At the heart of Bangkok lies one of the most spectacular temples you could ever see in the world—The Grand Palace. In this place, you will find a lot of temples, and you will find yourself taking a lot of pictures, and also do a lot of walking.
When people say that it’s going to be hot in the Grand Palace, I seemed to have underestimated it. The place is full of people, especially on weekends, so imagine having to walk with hundreds of people around not to mention the scorching heat. We went there on a weekend, and just like us, a lot of people have decided to come to the Grand Palace… So, please don’t go on a weekend or during holidays.
The Grand Palace used to be the royal residence of the King and his family, but it’s now being used only for ceremonial purposes. For THB 600, you can roam around the Grand Palace all day long.
GRAND PALACE: 200 YEARS OF ROYAL AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY
From time to time, you would see these giant guardians called Yaks that is said to be the gate keepers of the Grand Palace. Religion is valuable and deeply rooted in the culture of Thailand. It’s part of their identity, and it’s no wonder how the temples and building are carefully crafted even to the minute detail.
Despite the fact that most of the time, I find myself avoiding getting into people’s photo and searching for a good place to take photos, I couldn’t help but feel impressed about the Grand Palace. There are more than 100 buildings of different colors, sizes and shapes, worth 200 years of architectural history.
WAT PHRA KAEW: HOME OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA
The Wat Phra Kaew is the most famous landmark in the Grand Palace as it is home of the Emerald Buddha, a highly revered Buddha image carved in a jade stone.
The Emerald Buddha is clothed in style depending on the season. There are three seasonal cloaks for the Buddha corresponding to summer, winter, and the rainy season. No one is allowed to touch the Buddha except for the King, and no pictures can be taken inside the temple.
Proper clothing is expected when visiting Grand Palace, especially in Wat Phra Kaew. Wear tops with sleeves, skirts length must be below the knee, therefore shorts are not allowed; pants are acceptable, but leggings or any tight-fitting and see-through clothes are prohibited. It’s better to wear close shoes than slippers. You could rent a sarong or long trousers just in case.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take the BTS Silom and alight at Saphan Taksin Station. Go to the Sathorn Pier and ride the public Chao Phraya Boat to Ta Chang Pier (No. 9). These boats are bigger, with orange, green or no flags at all.
Alternatively, you can ride the tourist boat (has a separate queue with blue arrow, which will also be heading to the Grand Palace. The only difference here is the fare price. From there, walk to the entrance gate of the Grand Palace. Tour costs THB 600 per person.
We didn’t encounter any, but scams are apparent around Grand Palace. If someone approaches you saying that the Grand Palace is closed for the day or would offer you another tour, do not believe them.