Bangkok: city of palaces
If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it's the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace (undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark).
Amid the crazy, colourful, feisty, noisy, smoggy, intriguing, hot-wired Bangkok, crossing the threshold of the Grand Palace complex should be to enter an oasis of calm. But as the number one tourist destination in Thailand, of course it’s nothing of the sort.
The Grand Palace:
Within the palace complex are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which contains the widely renowned and greatly revered small figurine of the Emerald Buddha, that dates back to the 14th century.
The architecture is glorious – all intricate detailing, pointy curlicues, delicate windows and shiny surfaces. We loved every inch of it. It was built in the late 1700s by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I).
The reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, lives in the more comfortable Chitralad Palace, so this splendid residence is now only used for state banquets and other royal occasions.
The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, which continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.
Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom and a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people.
Important Note about the Grand Palace:
A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace is one of Thailand’s most sacred sites. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple.
Men: You must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. If you want to wear sandles or flip-flops, you must wear socks or rather just a pair of tekkies.
Women: You must be modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, or visible knees.
*If you show up at the front gate inappropriately dressed, there is a booth near the entrance where you can rent clothes/sarongs/pashminas to cover you up. Plus, you receive a full reimbursement afterwards.
- The easiest and most enjoyable route is to take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station. From here, take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Tha Chang Wang Luang Pier. It is a short walk from the pier to the entrance.
- Another option is take a taxi all the way from your departure point. Ensure that the driver turns on the meter — this is the law in Bangkok. Plan ahead, as traffic in Bangkok can be horrendous.