The Grand Palace (Bangkok)
The Abode of Kings
A hallmark of Thailand’s rich cultural history, the dazzling Grand Palace of Bangkok is without a doubt the city’s most famous landmark. Once the abode of Kings, the palace continues to awe and mesmerise people even today, and should be a top priority visit for anyone vacationing in Bangkok.
A Bit of History
The palace was built in the late 18th century by King Rama I who was intent on building a capital for his newly formed Chakri dynasty. During its heyday, the palace walls contained the country’s war ministry, state departments, and even its primary mint!
Built upon a rectangular piece of land, the palace bears many similarities to designs popular in Ayutthaya, Siam’s former capital. There’s an outer court with a temple of the Emerald Buddha, a central court that served as the King’s residence, along with several throne halls.
Visiting the Palace
The palace is a relatively quick drive from most of the serviced suits and top hotels in Bangkok, such as the Maitria Hotels & Residences for example. As this is a place of religious and spiritual significance, be sure to dress appropriately – generally, long pants and shirts with sleeves are a safe bet. The Palace itself is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm, with tickets sold at the entrance.
The Wat Phra Kaew
Considered to be among the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Thailand, the Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha is found in the outer courtyard of the palace. Inside, you’ll find a stunning image of the Buddha carved meticulously into a brilliant block of Jade.