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posted by The Bangkok Consultant
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The Grand Palace is in an area of the City known as Rattanakosin (within easy walking distance from Khao San Road), which is the cultural centre of the city. The Grand Palace complex itself houses several buildings that have been continually added to over the centuries. It used to be the official royal residence, but it is now mostly open to tourists. A couple of times a year it might be utilised for official ceremonies.
The complex can be covered in a couple of hours and if you're lucky you might even bare witness the changing of the guard. There are several areas of interest within the confines of the palace. Upon entering the main gates, you'll be in the Buddhist temple compound known as Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the Emerald Buddha. The famous sight of The Three Spires is worth a photo-shoot too. The Murals of Ramakian are particularly noteworthy.
Wat Phra Kaeo
Known in English as The Emerald Buddha, the small figurine is considered one of Thailand’s most significant pieces of religious art, which can be seen throughout the country, often depicted in amulets and other pieces of symbolic trinkets. It is the holiest site in Thailand and thousands of Thais and tourists flock to see it each year. It’s quite small and is often overshadowed by the striking décor of the building itself.
It's a steep 500 baht to get in.
Best reached: by River Taxi - Piers Tha Tien (N8) or Tha Chang (N9)
Dress code: No Shorts or sleeveless shirt. No sandals or flip-flops. Best to wear trousers and shirt or blouse. Rules are strictly enforced.
Scams: Beware of anyone trying to make an effort to befriend you. You may get told the palace is closed for the day. Ignore this and see for yourself. Don't be tempted to take tours from tuk-tuk drivers outside the palace gates.