square kilometers  
   size of land. one/third of its land and also the population lies on the north-eastern region. The residential number increased  
   steadily during the last 100 years after rails and roads were completed to connect the then forgotten area to the central  
   development. In fact, this big piece of land posseses varieties of charmful attractions from nature to historical sites. Many  
   are even older than the history of the country. The real barriers which block visitors out are the long distance of one attraction  
   to others, and also its huge land coverage which make it difficult to decide from where to get start. To solve such problems,  
   we have designed our trips into different routes. Hereunder is the journey to the lower North-eastern region.  
     
     
   
           
           
 
       
 
       
           
           
                                 

 
 Lopburi, the ancient city of culture
 
   We have learnt from the trip yesterday that the Khmer influence spreaded to this region  
   officially during the early 11th century. In fact, their culture had been spilled over  
   unofficially long before. It could be even earlier than the 7th century in Lopburi which  
   had been honored the cultural center of the region in the ancient time. No substantial  
   evidence had ever been discovered to prove except the folklore that mentioned the trip  
     of the princess Jamthevi from Lopburi to the new born kingdom in the north,    
     Haripoonchai.    
   
  The monkey kingdom in Lopburi
   
   The oldest Khmer ruins in Lopburi is Prang Khaek which was built during the 11th  
   century.However, the most known evidences which later become the symbol of Lopburi  
   city are the shrine of the Visanu God (Sarn Phra karn,12th century) and the Mahayana  
   buddhist temple (Prang Sam Yod -13th century). Being similar in plan to other Khmer  
   temples, these ruins can provide many unique scenes for photos with live monkey  
   background.  
     In english, these monkeys are called the Rhesus macaques. They are small with long tail    
     and raised up hair on the headtop. Generally, they look alike the crab-eating-macaques.    
     The real difference is by their habitation. While the rhesus macaque lives on hill, the    
   crab-eating macaque live by the mangrove.  
   The macaques in Lopburi reside on the base of Sarn Phra Karn at the town center. They  
   may cross to Prang Sam Yod just the road across. No one dares to hurt them which are  
   believed being protected by God. They live well in harmony within their society, as well  
   as in ours. We can feed them safely hand to hand if we know how to. The real naughty  
   macaques which always break the social laws will be expelled from the group. Being  
     unable to enter  the temple ground,they live closer to the human houses. They can be    
     harmful to the houses on their ways. The broken glass windows on the shophouse    
     around the temple can be a good evidence.    
 
 Narai Rachaniwes palace in Lopburi
 
   Lopburi had been the center for the Siamese power for 2 times. The first time was in the  
   reign of king Narai from Ayuthaya (1656-1688). He made a new palace here away from  
   the river. It was to avoid the threat from the Dutch traders who requested to abandon  
   the Palace monopoly trade system. The second time was from the palace partly  
   renovation during King Mongkut period. It was for the same reason, but this time,from  
      the threat of French.    
     The palace was divided into 3 sections. During the king Narai period, the outer section    
     was filled with 12 inventory houses for the palace trading, the reception hall surrounded    
   by a u-shape persian fountain with a theatre in the front and a buddhist temple on the  
   far end.The audience hall, the kitchen and the servant courts were in the mid section.  
   The king's residence and houses for the ladies of court lied in the inner section. Water  
   supply was delivered along the terracotta water pipe from the water reservoir 16 km.  
   away. King Narai loved this palace enough to stay here for 8 months in a  year.  
   Just before his death, king Narai dedicated his palace to a temple. During the final war  
     in Ayuthaya, this temple was seriously destroyed. It stayed ruins since then till king    
     Mongkut of Bangkok (1851-1868), encountering the same problem with France,decided    
     to make a residential mansion in mid of the ruins. Now it is changed to a historical    
   museum.  
 
  Bang Pa-In summer palace in Ayuthaya
 
   On the way back home, there is another summer palace in Ayuthaya, which was  
   renovated beautifully in Bangkok period. King Chulalongkorn ordered the  
   reconstruction of this palaces and filled the ground with architectures from different  
   nationalities. The only Thai was the first being built in mid of the lake in 1876 as such  
     to signify the Thai palace. The Aisawan thipya-ars is really a cloning of the Arpornpimok    
     prasart in the grand palace, which is considered the most beautiful Thai pavillion in the    
     world.    
  The mansion of the king, Waropas piman, was constructed in the same year in German  
   neo-classical style. Originally It had 2 stories but was changed to one story afterward.  
   One of the six throne under the nine tiered canopy is kept in the small audience hall here.  
   Collections of glasswares from the king Chulalongkorn's European tour are displayed in  
   the sitting rooms and the dining room of the mansion.  
   This summer palace is divided into 2 zones. The division is by the walkway across the  
     lake which connect the king's mansion to the royal guesthouse, Utayarn Bhumisatien.    
     Being built orginally in the Swiss chaley style, it was rebuilt after burnt and the design    
     was changed to Victorian style. The crown prince of the Russian empire,who later    
   became Zhar Nicolas II, used to stay  here on his trip to open the tran-siberian railroad.  
   Nice garden is decorated with trees in animal shapes on the way to the chinese royal  
   mansion,Wehas Chamroon.To show their loyalty to the king,members from the Chinese  
   chamber of commerce shared their contributions  to order the similar-to-mansion of  
   the chinese emperor from China and re-assembled it in the palace as the special present  
   to the king. the king Vachiravut prefered to stay in this mansion during Winter.  
     For the good viewpoint of the chinese mansion, we may take photos from  two    
     locations.The skyview can be taken from Vitoon Tassana tower.We may also walk further    
     to the bridge that cross over to the two monuments of tregedies. On looking back from    
   the bridge,we can see both the chinese mansion and the tower which shine their shadow  
   on the smooth water surface.  
 
 monument of tregedies in Bang Pa-In summer palace
 
   Many tregedies happpened to the big family of the king Chulalongkorn. two are put on  
   the monuments in this palace. The first monument reminds us back to year 1889, when  
   a royal consort with 3 of her princes and princess were sick from breathing.They died month  
     after month within the same year.The second monument is even more sad.In 1880,king    
     Chulalongkorn ordered a family trip from Bangkok to Bang-Pa-in summer palace. His    
     consorts and children followed him on a royal barge procession. There was a boat    
   accident along the Chaophraya river. The royal barge of the first queen consort,Sunantha  
   Kumaleeratana turned over.Along the procession,there were many paddlers around who  
   were ready to save her. No one dared  to being afraid of one law-- lady of the king can't  
   be touch by any men. The unfortunate queen consort finally drown with her almost two  
   year princess and a 5 month baby in her pregnant.  
   In grief king Chulalongkorn made 3 memorials to remind of her. One is in the  
     Salarnlom park near the grand palace. One is on the way to her favorite "pliew" water.    
     The last is just here in the Bang pa-in summer palace. He wrote down the dedication    
   words himself both in Thai and in English. It can best show his language skill.  
   We pay respect to the royal members who passed away greviously before we get on our  
   car back to Bangkok. it may take an hour drive for the roughly 60 kilometer distance.It  
   is much slower than our heart which is already there at home where we have departed  
   for 4 days. Wait for me my home sweet home. I will see you soon.