OK, now that you've seen Wat Arun and Wat Pho, you are ready to go to the Grand Palace.
As you exit from Wat Pho, retrace your steps. Instead of turning left to go to the Ta Tien pier, continue walking straight. (Its a 1/2 km walk from Wat Pho). Actually the buildings are adjacent to each other but the entrance of the Grand Palace is on the opposide end, so you got to walk all the way.
Once you reach the Grand Palace, you need to purchase an entrance ticket (think it costs THB 200 - for Thais its FREE). If you are travelling in a group, you might want to take a guide along with you so that he will explain you the various places in the Grand Palace. Otherwise, there's a very interesting thing that you can do - have your own personal audio guide. This was real coooool. For THB 200, you can rent a personal audio guide - with headphones - which is actually a Sony MD player with a tamperproof seal (make sure you have a passport/driving licence/credit card etc. to leave as a deposit for the audio guide).
You will also be given a map of the Grand Palace with all the points marked clearly. All you need to do is listen to the audio commentary and follow the map.
Please carry of bottle of water with you as it gets quite tiring during the 2 hrs that you will spend in the Grand Palace.
Once you complete the tour, you need to return the Personal Audio Guide.
Its upto you what you want to do from here. You can retrace your journey the way you reached the Grand Palace i.e. walk back to Ta Tien, ferry to Saphan Taksin and BTS back OR just take a cab back to your hotel. As is often said in Thailand - 'up to you...'
The most important of them all. Here, sitting inside Wat Phra Kaew is the much revered Emerald Buddha. A symbol of the country and legends go that should the Emerald Buddha be destroyed, so will Thailand. So revered is the figurine that the Thai monarch comes every change of season to cloth the Buddha in elaborate and solemn ceremonies.
The Wat comes with 3 main pagodas. Thai, Khmer and Islamic architectural styles stood next to each other, each an indication of the identity of the people that made up Thailand.
Wander through the many galleries of paintings/murals storytelling the fables/myths/legends and history of Thailand. I would recommend that you take a guided tour (free) to learn more about the stories behind each painting/mural.
The Royal Family does not reside in the The Grand Palace and is used for ceremonial purposes instead. The main buildings were built for King Rama V, whose travels to Europe brought back a marriage of Thai and western (especially Windsor) architectural styles.
The central Throne Hall is flanked by reception areas decorated with galleries of portraiture. The central room on the second floor is used as a shrine for the reliquary ashes of various Thai monarchs.
Open to the public everyday, except during special Royal Ceremonies, from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Baht 250, and includes admission to Wat Phra Kaew, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion in the same compound and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road.
Additional Baht 100 for rental personal audio guide in various languages.
Visitors are required to dress appropriately.
1. No shorts, tights, mini & short skirts & tight fitting trousers as outer garments.
2. No see-through shirts and blouses, culottes or quarter length trousers.
3. No sleeveless shirts or vests as outer garments.
4. No sandals (without ankle or heel straps).
5. All shirt sleeves, whether long or short, can not be rolled up.
6. No sweat shirts & pants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers.
I visited the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew during a visit to Bangkok in September 2007.
I put on a pair of long trousers and a t-shirt which covered my shoulders (a necessity in order to be allowed in) and paid 250 Bahts (approx. 4 GBP) for a ticket which included not only the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, but also the Vimanmek Mansion Museum and The Pavilion of Regalia, Decorations and Coins. I never actually visited the latter attractions, which were located elsewhere.
One of my favourite sights was the one that first appeared upon entering Wat Phra Kaew – the golden Phra Siratana Chedi (a large golden spire), standing next to the colourful Phra Mondop and Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn – three impressive spires reaching towards the skies.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha was undergoing external renovation work during my visit and so was covered in blue tarpaulin. I took off my shoes and went inside for a quick look. Many people, locals and tourists alike, were sat on the floor, cross legged, ensuring their feet were not pointing at the Emerald Buddha. Outside, a queue of people were waiting to light candles.
