Bangkok has become one of the leading international travel and tourist destinations in the world. Millions of global trotters visit the Thailand capital for exploring the city, which has the perfect blend of modern attractions and historical splendors and magnificence.
Visiting Bangkok and not seeing the Grand Palace Bangkok would keep the trip incomplete. In fact, the palace is regarded as one of the most prominent landmarks of Bangkok. The Grand Palace is not only an architectural splendor, but it also has great historical significance as well.
History of Grand Palace Bangkok
It was in the year 1782 that construction of the Grand Palace Bangkok began. The Palace is the abode to the Thai king, has the royal court and is also the administrative seat of the government of the country. The entire palace complex has a boundary of 1,900 meters long walls. There are Royal residences, other houses, the throne halls and many other buildings in the complex of the Grand Palace Bangkok. Presently the Palace is used for hosting various kinds of Royal rituals, official functions, and state banquets. However, still, some parts of the Grand Palace are not open for the common public.
There are innumerable things to see at the Grand Palace Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha
This is one of the most sacred places in Thailand. At the entrance to the temple, there are two large demon figures on both sides. Inside the temple resides a small Buddha image, which is considered to be almost 2000 years old. Originally made in India, the idol shifted to many places before finally being placed at this temple. About a meter high, the statue of Buddha is made from green jade. The interior walls of the temple have impressive mural paintings, which depict the important events from the life of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, including his birth, Enlightenment and death.
Borom Phiman Mansion & Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall
Two of the oldest buildings in the Palace complex are the Phra Maha Monthian and the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. The Throne Hall hosts the lying in state ceremony for the Royalty and Royal Family. The Borom Phiman Mansion is constructed in western style and is a residence for future Kings.
The other things to see at the Grand Palace Bangkok include Phra Mondhop, Prasat Phra Debidorn, Phra Viharn Yot, Angkor Wat, the Great Chakri Palace, Boromabiman Hall, Amphorn Phimok Prasat, Amarindra Vinichai, etc. Each of these structures in the Palace premises offers a splendid visual treat to travelers and tourists.
How to get there
Located in the old Rattanakosin area in Bangkok, the Grand Palace Bangkok is situated on the East bank of the Chao Phraya River. The place is strategically located and can be accessed from almost all parts of Bangkok. The best way to get there is via Chao Phraya express boat. You can get off at The Chang Pier at the northern end or at Tha Tien pier on the southern end of the complex of the palace.
If you are traveling by car, you can take the BTS Skytrain to Taksin Station. From there Chao Phraya express boat can be availed. There are also many buses, which operate to the place from different parts of Bangkok and one can avail these as well.
The timing for visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok is from 08.30 hours to 15.30 hours. The palace remains open most of the time around the year until and unless some kind of official state function is hosted in the palace.
The fee needed for entering the Grand Palace Bangkok is 500 Thai Baht for every individual. On purchasing one ticket, you will be able to see Abhishek Dusit Throne Hall and Vimanmek Palace.
Dress code for visiting
There is a strict dress code, which needs to be followed for visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok. It is considered as one of the most sacred sites and thus following the dress code is mandatory. Men can wear full pants and shirts and t-shirts. Half pants or shorts are not allowed. You cannot enter bare feet into the palace complex. It is recommended to wear socks. Women should wear modest clothing. Wearing off shoulder dresses, see-through dresses, tank tops, short dresses, etc. is not allowed inside the palace complex. In case you are an international traveler and tourist, you can hire clothes at the booth near the palace entrance. The dress can be hired at a nominal price of 200 Thai Baht per person.
Tips for visiting
Take some time in your hand when you intend to visit the Grand Palace Bangkok. There are many areas in the palace, which you can visit and gather experience like never before. Another important thing to consider while visiting the palace is trying to reach there as early as possible. There are not many visitors in the early hours of the day and you can explore the shimmering beauty of the place at peace. Also during the morning hours, the temperature remains quite pleasant and you can see the different parts of the palace without any discomfort.
Along with visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok, there are many other tourist destinations surrounding the place. There are many cultural and historical places of attractions in the vicinity, which you can surely visit while planning a trip to the Grand Palace Bangkok. Explore the old world charm of the small town of Rattanakosin Island. There are innumerable museums in the place along with temples. Not only this, the area abounds in umpteen places where gastronomic delights can be enjoyed. Authentic Thai cuisine can be enjoyed at the outlets at affordable rates. There are also interesting back alleys through which you can stroll aimlessly just for pleasure’s sake.
Also, you can visit the Wat Pho, which is the temple of the Reclining Buddha. Across the Wat Pho is the magnificent Wat Arun, which is on the other side of the Chao Phraya River. It is known as “The Temple of Dawn”.