Visitors to Bang Pa-in stop off, for the most part, just to visit Bang Pa-in Palace, whose exuberant 19th-century buildings stand in stark contrast to nearby Ayutthaya. It is thought that a royal palace was first built at Bang Pa-in by King Prasat Thong (1629–56), to mark the birth of his son and successor, King Narai. With the defeat of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767 the site fell into ruin; the present buildings date from the reigns of Mongkut (1851–68) and Chulalongkorn (1868–1910).
The beautiful pavilion, Phra Thinang Aisawan Thipha-at (“divine seat of personal freedom”), at the center of an ornamental lake, was built for Chulalongkorn in 1876, together with the Phra Thinang Warophat Phiman (“excellent and shining abode”), to the left. Behind are the terra-cotta- and white-striped lookout tower, Ho Withun Thasana, built by Chulalongkorn in 1881, and the Chinese-style mansion, Phra Thinang Wehat Chamrun, built as a gift for him by an association of Chinese merchants in 1889. Visitors can cross a canal by cable car to Wat Niwet Tham Prawat, which was built by Chulalongkorn in 1877–8.