The grandest of all in Thailand as purported. The whole compound is huge and there's temples and shrines in the central area - where everyone goes. Murals line the walls of the central area where all the shrines and Chedis are. It's elaborate, it's ornate, it's a bit much to take in. It's even more ridiculous when you pump in hundreds of people at one time.
The biggest tip is to get there early - at 8:30-8:45 and wait by the main gate (across the street from the park filled with pigeons). Be one of the first ones to get in, pay the exorbitant fee (500 baht) and then go into the central area and be the first to take candid photos, because if you don't do it within the first 30 minutes, you probably won't get a chance because you'll have too many people around you. After the first 30 or so minutes, you can walk around at a leisurely pace, admire the murals, and really take in the opulence. There's a replica of Ankor Wat that's nice to look at as well.
Once you get out of the central worship area, you'll find that there's much more to be seen in the Grand Palace. If you poke your head around and observe signs, you'll see a lot of museums within the Grand Palace that will provide interesting information about the reconstruction/preservation of the site. There's a weapons museum as well and it's fun - takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. Beyond that, there's just a lot of photographic possibilities. You can take pictures with the suited guards and they are supposed to not smile - that makes for an interesting topic of conversation. If your timing is right, you'll see soldiers march on the grounds in lock step and it's another one of those nice visuals that you can tell all your friends and family about back home. Lots to see ultimately and the price is steep compared to what you'll pay at other temples (typically nothing). It's worth going if the baht is burning a hole in your pocket.
Tip going to Grand Palace - Don't be afraid to bargain with the tuk tuk drivers - they will usually start really high and you just have to smile and suggest half their price or lower and see where the negotiation goes. You may first ask your hotel service desk what it would generally cost to go to the Grand Palace or anywhere for that matter and use that for your basis of negotiation with the tuk tuk drivers.
Five pictures cannot capture what the Grand Palace encompasses - so pay the 500 baht to take it all in fully.
A wonderful, enchanting and intriguing place of mystery, shine and royalty, incredible architecture and design, lots of hidden places, gardens and other astonishing features. It's been a long time since I visited, 1991, and surely lots of things have changed, but I'm sure the place will always keep its unique allure.
We feel small! We feel poor! We feel ugly, but we feel blessed by the fortune of seeing such a collection of art masterpieces, in this large complex.
It's impossible to go to Bangkok without this palace in mind. Go with time (there are crowds) and if you're not in an escorted visit read what you can before going, or... in place. It's fantastic!
The Grand Palace was built from the ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand's ancient capital. With few resources they stripped every stone and brick from Ayutthaya, leaving only the temples, and shipped each one down the Chao Phraya river the hundred kilometers to Bangkok. The Grand Palace was vast - populated with thousands of staff and family members; they called it the city within the city. Today the royal family and its expansive retinue have left, but there are still thousands upon thousands inhabiting the Grand Palace on a daily basis - tourists.
The most impressive feature of the Grand Palace is Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple complex is the most sacred in Thailand, and is devoted to the Emerald Buddha - a statue that might trace its history all the way back to India, but is recorded to have passed through Laos and Cambodia on its way to its final resting place in Bangkok. If you have time to see nothing else in Bangkok, you should see this.
The rest of the Grand Palace is not so grand, but the Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat buildings are impressive.
If you are fortune enough to catch the changing of the guard you are lucking. It is short but impressive. It is funny watching all the visitors jump in front of the guards as they are marching. Some not moving until the guards are right on top of them. Have to get that perfect shot I guess. But it seemed a little disrespectful. It is one thing to snap a quick picture but to block the way of the march is too far.
The Grand Palace is attached in a way to Wat Phra Kaew and the 500 baht entrance fee covers both. There is a little less to see at the Grand Palace compared to Wat Phra Kaew but just as spectacular. The ground are beautifully manicured and the military guard are in dress whites. Very impressive. There is a significant temple just past the palace called Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat. No photos are permitted inside. There is also a weapons museum, but again no photos are permitted inside. I walked through and it was small but interesting.
The Gold is just magnificent and it's all over. The Temple is separate from the Grand Palace which is the King and Queen's residence in Bangkok. The Grand Palace is well guarded and military men march along the premises. There are restricted areas so watch where you think you might want to go. There seems to be only one way in and one way out, so make sure to grab a map. This Wat houses the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha is not as big as I thought it would be. Expect lots of people to be visiting the temple. Please see my travelogues for more photos.
The dress code restrictions are very, very strict. I didn't have to wear a shirt over the shirt I was wearing but my crop pants (well below my knees) was not acceptable. I had to wear a sarong so my legs were completely covered. It doesn't cost anything to use the sarong they will provide but you have to leave a deposit to ensure the return of the sarong.
