Date Visited: 19th October 2012
Besides purely for shopping, at least both my friend and I did spare few of our days for sightseeing around Bangkok. On the third day during my maiden visit to this City of Angels, we decided to visit the spectacular Grand Palace, undeniable one of the city's most visited famous landmark and symbol. Once we done with the breakfast, we walked roughly around 10 minutes from our hotel, The Period Pratunam Hotel of Bangkok to the nearest BTS Skytrain Station, Ratchathewi Station and from there, we travelled to BTS Saphan Taksin Station.
#1: Explore the city of Bangkok with BTS Skytrain and MRT is pretty convenient and inexpensive.
Of course, there are few options in order to get to Grand Palace; either you could directly take taxi, tuk-tuk or even the public bus but then, we opted for the most enjoyable and fascinating route which was to take BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and from there, take the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat to Maharaj Pier.
Initially, we planned to buy the One Day River Pass which cost 150 baht but somehow, they refused gave us that fare and requested us to buy a single trip ticket instead. Got no choice but to pay 40 baht for the single trip fare at the end. By at the end of the trip, we only being notified that every boat and ferry stop operated after 11 am for some maintenance.
#2: Chao Phraya Tourist Boat
Chao Phraya River, which known as River of Kings by the local, plays many important roles in Thai life. It is a major transportation artery for a wide network of river buses, cross-river ferries and water taxis, also known as the longtails. Due to increasing number of tourists and travellers, the Chao Phraya Express Boat or Chao Phraya Tourist Boat was established to provide tourists and travellers with the opportunity to see Bangkok from a whole new perspective. The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat services eight piers, which in turn give access to Bangkok's most famous tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace, temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), the great Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, Asiatique and many more.
#3: Few temples or known as wat can be seen from the river. One of them is Wat Kalayanmit.
#4: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) from across Chao Phraya River
In order to get to Grand Palace, we hopped off from Maharaj Pier and it requires at least short walking distance to get to the Grand Palace public entrance from the pier. Although we got lost upon arrived the pier but with the direction given by the friendly local and helpful monks, we managed to find our way there. The weather in Bangkok was extremely scorching hot throughout the year.
#5: Grand Palace view from the public entrance.
#6: The entrance fee we paid on that particular date was 400 baht, which besides the Grand Palace, it also inclusive access to The Temple of Emerald Buddha, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion and Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile, which are located within the Grand Palace compound, and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road.
Grand Palace consists of not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In shape wise, the palace complex is roughly rectangular and has a combined area of 218,400 square metres surrounded by four walls, 1900 metres in length. Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, but it remains a working palace and used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.
#7: Phra Siratana Chendi on the left and Phra Mondop in the middle
#9: This Westerner tourist wasn't my friend but she took photo with me cause she thought I was Thai. #facepalm
#12: Lucky us cause managed to take photo with a soldier of the Royal Guard
#13: Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat is a blend of Thai traditional architecture and a combination of 19th-century European styles.
An entrance fee of 400 baht seems to be pretty pricey as I could buy two skirts with that particular amount of money. This place getting more crowded as hour goes by and if you are thinking to get a perfect photo without being photobombed by other visitors, you might finding difficulty for doing so.
Important Note Before Entering Grand Palace
Visitors are required to dress appropriately before being allowed entry to the temple as the Grand Palace with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. These following clothes are strictly not allowed as outer garments for both ladies and gentlemen:
- Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, tight fitting trousers, and tights
- See-through shirts and blouses, as well as culottes or quarter length trousers
- Sleeveless shirts, vests or tank tops
- Sandals or flip-flops (without ankle or heel straps)
- Rolled-up-sleeved shirts
- Sweatshirts and sweatpants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers
However, in case you show up at the front gate with improper clothes, don't worry as there is a booth near the public entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly. A deposit is required and will be refunded when return the clothes.
Opening hours: Open daily from 8:30am to 3:30pm except during special royal ceremonies.
Another thing you have to take note is the notable Bangkok scam where the local will approach you and inform you that the majestic palace is closed and suggest to bring you to another nearby attractions. In case you encounter this, just ignored them with a sweet smile. It's "Land of Smiles" , afterall.
[Credit To: Wikipedia, Bangkok.com, Tourism Thailand]
[Credit To: Wikipedia, Bangkok.com, Tourism Thailand]