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Sunday, August 4, 2013

the GRAND PALACE Bangkok deserves the title "Grand".

I have already declared many times how I deliberately held back going to Bangkok due to some "silly" reasons.The remarks of some people I know that the city is nothing but another urban chaos like Metro Manila has helped me dismiss it through the years.But the thought that Thailand receives millions of tourists (24million in 2012) haunted me.There must be something that sets it apart from many other destinations that it is so popular.

Yes,Bangkok is Metro Manila five years forward but embedded in this urban jungle are wonderful pagodas,Buddha statues,temples and palaces that makes Thailand deserving to use the word "amazing" in its tourism campaigns.

The GRAND PALACE is only the introduction.

GRAND PALACE_Complex_Bangkok
the GRAND PALACE Bangkok

The official residence of the kinf of Thailand since 1925, thr Grand Palace actually refers to a complex of buildings ---halls, pavilions and courtyards.

Entrance to the Grand palace is quite pricey at 500baht per pax. Only a certain sections are open to thr public and I remember entering only one of the buildings.You have to content yourself therefore at marveling on thr intricate architecture and exterior of the buildings in the complex.Even so,it will not disappoint you.Lovely lovely.

Being built in 1782, it looks rather contemporary. At least if you compare it to the old ruins of Angkor Wat and Ayutthaya. Did you know though that in order to build the city walls and public buildings, hundreds of boats carried bricks and rubble from the ruins of Ayutthaya? Cool.

The striking colors of gold, blue and red makes for a visual feast and gives the entire complex a fresh feel.


Take the Silom Line and get off at Saphan Taksin Station (or S6 Station) and go out through Exit No. 2. Then, take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang Pier (No.9). A 5-10 minute walk will bring you to the entrance gate of the Grand Palace.

Many public buses also ply the area like the one below.Bus #33.

In our case, since we stayed in Khao San Road, we only walked to here.It only took us around 15 minutes and we were already in the complex.

A strict dress code for visitors is observed.No tank tops/sleeveless shirts, skirts.In short, no showing of skin.Toinks.

No worries if you are in your skimpiest shorts though.You can borrow a long skirt (with a nice Thai accent) at the entrance.There are also trousers for men in shorts.They will ask you to deposit a particular amount which will refunded to you once you return the fabric so it's basically free.Lines could be long though so it could get inconvenient.Still, the best thing to do is dress accordingly before going here.

This place is pact.Once inside,the first thing that will catch your attention is an elevated area with four (4) main monuments.They call this the "Upper Terrace".

1.A Golden Chedi which is a reliquary. 
2.Mondrop--a repository for Buddhist sacred scriptures. 
3.A miniature Angkot Wat 
crafter by the order of King Rama IV. 
4.Royal Pantheon --where statues of past sovereigns of thr ruling Chakri Dynasty are enshrined.

I didn't notice any stores inside so better buy your water outside.And you know Thailand, it could get really hot during the day.We were too excited to get in so we didn't bother to bring anything.We almost got dehydrated.Managed to survive, thanks to corridors in some of the building which provides a cooling relief from the direct sunlight.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
We entered the temple,or shall I say chapel, to whisper our prayers.Photography is not allowed inside and everybody is asked to remove their shoes before stepping into the confines of the temple.One has to climb up a few steps to the main temple.There is a guard at the doorway and another marshal inside to maintain order.Silence is observed and even proper way of sitting.One cannot just sit on the floor in any way you want.
The interior looks solemn and it's surprisingly cool despite the raging heat outside.It's not even airconditioned and there are many but small windows on the side.I heard the Emerald Buddha of which the temple is made for is one of the most revered Buddha in Thailand.My eyes were wandering around the room looking for it (as I expected a big one) but I failed to spot it.Still, we stayed for almost thirty minutes inside just being still and clearing our thoughts.I like the place.Inner peace.

Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat Group
On our way out, we saw a couple more interesting buildings. The Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat Group-which is composed of nine major and minor halls.Talk about "grandeur" again.


Captured this photo, thanks to the couple we met inside the complex. Two students from UERM.Thanks Carlos for the shot.

We met a couple from UERM (University of the East). There are so many of our kababayans visiting Thailand but we were delighted to have met fellow backpackers.I heard that they have been on the road for a few days and their entire Southeast Asia tour (including Laos) is to last 2 weeks.I wish I have that long of a break.At any rate, I asked them where they were headed next and apparently,they will be going to the same destination we were set to go. Wat Pho.We decided to go and walk together, well almost, coz walking from the Grand Palace entrance to Wat Pho takes 20-30 minutes and it was noontime so we ended in a tuktuk while Carlos and his fiancee took the bus.

Our visit at the Grand Palace was brief but really satisfying. The place realy is deserving of the word "Grand" in its name.

Open Daily from 8.30 AM till 3.30 PM.
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  1. Wow, been to that place many years ago and it was just like 200 baht for foreigners and free for Thai people. My friend even went in through the Thai entrance so she got in for free. I think 500 is just too much especially if you are a family of six.

    The photographs are worth the pay though and I hope you enjoy your stay here in Thailand. Do the Vimanmek Mansion as it is included in the ticket price since it is a good place to visit, former house of the Royal Family.

    And if you have the budget, do watch the Siam Niramit show, a showcase of Thai history through drama, visual effects and dance. One of the best. Please do not buy from the theater itself, it's pricier at 1500 baht for a standard seat and with buffet dinner. Ask at a travel agency around Khao San and it is like 900 I believe. The travel agent fee also comes with dinner.

    Have fun!

  2. mahal talaga ng entrance fee..ginawa namin noon is doon kami pumila sa linya ng mga local Thais kasi libre...haha..great pics anton!

  3. .. Bangkok is rich also when it comes to culture :)

  4. i miss this place! my first southeast asian trip was bangkok. we went here free also napagkamalang thai hndi lang magsasalita. ung friend namin ung knwari nagkwkwnto samin in thai habang papasok. hahaha

  5. the emerald buddha is the small buddha on top... did you visit the coin museum just besidethe ticket counter? entrance is free its airconditioned and contained lot of importsnt artifacts

  6. Grand Palace is the place where I was submerge in gold, gold, gold! Everything is gold in Thailand!

  7. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you
    hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I'm looking to create my
    own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    many thanks

    My blog :: digital camera ()


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