The Grand Palace

When people think of Bangkok, the Grand Palace is one of the first places that springs to mind.

The Grand Palace has served as the official residence for the Kings of Siam since 1872, where the King, his court and the royal government were all based until 1925. Nowadays, whilst it is still used every so often for official events, it serves more as a hotspot for tourists that want a glimpse into Thai history.
The Grand Palace is somewhere I had always wanted to see but put off due to the ever increasing crowds. But after 8 months I decided enough was enough and set off, ready to embrace the place that could attract such a crowd in the first place… And I was not disappointed.
The Grand Palace is a feast for the eyes.
Beautiful architecture is found in every direction, with each construction set off with the clearest of golds that shine as bright as the creativity and craftsmanship of those who designed it.
Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is home to numerous buildings, such as the halls and pavilions that are set over courtyards, and one of Thailand’s most important temples, the temple of the Emerald Buddha. It’s journey towards magnificence has grown organically by the reigning Kings each rebuilding, and adding on to, existing structures throughout the past 200 years of history, and it’ll cost you just 500฿ to see it.
The Grand Palace is a place of worship and respect, so if you’re thinking of going ensure that you are covered up. This applies for both men and woman. Chests, shoulders and legs should be covered, but don’t worry if you turn up unexpectedly, as I did, there is a stall across the street where you can rent trousers, skirts and shawls from for as little as 30฿.
Just a little advice. Beware of scammers. Despite what the internet says, there aren’t actually that many. But the Grand Palace sees heavy foot traffic from tourists on a day to day basis, and as a result it is a place where people are more prone to being taken advantage of.
The two main scams are usually some form of the following:

  •  Somebody tells you that the Palace is closed and offers to take you on a different tour instead.
    This is not true and if in doubt walk into the grounds and check with the guards.
  • Somebody approaches you and hands you food to feed the pigeons with.
    – There’s a high chance after this they will try and charge you 300฿ for the food.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think you may be in the middle of, or about to be scammed, walk away and find somebody to assist you.

The Grand Palace can be found in the Phra Nakhon district, just along the banks of the Chao Phraya river.

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