The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
Situated in the heart of Bangkok lies a sublime creation of gold, marble and other precious metals and rocks. Historical values alone attract people from all over to wander around its grounds and leave feeling nothing less than amazed.
Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Hours: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Phone Number: +66 2 623 5500
One of the most visited landmarks in Bangkok. Thousands of tourists and local visitors come visit the majestic and opulent Grand Palace. It fantastically ornamented and polished building populate a small space so it is easy for all ages to easily manoeuvre around and fully appreciate the surroundings.
How to Get There.
Getting there is easy. Tuk-Tuks and taxis will take you straight to the entrance. My favourite way to travel to the Grand Palace is by boat. The water taxi will take you there for as little as 15Baht. (50cents, 30pence) and it is an excellent way to see other sights on the way. If you are coming from south of the river you'll see Wat Arun on the opposite side of the river on your journey to the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace
Enter the Grand Palace by entering the Visechatsri Gate, which is located in the centre location on the north wall. Entering the grounds of the Grand Palace you will be welcomed by staff who will advise you if you need to cover anything up, as there is a dress code here. If you need items there is a booth on your right hand side where you can rent garments that will allow you in.
The ticket office is situated a 100 yards in. Here you can buy a ticket to visit the entire grounds. This will cost around 500Baht (16USD, £10) per ticket or you can visit an individual part of the grounds, for example the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles which only costs 180Baht (6USD, £4) if you wish only to visit that particular museum.
If purchasing the entire Grand Palace experience you will be given three tickets. You will receive an orange ticket to the entrance to the Grand Palace, a light brown ticket to enter Vimanmek mansion museum and the Sanam Chandra Palace and a blue ticket to enter the Queen Sirikit Museum.
A Little about the Grand Palace
The complex of The Grand Palace established itself in 1782. The complex holds several buildings of use; the royal residences and royal throne rooms and halls, several governmental offices and a high amount of temples; one of which holds the Emerald Buddha.
King Rama I ascended to the throne and the palace was shortly thereafter. Prior to the Grand Palace being built, the original plans were that the Grand Palace was to be erected on the opposite side of the river. With several of the King's vetoes and other reasons the Palace was there built in its current location.
The Palace itself was set up not to be of a single use structure but a collection of uses and services are to be utilised inside. The palace holds the use for royal residences, royal halls and function houses, administration buildings, government building, gardens and open lawn spaces.
A Look Inside of the Grand Palace
There are currently thirty-five attractions in grounds of the Grand Palace. The main attractions are situated in The Grand Palace itself which is located on the North west area of the ground. Here are some of the more ornate and spectacular temples and buildings in the ground. It is also home to the Emerald Buddha.
In such a small space this part of the grounds hold some of grander landmarks including Phra Siratana Chedi, Phra Mondop and Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn (The Royal Pantheon).
The Emerald Buddha is located in the very hard to miss temple which greats you when you first enter the Grand Palace. The beautiful ornate temple houses the Emerald Buddha which you can visit by entering from the west side of the temple. The temple itself holds rules where you cannot walk around its inner perimeter unless you take your shoes off and upon entering the temple you must be aware of following proper etiquette and not do any photography once inside. The guards are tolerant but breaking simple rules shows a sign of disrespect.
Around the Royal Monastery you will finds several galleries. The galleries themselves are covered and act as a perfect observation barrier and you can surrender against the might of the Bangkok sun. The walls in which the galleries are painted on were first painted during Rama I reign and have been subsequently restored. Depictions of war, drama, battles and magical story-telling provides another layer of impression to the grounds.
The newest addition to Grand Palace is the erection of the Queen Sirikit Museum of textiles. The museum is located on the right hand side of the Viseschaisri Gate and will be the last building you get to if you are walking in the grounds in a clockwise direction. The Museum was once the Ministry of Finance but began renovation in 2003 and opened as the museum in early 2012. Preservation architecturally remained but modern facilities were added including a studio, galleries, library, lecture hall and a walking tour of the story of Thai fabrics.
The goal is to make aware the significance of Thailand's fabric and textile industry. Inside you will have video, audio, reading and hands on demonstration of the labour used to create fabrics in which Thailand is famous for.
To pass up on the Grand Palace would be a mistake. There is so much culture and history here it would be more than a pity to miss out on it. The Grand Palace itself is a hub for tourists, so expect a lot of people there, especially during the busy periods of the year. It is advisable to take something to drink with you. There are shops and a cafe inside but it would be a hassle to leave an area and rejoin again. Another bit of advice is to take some sun protection, the grounds are mainly an outside feature and the sun can be a killer.
From the The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha to the Borom Phiman Mansion there is a rich collection of history and culture to observe and relish in. A major landmark and one that should not be missed.