Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

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1:30pm

The Nai Fhun restaurant sits across the street from the entrance to the Grand Palace in Ratanakosin, Bangkok Thailand.

The reeeeally good things about this restaurant is that it is air-conditioned (big tick) and the perfect relief from this Bangkok humidity.  What’s more, this restaurant has the best banana smoothie I have had so far in Thailand (bigger tick).

All this good stuff and we haven’t even got to the Grand Palace yet.

Our lunch of Pad Thai (for me) and Green Curry (for Alex) were both excellent, despite the staff initially forgetting our order.  Lunch cost THB$500 (AUD$20).  Ok, enough about the food, what about the Grand Palace right?  Well from our window seat of the Nai Fhun Restaurant, the walled complex looks imposing.  And you gotta love the street sweeper using his traditional broom.

Walled compound of the Grand Palace

Walled compound of the Grand Palace

2:30pm

Alex are excited to be able to visit the most known Bangkok attraction. The Grand Palace is consistently one of the most visited attractions in Bangkok.

Located within a walled compound, there is only one official tourist entrance into the complex, on Thanon Na Phra Lan.  The main grand thoroughfare within the Grand Palace is teeming with tour groups.

This is normally the kind of crowded place I try to avoid.  I guess we have all experienced it, the mostly Chinese tour groups following their leader with the distinctive flag atop a stick or a colourful umbrella stuck high in the air.

Grand Palace Chinese tour groups

Grand Palace Chinese tour groups

Dress rules apply at the Grand Palace.  Alex is wearing shorts today which is a “no no”.  This means Alex needs to borrow (at no cost) some “one size fits all” MC Hammer pants.  Alex joins the queue of other inappropriately dressed visitors to the Grand Palace…can’t touch this….

With Alex now dressed appropriately (sort of), we can finally begin our Grand Palace visit.  What say we follow the crowd to the ticket sales booth…

“Sah-wah-dee kha” (“Hello”) I say to the ticket attendant.  “Two tickets please”.

“Khawp Khun kha” (“Thank you”) I say politely as I am handed my two admission tickets.  Ticket cost THB$1,000 (AUD$40).

From the official entrance, we begin to explore, following a general anti-clockwise direction around the complex.

Given this was once home of the kings of Siam, the architecture and buildings are very opulent and intrinsic in detail.  The complex is home to the much-worshipped Emerald Buddha and many elaborately decorated temples, statues and pagodas.

There is much to take in and lots to explore.  The whole space is a photographer’s dream.  The colours are beautiful and amazing.  Certainly too much to cover properly in a few short hours but we will do our best.  It really is true, all that glitters is gold…well gold leaf anyway.

 

With the day drawing to an end, and the Grand Palace due to close shortly, we need to return the MC Hammer pants back at the main entry gate.

“Ice tea?” suggests Alex.

“Absolutely” I say.

Grand Palace open lawn

Grand Palace open lawn

As the last of the crowd filter out, Alex and I sit down across from the expanse of lawn area to enjoy a refreshing and very popular iced tea.  Tea cost THB$50 (AUD$2).  And Alex and I wonder…where did all the people go….

Grand Palace where did all the people go

Grand Palace where did all the people go

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For previous Thailand post see Wat Pho, Bangkok Thailand.

For next Thailand post stay tuned.

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