Things to Do in Bangkok: Visit The Grand Palace

Things to Do in Bangkok: Visit The Grand Palace

You can skip everything else when in Bangkok, but make sure to see the majestic Grand Palace.

the grand palaceImage credit: Andy Marchand

bangkok grand palaceImage credit: Vasenka Photography

The most famous landmark in Bangkok and a place that no visit to the capital would be complete without it is The Grand Palace. This remarkable piece of architecture was built in 1782 and was home to the Thai King, the Royal Court and the administrative seat of government for 150 years.

bangkok the grand palaceImage credit: Jason Eppink

The Grand Palace has an area of 218,400 square metres and is surrounded by four walls with a length of 1,900 meters. Within its walls were also the mint, the state departments and the Thai war ministry. Today the palace is the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom.

Also read: 10 Reasons Why I’ll Never Get Sick of Visiting Bangkok

One of the most famous attractions within the walls of the Grand Palace is The Chapel Royal of The Emerald Buddha – Wat Phra Kaew. It consists of all the architectural features of the monastery, except from the residential quarter, as monks don’t live here. The Emerald Buddha is carved from a block of jade and is about 26inches tall.

Image credit: Piyush Kumar

Historical sources indicate that the statue originated in Northern Thailand in the Lannathai Kingdom in 1434.It attracts thousands of visitors, who come to pay their respect to the memory of the Buddha and his teachings. The robes are changed on the Buddha by HM The King of Thailand, as the season’s change and forms part of an important ritual in the Buddhist calendar. The Royal family stopped living in the palace in the early twentieth century, but the palace is still used to mark all kinds of ceremonial events.

The layout of the palace is similar to the palaces of Ayutthaya – to former capital of Siam – which was raided by the Burmese. The outer court used to house government departments which directly involved the king. Wat Phra Kaew is located in the corner of the outer court, and the Central Court is where the residence of the king and halls used for conducting state business were located.

Image credit: Vasenka Photography

Image credit: Denis Jarvis

The Chapel Royal grounds are enclosed by murals which show the story of Ramakien – the first reign. Starting at the east gate you will find the initial stages of the war waged by Rama to rescue his wife who had been taken by Thotsakan the King of Longka.

Here are depicted episodes of the building the causeway from the mainland, of the campaign of Maiyarab the Magician who took the sleeping Rama away to the netherworld, the campaigns of Kumpakan and Indrajit, the brother and son respectively of Thotsakan and other campaigns waged by Thotsakan himself, his other relatives and allies. The battle in which Thotsakan, loses his life is to be found just beyond the gate leading into the royal palace.

Also read: What to do in Bangkok: A 3 Day Itinerary

Image credit: Dennis Jarvis

Image credit: Dennis Jarvis

Image credit: Bhargavi Jannu

Visitor Information

First of all, the most important thing to note is the dress code. As this is a sacred place, all visitors must dress appropriately. This means that men must wear long pants, and shirts with long sleeves, and feet must be covered – i.e no bare feet.

Also read: 12 Delicious Must-Buy Souvenirs From Bangkok For A Taste Of Thailand

For women this means shoulders must be covered and long trousers or a dress covering the legs. If you don’t have the correct attire, there is a booth near the entrance that will provide you with a robe for a small deposit.

The Grand Palace

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 – 15:30
  • Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
  • Price Range: Tickets sold from 8:30 – 15:30 and cost 500 baht! One ticket includes entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.

Wat Phra Kaew

  • Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 3.30 pm
  • Location: Na Phralan, Phra Nakorn (inside Grand Palace complex), Old City (Rattanakosin)
  • Dress Code: no short pants or short skirts, not sleeveless tshirts. Sarong are for rent at the entrance but better dress appropriately to avoid the queue.

Price Range: 500 Baht

About Author

Jay Sinclair
Jay Sinclair

Jay is originally from the UK, but is currently living and working in Thailand. He is an English Teacher at a local school in Phuket. In his spare time he studies the Thai language, and also enjoys writing blog posts and articles. His main passion is travelling; he has visited more than 20 countries so far, and hoping to tick a few more of the list in the near future.


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