Grand Palace

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by eunoshishi on December 6, 2005

A must-visit for all travellers to Bangkok, the Grand Palace is located next to Phra Keow Temple. This glorious art of building is a feast to your eyes. Visitors pay 250 baht to gain access to three parts of the compound. For the uninitiated, Grand Palace will prove to be a journey into Thailand's rich history of monarchy, brilliant architecture, and Buddhist roots.

The best way to beat the traffic is get there via the river taxis. Stop at the Tha Thien Pier and the Grand Palace is within a 5-minute walk. Temples are highly sacred grounds in Thailand, and visitors are required to cover their shoulders, feet, and knees.

As if enshrouded in an air of serene religiosity, packs of pigeons/doves greet visitors before the entrance. Inside the compound, visitors are greeted by a ceremony of soldiers changing shifts. The full glory and magnificence of the temples can only be relished by your eyes, with intricate carvings on every walls, surrounded by lamps and pillars of murals depicting the myths of Thai history. In one of the temples is the Emerald Buddha, clothed in different robes according to different seasons. Long halls lit by exquisite lamps flanked the individual temples, which are a rich gold colour. It is a blend of Asian and European-inspired architecture. Richly crafted rooftops fit on European buildings somehow depict the Bangkok of today--a fusion of Western commercialisation and rich Asian heritage.

Renovation works were in progress while we were there. Even then, the neatly kept compound where the palace used to house royalties is an interesting juxtaposition of West meets East. The only drawback is that all signs are in Thai and visitors unwilling to pay the 200 baht for guided tours may not be able to fully comprehend the rich history of the temples.

Grand Palace
Na Phra Lan Road Ko Rattanakosin District
Bangkok, Thailand, 10500
+66 (2) 694 1222

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