|A beach view fit for... well, a King.|
There have been recent reports that since his stay at Siriraj Hospital HM King Bumbhibol had been residing at the royal residence called Klai Kangwon in Hua Hin, begun by Rama VII in the late 1920s. Klai Kangwon means "away from worries", I'm told, and that sounds like a good place to get away to after a prolonged hospital stay, especially as he's heading toward his 86th birthday in three more days.
Possibly also wanting to take a sea-side break he'd also recently headed slightly North for a day trip to Cha-Am in the Petchaburi district to pay a visit to Maruekatayawan Palace, another of the royal summer homes in the kingdom.
A gorgeous, open, airy, teak wonder, Maruekatayawan Palace rests on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand. The overall feel of the place is one of casual elegance; you know you're in a royal residence, but it's so peaceful and relaxing it's easily my favorite so far.
|Pink and yellow plumeria dot the grounds at Maruekatayawan|
In general the royal residences have, over time, been built to accommodate the wishes of the current ruler, naturally. Maruekatayawan was built by His Majesty King Varjiravudh (Rama VI) in the early 1920s, and is one of the oldest remaining residences. Rama VI personally designed it and saw the interior completed he paid his last visit there in 1925, the year he passed on.
|A family rests in the shades on the expansive and well-groomed grounds|
Maruekatayawan and the beach it graces are fine spots to relax, meditate, take pictures, have a picnic and relax.
I had a leisurely visit there with a friend one afternoon, and we ended up spending several more hours there than we'd intended. He kept saying "I knew you'd like this", and he was right. I wondered to myself why he hadn't planned a bit longer to stop there - I'd planned to stay in the Big Mango that night - but we did get back to Bangkok that evening, although it was close to the witching hour.
|A meeting and receiving hall|
For photographers it's a cornucopia of photo opportunities, and I took a lot of pictures as we wandered the grounds. Rather than slam through this wonderful spot in one post I figure we'll do it in at least two installments. Hope that's OK with the majority of you.
|Light blue and yellow are the predominant colors for the building exteriors|