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Grand Palace & Wat Pra Kaew

The most visited attraction in Thailand 

A dazzling site from afar, the Grand Palace and 
Wat Prakaew command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds.

Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government, the Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.




















Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald, dating from the 15th century AD.













Logistics

Open: Daily 08:30 - 15:30
Duration: 2 to 5 hours based on your interest 
Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
Tour guides: (certified) on site, inside the main gate

Tickets: sold from 8:30 - 15:30 cost 500 baht >> Includes entry to Vimanmek Palace & Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.



Tour Zone: Rattanakosin 4.5kms West of BTS Siam Centre

Getting there: The Old city does not have modern transport access. Public transport options are
  • By Boat/Ferry: From Central Pier catch 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
  • You can use the BTS skytrain to station National Stadium then taxi but be warned at peak traffic times it is not easy to use a taxi

Dress code:
  • No shorts or sleeveless shirts and skirts must be at least knee-length or you won't be allowed in. 
  • You can hire wrap around clothing at the entrance, if busy day this will cause a protracted delay






Insights

The Grand Palace is the most important attraction in Bangkok. Situated on the east side of the Chao Phraya, this is a large complex, which includes over 30 Royal buildings, halls, temples and museums as well as countless statues, figures and other beautiful things to see. The Grand Palace is a very good collection of attractions that is worth 3-4 hours of your time, if you have it to spare. 

Historically, the construction of the Grand Palace began in 1782 after King Rama I moved the nation's capital from to the eastern side of the Chao Phraya River. The palace grounds were added to, frequently restored and expanded by his predecessors; King Rama II, King Rama III, King Rama IV and King Rama V, much of which you see when visiting the Palace today. 

At the Grand Palace (500 Baht per person) the highlight attraction is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where you can see the sacred green Buddha, discovered in 1434 and displayed wearing one of its three seasonal costumes. 

It is also well worth exploring the rest of the Upper Terrace after seeing the Emerald Buddha. Here you can find Phra Siratana Chedi (large golden Chedi), Phra Mondop and Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn buildings. There is also the massive sandstone model of Angkor Wat (Cambodia) which was under Thai rule during the the period of its construction (circa 1860). 

The Phra Maha Monthian Group and Chakri Group of buildings have attractive architecture worth seeing and the many statues, figures and elaborate carvings found throughout the Grand Palace that are enjoyable to discover, admire and photograph. 

We particularly like the tall monster figures which seem to be guarding various entryways. Further, the galleries, which line the inner walls encompassing the Royal Monastery are some of the best murals in the entire city. Lastly, there are three museums to be explored within Grand Palace, including the recently opened Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.

Overall, the Grand Palace is a great place to visit in Bangkok. The ticket price is high but you are able to see many individual attractions within the palace walls so it sort of works itself out in the end. We would definitely recommend adding a visit to the Grand Palace to your itinerary for trips to Bangkok, especially if you are a first time visitor to the city. 


Tips: 

  • For those eager to visit other attractions in the area, we would suggest combining your visit to the Grand Palace with Wat Pho, the Royal Cemetery at Wat Ratchabophit, the Royal Garden (Sanarom Park). Then you can take a quick (3 Baht) ferry crossing to Wat Arun on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River.  
  • Make use of the Brochure Map. After you enter the show your purchased tickets to enter the main attraction area, you will be handed a detailed brochure map of the many palace attractions, with descriptions of the more important attractions. Do keep this map handy as it can help guide you through the palace grounds more effectively if you are short on time. 
  • Note that there is an online map you can review on the official Grand Palace website but it is not a great layout of the palace grounds nor is it up to date. If you want to study up on the Grand Palace before your visit, you might want to view other maps online instead. 
  • There is a dress code for visiting the Grand Palace that is important to be aware of. Mainly, you need to cover your shoulders, have your ankles and heels covered (no sandals) and they don't allow you to wear see-through or scant clothing. Wear trousers instead of shorts as well for your visit.
  • Warning: Touters: Unfortunately there will be touters or the odd tuktuk driver trying to whisk you off to some other destination, smile and ignore. There are licenced guides available inside the entrance if required





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