I really like this photo but the first one's not great; I tried to sharpen it here and added a frame, which I think helps to lighten it a bit. I also adjusted color and lighting.
Taken at the Summer Palace in Bang Pa In, Thailand, which is located about 40 miles outside of Bangkok along the Chao Praya river. It dates to the 17th century, which pre-dates the establishemt of Bangkok as the capitol. It was "revived" by King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the 19th century, when most of the present structures were built. It thus appears very European in design. The large ornamental pond, seen in the foreground, is a central feature. There is also a "lighthouse" and a beautiful Chinese pavillion constructed in China and given as a gift to King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) by the Chinese in 1889, which is accessible to visitors. Our guide stated that one of the "queens" once drowned in the lake while her entourage looked on because touching a member of the royal family was punishable by death! Don't know if that's true or not...
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