I wandered around the array of impressive temples and colourful chedi towers, and spent a few minutes looking at a replica model of Angkor Wat.
I then made my way towards the Grand Palace, taking lots of photos of the impressive Chakri Maha Prasat Hall fronted by green lawns and trees. Some sort of “changing of the guards” procession was taking place, as a group of young men in white uniforms marched past me with guns at the ready.
I ended my visit by browsing the Wat Phra Kaew Museum (free entry).
grand palace bangkok well worth the visit one of the most beutiful palaces ive seen, if theres only one thing you can do in bagkok go here, we traveled using the sky train and boat, getting around is easy if your not in a car...........
The city landmark should be GRAND PALACE , for sure.
Consisting of several buildings with highly decorated architectural designs.
The complex is open daily from 8.30 a.m. - 3.30 p.m. Admission fee is 200 baht. (including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion).
I just spent the day at the Grand Palace today (April21,2010)
If you are staying in a hotel near a skytrain station purchase a one day pass for 120THB ($4USD) and get off at the Saphan Taksin Station. The system isn't that hard and if you are near a different line there is a transfer point at Siam Station. Once you get off at Saphan Taksin you exit and walk to the Central Pier and get on the Chao Phraya River Express. Ignore those that are asking if you want to a boat tour. Once you get on the boat you pay 14 THB and you get off at Pier 9 by the Grand Palace after a 15 minute boat ride. Ignore the people that are telling you the Palace is closed. The palace is a 2-3 minute walk from the Pier, you will see the walls of the palace immediately. Just keep walking straight once you pass through the market and you will hit the main entrance
DO NOT TRANSFER TO THE MONORAIL THINKING IT IS A MORE DIRECT ROUTE. It is an additional cost to you and is not included in the skytrain day pass and furthermore the transfer area is right where the red shirts are protesting. There are military everywhere armed with machine guns. The protests have died down, but nonetheless it is best to avoid transferring here as it is only another 5 minutes to the Saphan Taksin Station
If you are not wearing pants you are able to rent a pair (a sarong for women). The deposit is 200THB and when you return the clothing you get your deposit back. My hotel messed up my transport to the palace so I had to figure it out on my own and arrived at the Palace at 11:30am and stayed until 3pm. If you are able to get there by 8:30am and avoid the warmer weather it would be a very good idea.
One more thing. The market that surrounds the Pier near the Palace is a great place to get snacks of barbecued meats, fruits, curry etc etc.
Once I figured out how to get there, it took me 35 minutes to get back to my hotel in the Sukhimvit Area.
Being the city landmarks, these two accompanying attractions serve to be the first place on any visitor’s itinerary. They are within the same compound on Na Phra Lan Road near Sanam Luang, surrounded by high white walls occupying an area of about a square mile. The palace, founded in 1782, consists of several buildings with highly decorated architectural details. The Royal Chapel, Wat Phra Kaeo, Houses the Emerald Buddha, the most sacred Buddha image in Thailand, photography inside this building is forbidden.
The complex is open daily from 08.30 – 15.30 hours, admission fee is 250 Baht. Proper dress is required.
If you don’t have much time in Bangkok…BE SURE TO INCLUDE some time here..it really is a MUST SEE attraction here in Bangkok.
I won’t go into much detail here as information is well documented here at VT and is easily available at other sources on-line.
There are more than a couple of major “sights” here and in addition to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, there is a complex of ornately decorated and unique buildings here that in the past have served as the royal residences and throne halls of the royal family. There is also a bevy of government offices and the Wat Phra Kaeo Museum…and access to the Temple grounds, the Central Court grounds, and the museum are included in the entrance fee. At the time I visited in February of 2010 the entrance fee was 250 baht.
Your entrance ticket is also good for free access to the Vimanmek Royal Mansion and the Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, both offsite locations, which are close together, but are a short taxi or Tuk Tuk ride away.
YOU MUST be wearing clothing that is considered respectful…I had other plans included for my day and in the heat offered up in Bangkok I was NOT wearing pants.
