Grand Palace – The Best of All of Bangkok’s Attractions

Grand Palace Thailand

Grand Palace: when visiting Bangkok, one has to make a stop at this most famous and most beautiful Thailand landmark. Grand Palace Thailand is regarded as the center of Thai culture, a symbol of the country’s rich history, and a great example of superb Thai craftsmanship.

The construction of the Grand Palace started in 1782 under the command of King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke. And as king after king took over the palace, new structures were added to the palace grounds. By 1925, the Royal Family and the governing body of Thailand no longer permanently stayed in the Grand Palace.

 

Grand Palace: A Quick Tour

“Grand Palace” is a name that truly fits this majestic complex. With a huge area of 218,400 square meters (divided into the Outer Court, Middle Court and the Inner Court) to walk around, visitors are given the chance to take a good look into the rich history of Thailand.  Only a part of the Grand Palace Thailand is open for public viewing as “official business” is still done within the palace walls.

The Outer court is close to the Grand Palace’s entrance. Various government departments (army, civil administration, and treasury) were previously housed in this part of the palace. Visitors will find the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha in one of the Outer Court corners.

One of the most visited structures in this palace is the Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. Its more popular name is “Temple of the Emerald Buddha”. It is the Grand Palace “royal chapel” and it is one of the most sacred sites inside the palace walls. Inside the temple is the beautiful image of the Phra Kaew Morakot or Emerald Buddha carved from a single block of jade stone that dates back to the 14th century. As seasons change so does the Buddha’s garments. The changing of robe ceremony is performed by the King who on such occasions prays for good fortune for his beloved country.

The King’s residence and the halls (two of which are available for viewing by the public) where state businesses were conducted are situated at the Grand Palace Central Court. You will be awed by the magnificent detail on the structures’ facades.

The royal consorts and princesses once lived in the Grand Palace Inner Court. This part of the Grand Palace has a European inspired architecture. Even at present, the Inner Court is off-limits to the public.

The rectangular shaped palace grounds are bordered by 4 walls. Being on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the Phra Nakhon District adds a romantic feel when one visits the palace. Inside the complex of the Grand Palace Thailand are distinctive structures that are spread throughout the grounds. The variety of buildings, gardens, lawns, and pavilions along with their intricacies and combination of colors is a pleasant feast for the eyes.

 

Grand Palace: Dos and Don’ts

Once you have decided to visit this amazing site, knowing the do’s and don’ts is important for a hassle-free experience.

• Purchase your tickets at the entrance booth only.

Outside the palace grounds, you will meet loads of people offering you “deals” on tours you can take. Most likely, they are not official Grand Palace representatives and the offers they give are not allowed.

• Follow the dress code.

Going to the Grand Palace, one must be dressed properly. This means: no short shorts for both men and women; no miniskirts; no tights; no tank tops or sleeveless shirts; no see-through blouses; and covered feet. If you decide to wear sandals, make sure that you wear socks.

Don’t despair if you go there unprepared for the “occasion”. There is a booth before the entrance where you can rent the proper “drapes” for the palace. There will be a deposit required, but once returning the clothes after the visit, you will get your deposit back.

• Stay cool and hydrated.

If you are one who is used to “cool” weather, walking around the grounds might get you hot. Bring a small towel to wipe off your sweat, wear a hat to protect yourself from the heat of the sun, bring a fan to keep yourself cool, and drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.

 

The most essential thing to do before visiting a country is to find out as much as you can about its culture. Knowing that Thailand is a very conservative country, and to avoid getting “disapproving” looks – especially when visiting one of their most sacred places – please do remember the few dos and don’ts above when you are visiting the Grand Palace.