Last night I was invited to visit Ancient Siam in Samut Prakan for their night tour and dinner theatre. This is not a regular feature but a special event for this weekend and next weekend on 14-16th May 2010. I have been to the Ancient Siam (formerly known as Ancient City) literally hundreds of times but I have never been there in the dark. So, I jumped at this chance to tour the grounds at night.
The evening started at 6 p.m. with a buffet meal in the floating market area of Ancient Siam. The ticket price includes this meal, the shows and the tram tour. For Thai people it is 300 baht for adults and for foreign tourists it is 450 baht for adults. The food was actually very good and there was a large variety on offer. They had everything from curry on rice and noodles cooked on boats. There was also plenty of desserts and drinks.
The first show started at 7 p.m. There is no need to rush your meal or even eat it all in one go. I had my first course when I first arrived and then wondered around taking pictures. The picture of the temple at the top and this one were taken about ten minutes before the show started. The show was basically traditional Thai boat songs. You could sit anywhere you like around the floating market to listen to them or even carry on eating.
At about 7.45 p.m., we were all told to board the trams for the tour of the park. It is not safe to drive around by yourself in the dark so you are not allowed to bring your car in for the tour. However, being on a tram gives you a higher viewpoint of the sights than a car. And it was certainly better air-conditioning as there was a really nice wind last night. Which was one of the advantages of doing the tour at night.
It is not easy taking night pictures. Using a flash doesn’t give you any depth. The pictures above were all taken with a tripod. However, during the tour there wasn’t really any time to get out to take pictures. They did pause a few times but not at every location. It would have been nice to have spent longer but obviously we didn’t have all night. The other downside was that the tour guide only spoke in Thai. So, best just to enjoy the view and the breeze. A good tip would be to sit on the right-hand-side.
After about 20 minutes we arrived at Sanphet Prasat, which is the palace for the kings of Ayuthhaya. Next door to this is a building from the present Granad Palace in Bangkok. Both of them were beautifully lit up. Once we arrived they took us on a tour of one of the buildings for about 20 minutes. As I had been there many times I just went off by myself to take some pictures. Afterwards we were then entertained with two more shows. This time with the Sanphet Prasat Palace as a beautiful backdrop.
The show concluded at about 9 p.m. and we then got back on the trams to finish the night tour. Another advantage about touring at night is that there was more wildlife. I spotted a large water monitor earlier and then during the tram tour a very big snake. The tour finally finished at 9.30 p.m. I did actually enjoy myself and would go again. As I said before, your final chance of going is 14-16th May 2010. Full details at www.paknam.com and a photo album at www.paknamphotos.com.
You can follow me live on Twitter in order to see the events I am attending. I often upload pictures live.