At the main entrance you can “rent” pants for a small charge and a deposit must be left that is refunded when the pants are returned. The “official” policy also prohibits sandals and tank tops…I wore a shirt with short sleeves and sandals and this didn’t prevent me from entering…so other than the pants, Im not sure how stringently they enforce the policy. I did see women wearing short skirts lined up to “rent” clothing.
I hired a GUIDE for my time here for minimal cost but BE CAUTIONED…he or she will NOT accompany you into the area of the royal grounds, residences and museum. I found him…or HE FOUND me.. just inside of the main entrance off of the street. He was holding up a sign and when I spotted him…he spotted me, and I walked directly to him and agreed on a price. The guides will only accompany you throughout the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Outer Court where the entrance and ticket areas are. The Central Court is the area of the grounds where the residences and throne halls and museum are located and they will not accompany you there. I thought it was worth the extra cost to hire a guide… it was inexpensive and he offered up some interesting stories and was thorough in his explanations. He also made the pants “rental” easier and because I was accompanied by him we passed into the Temple grounds through a separate line and didn’t have to line up to enter.
In addition to exploring the Temple grounds and Central Court I would recommend a quick look around at the collection offered up in the Wat Phra Kaeo Museum. This is not only a small collection worth a look see but the “time out” indoors also offers an opportunity to catch some AC time to cool off a little.
I budgeted and spent a few hours at the complex including a walk through the museum and a little bit of time exploring the GIFT SHOP for some treats for some friends here in Canada. The quality of the goods for sale in the gift shop is pretty good but the pricing is higher than you would find in other places. I did find exactly what I had set out to in the gift shop, some hand made embroidered table runners that I thought was of good quality at a fair price.
The photos Ive attached here are all taken from the grounds of the temple in fact, and for a look around the grounds of the Royal Palace take a look at the photos on the Travelogue please.
Daily 08:30 - 15:30
Entrance fee 250 baht
The Grand Palace takes quite a while to look at and it is full of Tourists, so don't expect to get photos without people in them, that would be nearly impossible!
First of all, BE AWARE of the Tuk Tuk drivers telling you that the Palace is closed and wanting to take you to other Temples and probably shops, hoping that you will buy.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
The Palace is OPEN EVERY DAY from 8.30am to 4.30pm and the cost in 2009 was 350tb.
It will only be closed if being used for a State Function.
Also included in the price, is a ticket to Vimanmek Mansion and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall which are located at Dusit. (Use the admission ticket within 7 days)
Unluckily for me, Vimanmek Mansion was closed for 4days, this may have been because the Prince was in town, I really don't know, but a notice said it was closed.
The Grand Palace was built in 1782, and here you will find what used to be the Royal residence ( the King now lives in Chitralada Palace ) and Throne Halls as well as Government Offices. The Grand Palace is now used mainly for ceremonial occassions. Most of the interiors are closed to visitors, but it is well worth strolling around the grounds and having a look at the Royal Thai Decoration & Coin Pavillion.
Be aware not to wear Tank tops and be respectfully dressed.
I guarantee this place will take your breath away. The place is so beautiful, so over the top and stunning. The place is so picturesque. There are buildings in different architectural styles-khmer, thai and burmese. The highlight of the surroundings, is Wat Phra Kaew (temple of the Emerald Buddha). This Buddha is made up of a large piece of Jade. It is adorned with golden clothes and precious gems. The image has three different golden outfits-one for the monsoon, hot weather and colder season-i think. It's very impressive. You are not allowed to take photos inside that wat,but you can take photos looking inside the temple. The Emerald Buddha is the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
It's very important to dress correctly-since you are entering a very holy site. They do enforce this. You must not wear shorts, skirts-legs must be covered. No tank tops-arms should be covered. Nice tshirts are allowed. No open toed shoes ( this isn't enforced as much). Heels must be covered.
If you don't have the right clothes, they will either send you away or you can rent older clothes or sarongs at the entrance.