It's open Daily 8:30am - 3:30pm. Cost of tickets is 200 baht (about US$6.35)
This is a worth visit if you are in Bangkok. It will not take you long to ¡get there from Khao San Road. I boarded a ferry and then walked a few meters, paid the ticket and visited during a couple of hours the fantastic Grand Royal Palace.
The Grand Palace is a must see in Bangkok. For 150 years the Palace complex was home to the King and also to the entire government, including the country's war ministry, state departments and the mint.
Thai Kings stopped living in the Palace around the turn of the 20th century. However the complex still remains the seat of power and spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
The Grand Palace complex also houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keow), the most famous Buddhist temple. At the heart of the temple itself is a fabulous Buddha image, carved from one piece of Jade. This image is the holiest and most revered of religious objects in Thailand today.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site so you must be properly dressed. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. For women no see through clothes, bare shoulders etc. There are stalls near the entry that provides clothes at a small charge to cover you up if needed.
Also be careful of touts outside the palace who tell you it is closed, then suggest their own tour instead. Their 'tour' will be to shops where they get commissions on your purchases and the Palace will really be open!!
Admission fees are 400 baht and the Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 3:30, unless its being used for a state function.
This is the pride of Bangkok and a must visit for anyone visiting Bangkok. Enjoyed the place very much and the architecture of the place. Suggest you take a guide for the tour since they will explain the history and the place very well. The area is huge and palace looks amazingly beautiful.
This building is a must see for visitors to Bangkok. Dress respectfully cover your knees and shoulders or you'll have to borrow clothing before you go in.
Don't listen to the touts outside who tell you the building is closed and try and get you into their tuk-tuk; just ignore them.
The palace grounds contain the wonderful Temple of the Emerald Buddah, a much revered Buddah image dating from the 14th century. The Siamese took this from Vientienne, Laos. We saw its original home when we visited there. The temple complex is large and ornate, the Buddah is quite small. It is normally surrounded by worshippers.
The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was home to theThai kings for 150 years. There are some lovely paintings on the palace walls.
Deep within the walls of the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok, you’ll encounter a sacred sight, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. (Wat Phra Kaew). This fine example of Buddhist architecture is covered from roof to floor in gold, interspersed with mosaic columns containing colored glass and porcelain pieces. It’s also surrounded by some of the best examples of Thai sculpture and decorative art.
The Emerald Buddha is the highly revered, small, but very famous Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. Raised high on a series of platforms, no one is allowed near the Emerald Buddha except the King. A seasonal cloak, changed three times a year to correspond to the summer, winter, and rainy season, covers the statue. A very important ritual, the changing of the robes is performed only by the King to bring good fortune to the country during each season.
Garuda, the mythical half-man, half-bird form, who holds his mortal enemy, Naga the serpent, in his talons, adorns the external walls of this venerated temple. The Garuda has become the national symbol of Thailand, and therefore features prominently in Buddhist sculpture.
Yakshas, or giant demons, are another important element in Thai art and architecture, and will also be encountered within the Grand Palace grounds. They are common as guardians of the gates in Buddhist temples. Yakshas had a duty to protect holy places from disturbances by evil spirits, and their presence can’t be missed as you explore the confines of Wat Phra Kaew.
Gracing the entrance to the temple is a gilded statue of the Kinnari. She is one of the loveliest of the mythology beings, half-woman, and half swan. The head and torso is of a woman, yet below the delicately tapered waist are the body, tail and legs of a swan. She is renowned for her dance, song and poetry, and is a traditional symbol of feminine beauty and accomplishment.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha actually consists of a series of courtyards full of a collection of buildings in different sizes and colours. All have impressive architecture and much devotion has been given to the decoration. Some are in gold, and others beautifully decorated with thousands of colored glass pieces, or patterns of broken porcelain.
Among them is Phra Mondrop, the library that houses Buddhist scriptures. It is a spectacular building, decorated from roof to floor in intricate gold, and glittering glass mosaic panels. The entrance is protected by another pair of gilded demons.
More of these mythological creatures, sparkling and brightly coloured, can be discovered supporting the base of a Buddhist stupa, a large golden dome housing Buddhist relics.
Among the four groups of palaces, the Chakri Maha Prasat is the largest and most famous. Erected by King Rama V in 1882 as his own residence, the 3-storey building is a mixture of Thai and Western architecture. The top part is pure Thai with tapering spires and tiered sloping roofs, and the lower parts, designed by a British architect, are in the Imperial Victorian style. It is built in a distinctively European neo-classical style, but with a Thai roof somewhat incongruously plopped on top.
Not only is the Grand Palace Complex the spiritual heart of Thailand, but it’s also the country’s most famous landmark, and hence tourist attraction.
A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace, with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry. Men should wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Women must be similarly modestly dressed. If improperly attired, there is a booth near the entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly. (A deposit is required).