The Grand Palace of Bangkok

For all it’s sins, Bangkok has one major tourist attraction that surely everybody tries to visit during their time in the city: The Grand Palace. Whilst anything in Thailand is going to be littered with touts and potential scams, once inside the Palace buildings it is nice to relax and walk around enjoying the architecture and perhaps even learn a bit about the history of the place. It is unquestionably the city’s most famous landmark, and was once the home of the Thai King for over 150 years. Admission to the Grand Palace and its associated buildings costs between 400-500Baht per person (this includes access to the famous Emerald Buddha).

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Inside the Grand Palace are a series of impressive buildings, including Wat Phra Kaew (otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha). This emerald Buddha is very small in size, yet hugely revered, and is, as the centrepiece of Wat Phra Kaew, actually regarded as the most important Buddhist site in Thailand.

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The Grand Palace compounds are laid out similar to the palaces of ancient Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam which was raided by the Burmese. The Outer Court, near the entrance, used to house government departments in which the King was directly involved, such as civil administration, the army and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located here. The Central Court is where the residence of the King were located. Only two of the throne halls are open to the public, but I marvelled at the exquisite detail on the facades of these impressive structures, as you can see in some of my photos below. The Inner Court is where the King’s royal consorts lived, and even though no royalty currently reside in the inner court, it is still completely closed off to the public, which is a shame, I feel, as when wandering around the Grand Palace you want to explore more and more.

Impressive, huh?
Impressive, huh?

Although 3 or 4 times more expensive than virtually any other temple in Bangkok, I feel it is really worth the admission. I spent maybe 3-4 hours here, and there were still nooks and crannies I did not get to see. As expected, it was very busy, and VERY VERY hot (not much shade here), so make sure you top up on the sun cream before you arrive! The Grand Palace is open from 08.30 in the morning to around 15.30 in the afternoon. My advice would be to arrive as early as possible to avoid the worst of Bangkok’s unbearable daytime heat and humidity.

For additional reading, and to gauge further opinion, I have picked these three blogs to get you started:

5 Golden Rules for visiting Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace Bangkok

My Guide through the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Have you been to the Grand Palace? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “The Grand Palace of Bangkok

  1. Ah the heat! You tell me. I went there during afternoon time and it was freaking hot. The yellow pagoda was shining with sunlight. And since I was alone, I took a selfie in front of it. Hehe

    And I agree with you, although it is quite expensive, but the place is huge and beautiful. It took me more than 2 hours wandering around the compound,

    But there are 2 things that I dislike:

    1. In 2010, the entrance fee was THB 350. I went there in 2011 it was THB 400. I think last year when I was in Bangkok, the entrance fee has been increased again [if I am not mistaken].

    2. And it is free for the locals! I mean, if it is free for the locals, maybe they should charge a bit less for us foreigners? ;D

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  2. Thanks for linking to my post! I absolutely loved exploring the Wat and Palace grounds. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and worth every penny of admission!

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  3. Hello. I just stumbled on your site today. Its very first-rate & I appreciate the Thailand related topics. Anyway, I tend to holiday in Thailand yearly, in Pattaya to be precies. Regrettably my English skills is not very solid, so can you plz include a Google language translator to your web page so I can check out your content easier in my own language. With thanks for your help and support. Heinz

    Like

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