Historically significant, architecturally beautiful and spiritually important, The Grand Palace Bangkok is the most magnificent building depicting the glorious Thai architecture. Due to the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1767, the capital was moved to Bangkok and King Rama I built this royal residence and administration center. The Thai Royal family no longer lives here but many buildings in the palace are used for royal ceremonies.
Unlike our expectation, the Grand Palace wasn’t just one building. There are numerous monuments inside and the entire area of the Palace amounts to more than 200,000 square meters, making it the most impressive attraction in Thailand.
The Buddha image in the chapel of Phra Gandharat is believed to have magical powers for invoking rain and is worshiped for agriculture.
You will be amazed by the craftsmanship, the intricate designs of the buildings, flashing gold anywhere and everywhere.
After the death of King Bhumibol, access to The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok was restricted. But it is now open for tourists. Dressed in black, thousands (including tourists), drop by every day to pay respect to the Royal Urn.
While the tourists are not expected to wear black, out of respect to the Thais it is advisable to wear somber colors.
The Demon Guardians, six pairs of them stand at the gate of the monuments. Most of them face the chapel of the Emerald Buddha, guarding against all evil spirits.
The Belfry tower is decorated with porcelain mosaics and is used now only on few occasions as when the supreme patriarch is nominated.
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Part of the Grand Palace holds the holiest Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The Buddha image is carved from a single block of jade and is adorned with pure gold clothing. spectacular. No visitors are actually allowed to touch or get close to the Emerald Buddha. Photography is not allowed inside this temple.
However tempting it may seem, do not click photographs here. We had seen the security officers bashing a man for doing the same. And yes, they are strict and even after the lady had pleaded to the officer, he wasn’t ready to pardon the man.
There is a small place where Thais can pray, and a small area for others to pay their respect.
Precious and sacred like no other, the temple is embellished with elaborate carvings, paintings, and pagodas throughout, and is aesthetically pleasing. You’ll have to spend an entire day exploring if you wish to capture every detail that was put into the making of this historic temple.
How to get to Grand Palace, Bangkok:
If you are staying along the riverside, you can take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to walk through the riverside market to the Grand Palace. If you are staying in the Sukhumvit region, ask your hotel desk to book a taxi for you. That way, you’ll be able to get a much cheaper ride.
Grand Palace Timings and Ticket:
Entry to the Grand palace for non-Thais is 500 baht (yes, it is expensive!). It is open daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm. It is advised to reach the Palace as early as 8.15 so that you avoid a long queue. In minutes, you can see a sea of tourists inside the Grand Palace after 9 am which could spoil the experience.
What to wear to the Grand Palace:
No Tank tops or vest tops
No wide neck or crop tops
No midriff on show or backless clothing
No Strapless or short sleeves that show shoulders
No short pants, mini skirts or low waist pants or anything that show ankles
No flip flops: Do not wear expensive shoes as you will have to take your shoes off and leave them outside when you enter various buildings in the Grand Palace complex.
Your ideal outfit would be light cotton trousers, jumpsuits, long skirts or maxi dress. Keep a shawl or cardigan to cover your shoulders. Alarming? You should be because you’ll be sweating profusely and will get pretty heated up in the Bangkok temperature in and out of the Palace. There are few places with fans blowing in shaded areas, do make use of them.
Carry a water bottle always. Keep yourselves hydrated.
Audio guides are available at a cost of 200 Baht for 2 hours. Free brochures and a map of the layout are available from the ticket office.
Outside the Palace, there is a long array of eateries and honestly, here’s the best Thai food I’ve had in the whole of Thailand.
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Tina Basu says
seriously, the decor is so exquisite. And so calm. Love your photos shalini – when I visited this place digital cameras were not in the market!! I have some printed photos!
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Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. The gold work is simply stunning. I think by the end of your tour of Thailand I will be buying a ticket myself!
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Such beautiful images! Stunning palace
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Modern Gypsy says
Wow, this looks stunning. The intricacy of the carving on the pillars is breathtaking! Such a beautiful virtual tour this was, Shalini!
The palace is truly grand. Your pictures do it justice
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Truly Yours Roma says
I found the place and its grandeur as magnificent as your post buddy. You are going a fantastic job here.
SHALINI BAISIWALA says
Grand Palace is literally very grand – I had fallen in love with this place when I had visited in like 2006 – the gold patina on the statues and the structures is just exquisite. Lovely chronicling for all those looking to visit Shalzz! Very useful blog post!
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I had visited Bangkok a few years back but I had’nt done much of sight-seeing. These monuments look majestic. You seemed to have gone against the dress code (I see you wearing black in your picture here). 🙂
Against? I made sure that I wore black too 🙂
So so so beautiful this is! The golden is so soothing strangely 🙂
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Looks like a peaceful place and remind me of a monastery in Coorg, India. A peaceful place with lovely surroundings.
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Gosh your pictures… they look majestic… so royal and stunning. I wanna go there!!
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Roshan Radhakrishnan says
Seriously, that architecture is insane. So amazing and beautiful! And so vibrant too with bold colours unlike most of our own architecture.
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Hey amongst all those grand pictures I caught you looking very ‘sombre’ in black 🙂
So shalini .. you’ve sold me this Thailand trip/ I have made a list of places I want to see .. I also now know what to pack and wear .. all I now need are tickets 🙂
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My husband has been to this palace and I have pics, but yours are so much detailed 🙂
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Great pics, Shalz!
I need to visit Bangkok again as I am yet to visit the Grand Palace…
But, I did visit the Grand Palace, Bangkok, here in my city, Bhubaneswar.
You’ll be surprised to view it too! -> http://www.anitaexplorer.com/2014/10/durga-puja-jharpada-bhubaneswar.html
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Vidya Sury says
It is magnificent, Shalini! I like the tips you’ve offered at the end. Nice pic of you!
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Great write up and thanks for the heads up about the dress code. The pictures are amazing, Bangkok is on my list now. Inviting you to read my short story for the challenge, Though jumped in late and am playing catch up.
Aditi Kaushiva says
Jade and gold are twon very prominent colours I see. Love the architecture. The picture of the Belfry tower was the most captivating.
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Nick Wilford says
I visited back in 2002 and you’re right, the detail and craftsmanship is mindboggling.
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Sanch @ Sanch Writes says
Oh wow! That is one grand palace! Amazing photos
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It’s so majestic. That is some architecture, damn!
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shubhangi srikanth says
Such intricate designs and motifs! Truly grand!
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Manisha Garg says
Its very beautiful..
Anmol Rawat says
Looks Magnificent! Lovely pictures.
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