The Grand Palace or Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang is an exact replica of Thailand’s second capital, Ayutthaya. Read about Ayutthaya, the ancient city in ruins. It is definitely on the top of our recommended must visit list.
If you group your visit to The Grand Palace together with Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple, then visit Wat Pho first. From there, exit the Wat from the South gate and walk for about 15 minutes to reach the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace
Built in 1782, The Grand Palace houses the Royal Residence, Throne Halls and a number of government offices. In addition, it also houses the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Except for certain ceremonial occasions such as Coronation Day, the palace is no longer in use by the king. It is thus closed to the public. Nevertheless, its compound is open and possesses interesting sites that’s worth exploring.
First up is the golden Phra Siratana Chedi on the left and the Phra Mondop on the right.
Walking further brings us to the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall where we were mesmerized by the intricate design of its roof.
Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha
Wat Phra Kaeo, the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most venerated sites in Thailand. The small green-jade statue of Buddha is the most sacred Buddha image in Thailand. Three times a year, the King will preside over the ceremony to clad the sacred statue with one of the three seasonal costumes (summer, rainy season and winter).
Disappointingly, we didn’t get to view the statue as it was away in another temple for a ceremony. Despite that, we were treated to a feast of glittering wall that was mind-blowing.
Adorning the bottom of this wall is a row of garudas conquering the snake or evil (as snake symbolise evil). The entrance to the royal monastery is equally breathtaking.
Having experienced the grandiose of the Grand Palace, why not pay a visit to the summer palace, Vimanmek Mansion which adopts a subtle earthly theme. Built using teakwood, the Mansion is a stark contrast to the glitters of the Grand Palace. * PS: Entrance fee to Vimanmek Mansion is included in the entrance ticket of Grand Palace.