Located near a passenger terminal on the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Bangkok, The Grand Palace is everything you've heard it to be -- plus more! It's a spectacular complex of buildings and temples established in 1782, and contains government buildings along with the renowned Temple of The Emerald Buddha.
King Rama I built the complex as not only his residence, but also the site of administrative offices. Thus the name The Grand Palace for the royal compound.
The Grand Palace
Na Phra Lan Road
Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Cost: 500 BAHT per person
Here's a few suggestions:
- Get there early! Bangkok can be very hot and the royal compound can be crowded and very humid as the sun gets higher in the sky.
- Wear pants and sleeves. If you don't have long pants, foreigners will be asked to "rent" a pair of pants, which you'll probably wear over your shorts. Then you'll be even hotter. Baggy pants are rented at the entrance to The Grand Palace and your deposit is returned when you return the pants.
- Bring water. If there's a place to buy bottled water inside The Grand Palace, I didn't see it. So bring several bottles of water with you.
- Make sure your digital camera battery is fully charged and you have plenty of space on your memory card. There's not a convenience store inside the royal compound.
- Walk slow - no need to hurry. There's so much to see, take your time. More than likely, you'll spend two to four hours at The Grand Palace.
- Consider an audio tour to enhance your visit of The Grand Palace.
- There's an English-speaking tour at several times throughout the day. I suggest the 10 a.m. or the 10:30 a.m. tour of The Grand Palace.
- Be observant! If you see others taking off their shoes before entering a temple, do the same. Just follow what you see others doing and you'll be fine.
- Don't point your feet toward the front of the temple. It's considered bad manners, so keep your feet under you or behind you when sitting inside a temple.
- Often there are tuk-tuk drivers outside that will try and "scam" you by taking you to a jewelry or suit-making store where they receive a commission. Be specific and exact as you tell them where you want to go and the price you will pay.
- As you walk out the walls of the entrance/exit, turn to your left. Walk down the Thailand survey building and there are several food stalls just a short walk along a paved walkway. There's a wide variety of Thai food and it's very good.
- Lastly, I enjoyed taking a river boat express from Maharaj station to the Chinatown station. You can buy a ticket and get help in finding the exact location where you need to get off the river boat. It's a lot of fun and is located in the same area as the food stalls after you pass the Thailand survey building.
I hope you enjoy The Grand Palace and your time in Bangkok, Thailand. It's an incredible city of history and culture within a diverse and every-changing country.
Enjoy the pictures!
Tripadvisor always has nice reviews of tourist attractions. The Grand Palace is one of the most popular tourist and visitor attractions in Thailand, and most certainly a must-see place to visit while in Bangkok.