Don't believe the tuk tuk drivers, who harass tourists walking around the complex and say that it is closed due to a special function. This is a scam. He just wants you to go with him for a few hours and see the other sites. If you have any doubts, walk to the front of the complex or ask your hotel staff.
The Grand Palace doesn't allow visitors to enter. You can see it from the gates. You can visit Chakri Mahaprasat (Grand Palace Hall). In one of the large buildings-you can visit an armory museum.
With your ticket to the wat, it includes admission to the royal museum at this complex and Vinanmek Teak Mansion (palace of Rama V). The royal museum has royal jewels, swords and beetle nut sets that are very impressive. You will learn a lot about the royal family.
There is one restaurant located near the pier. Also, one cafe across the street from the royal wats. At night, the wat is lit up.
Go see the Grand Palace in the historic Rattanakosin area of Bangkok, next to the Chao Phraya river. It's quite stunning! The architecture is a great mix of Thai and European styles, and if you can only see one sight in Bangkok, this should be it. The lovely Temple of the Emerald Buddha is in the same complex - don't forget to allow enough time there too.
It's open everyday between 8.30am and 3.30pm; there's an entry fee of 200 baht, but you can get into Vimanmek Teak Palace on the same ticket. Although the royal family no longer lives here, it's still considered a Royal Palace and you'll need to dress respectfully; no sandals, shorts or bare shoulders.
The main entrance is on Thanon Na Phra Lang (Thanon = street), on the north side near Sanam Luang. Beware the nearby touts and tuk-tuk drivers who may tell you that it's closed - normally this is a scam to try and get you go to a gem or gift shop shop where they will get a commission.
There are some more pictures of this wonderful place in my travelogue.
This is a glorious compound of temples that is a must see when in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred site in the country, a glorious explosion of Thai architecture and colour from start to finish, complete with murals of Hindu epic the Ramayana, statues of Yoga masters, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy and many Buddhas.
The sacred Emerald Buddha statue is housed in a building that sparkles with gilt and glass, supported by 112 garudas.
The Thai King still personally changes the Emerald Buddha's garments according to the seasons of the Buddhist year.
Only the northern part of the massive palace proper is open to the public (apart from special royal ceremonies). The audience hall built by King Rama I is an example of traditional Thai architecture, featuring a roof glazed in red, gold and green and an exquisite throne inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
When walking around, look out for the small details...like the beautifully manicured trees and bushes.
When visiting the Royal Palace where appropriate attire...ie cover shoulders, dont wear shorts...show some respect!
The Wat Phra Kaew Museum is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew and is included in the ticket price of 250 Bahts (approx. 4 GBP).
I browsed the museum for 20 minutes at the end of my visit to the site in September 2007.
The main exhibits of the museum are overwhelmingly Buddha statues. You will see Buddhas of all different shapes and sizes, made from a variety of different materials (emerald, glass, crystal, silver, gold…) and in a variety of different poses (reclining, standing, meditating, pondering…).
In truth, there is little else to see in the museum. There are a few artefacts and a small model of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, so you can retrace the steps you have just taken.
One interesting feature of the museum is that you must take off your shoes to visit the upstairs exhibitions. At the bottom of the stairs there is a rack for Thais to leave their shoes, and a separate rack for foreigners to leave theirs.
If nothing else, the Wat Phra Kaew Museum is a good place to cool off in air-conditioned exhibition rooms after lots of outdoor sightseeing at Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace.
Photography is not permitted inside the museum.
The Upper Terrace of is the justifiably most popular part of the complex with the Golden Chedi and Royal Pantheon the main attractions. Guarding the area are many mythical figures that have become favorite photo subjects with or without a posing visitor.
This is the most famous place that is a must for all tourists.
Name: Grand Palace
Theme: Palace, Garden, Soldier, Architecture
Close to: Wat Pho, Sanam Luang Park, Wat Mahathat, National Museum
Location: Ratanakosin Island
Admission Fee: I pay last time 250 baht
Last Visit: September 2007
First Photo: Grand Palace
Second photo: Me at Wat Phra Khaew
Third photo: Me at Wat Phra Khaew