No, the title is not a mistake.
Area-wise, the Grand Palace may not seem to have much grandeur to it. But you only need to take a walk within the grounds to see why the name is so fitting. Situated by the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, the Grand Palace is a complex of political buildings and the famous Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha). It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, with many public buildings; the Middle Court, the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter.
The Emerald Buddha is really small, almost disappointingly small. But it is beautiful. It was supposedly carved in the 14th century, from a single block of jade. All buildings on the premises are meticulously embellished with gold details, mirrors and colourful stones.
The Grand Palace was built in the 18th century and remained the residence of Thailand’s kings till the beginning of the 20th century. It is still used for official events and is fully operational with several royal offices.
What you need to know
- You must be decently dressed to enter the palace grounds. This means no tight clothing, covered knees and shoulders, and no midriff baring.
- It costs you 500 baht for a single entry visit
- The grounds are open from 08:30-15:30. It gets really hot and crowded, so the earlier you get there, the better.
I took a few pictures before the heat got the most of me and I decided to call it a day.
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