Walking through the main gate, pass the 30 foot tall guards and into the Grand Palace, I immediately immersed myself into the grand structure of such a beautiful complex. Never before have I been put at ease while admiring a man-made structure all the while becoming simultaneously awestruck.
Even the Giant Reclining Buddha lying lazily next door at Wat Pho was almost a translucent figure to such an amazing structure…almost. Nonetheless, Thailand just never ceased to amaze me with its feats.
I was excited to see what my future travels to Vietnam held in store for me. With the opportunity of possibly staying at the Hoi an Hotel, a wonderful & luxurious resort that sat on a scale in Vietnam that rivaled the scale of the Bellagio in Vegas, who wouldn’t be excited?
I mean the backpacker lifestyle is nice but after a while a bit of pampering is something every rugged individual needs. After trekking through the forest, up what seems like thousands of stairs and a few accidents the occasional spa would be nice.
But alas, it’s back from the wonderland of my dreams and into the wanderlust of todays explorations; to the real world of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Explore Bangkok’s Grand Palace…
Guards outside the Royal Pantheon.
Exploring the Grand Palace is one of those activities that every traveler must do while visiting Bangkok and, overall, a top destination in Thailand. It’s obviously not off the beaten path as every tourist clammers through the gates but if you’re to travel here, it is a must see.
Inside sits the stunningly commemorative Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the royal residences and many throne halls. Not to mention the detailed mural which lies inside explaining Thailand’s history up to this day…the entire place is just short of unbelievable and for 500 baht (in my opinion a steep price for tourists to pay comparatively to Thailand’s current scale and where locals enter for free) you can see it all.
Happy Monk sitting in the Garden.
Grumbly, I paid for my ticket and made my way inside. It was truly a beautiful structure and, although I initially hated to pay as much as I had, I was relieved to see over 30 temples, halls and mansions along with other royal & religious structures.
While most tourists came here to see the Emerald Buddha, which was wonderful, it was not quite my favorite. What I truly enjoyed was the artwork involved with the construction of the place. There was much care, thought and dedication put into the recycled beauty of the palace of which I truly appreciated.
Meditating Symbol on top of the Dusita Phirom Hall.
Once I made my way through the main temple and after visiting the monks giving prayer under the Emerald Buddha, I made my way out of the main temple area and towards the Borom Phiman Mansion.
Outside was a line of locals purchasing royal milk to be ingested…a very interesting choice for such a hot and humid day. But my attention was quickly diverted as next door sat the authoritative Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.
Guard outside of the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.
Guards posed beautifully just outside the main entrances protecting the royal members inside from any unwanted visitors. I actually felt a little bad for them having to stand motionless as edgy tourists came up posing next to them in an irrational and almost disgraceful manner. But hey what can you do, tourists will be tourists.
The Aphorn Phimok Prasat Pavilion.
After enjoying the view of the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, I walked to a pavilion sitting perpendicular called the Aphorn Phimok Prasat Pavilion. I was relieved to find it relatively quiet here as many people seemed to have passed right by the small entrance. Inside sat wonderful halls built back in the late 1700’s that had aged to perfection and glistened with the slightest amount of sunlight.
The Dusit Maha Prasat Hall.
After walking around in the pavilion a bit I managed to find what I thought was the perfect angle to capture all of the previous sites. If only it had been a blue bird day like those I was blessed with during my snowboarding days in Aspen…but nonetheless what was given was much appreciated.
Top of the Dusit Maha Prasat Hall through palm trees.
Making my way through the last of the Grand Palace and to the restaurant, my friend & I had a cool ice cream to cap off our visit. I really enjoyed my time there as well as the captivating imagery. I’ve found the new capitol to be both stunning and a great addition to the King’s throne. 🙂
Why do you think locals choose to drink milk on a hot & humid day at the Grand Palace?
I think it’s a good place for the first time visitors to Thailand. I have been there twice. First time it was awesome and I was under a great impression of the place. Second time I was sent there on a writing assignment and I hated it. It’s so crowded and over-priced, plus the temperature seems to be 100 degrees more than outside. Still, I think it’s worth a visit if you haven’t been to the palace before.
Totally with you there Jo – it is a shame how much they charge tourists to visit these beautiful temples while, at the same time, allowing locals to get in for free. But then again, we do have a lot more expendable income then they do and it is their cultural right to visit the temples which are the foundation of their religion.
Either way, it’s worth a visit and the investment for the first timer – otherwise there are other activities I would highly recommend visiting to get to know the local life better. 🙂
[…] My Guide through the Grand Palace in Bangkok […]
Hey! Thanks for the photos! I loved the gold and white ensembles on the facade, and I think most of the temple’s charms lie there! This is my first time seeing pictures of the Grand Palace upclose. Thank you for the experience!
You’re welcome Yenny, the Grand Palace is truly very beautiful.
Nice blog posting about Thailand, good written article and very beautiful pictures. You writte that your attention was quickly diverted to the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, my question is: is that a palac?
Thanks! The Chakri Maha Prasat Hall wasn’t the palace but just one of the many additions inside the palace itself. I believe everything within the royal gates is a portion of and collectively makes up the palace. 😉
You hinted that the milk was “royal” so it may have a good luck/fortune sentiment to it. Or it may be tradition.Tradition run deeps in countries with lineage that goes back as far as theirs.
Yeah I asked a few locals about it and it has something to do with tradition/religion. I think somewhere in their history a ‘river ran with milk’ so they drink it for good fortune…or something of the sort. 🙂