Grand Palace and Temple of Emerald Buddha | Bangkok, Thailand | One of the first attractions you must see when in Bangkok are without a doubt the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also know as Wat Phra Kaew. Rattanakosin’s temples, palaces and pavilions, are very well know for their majesty and grader, dating to the beginning of the Chakri Disnasty. The architecture is breathtaking as you can see on the video below, but the highlight is the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist relic. Plenty of gilded statues and the majesty of the Temple.
Building began in 1782, the year Bangkok was founded and every monarch subsequent to King Rama I, has expanded or enhanced it. The majesty of the Temple, the walls of Wat Phra Kaew‘s cloister featuring true Thai stories in a classic Thai mural. The Grand Palace served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th century onwards.
The Emerald Buddha, funny enough is not made out of Emerald, but as of Jade. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaew); is the Monarch’s personal place of worship and royal temple. It is regarded as the most sacred temple in Thailand.
FYI no photos are allowed within the temple (the one above I took it from outside). Also be aware before visiting, that there is a very strict dress code and never point your feet to the deity. Always remove the shoes before entering the temple, as a sign of respect of the Buddha.
The Library (tower in the middle), known as the Phra Mondop, contains Tripitaka, sacred Buddhist manuscripts. Built also by Rama I, featuring amazing mother-of-pearl doors.
A replica of the Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is also within this complex. Built by King Mongkut and finalized by Rama III as a memorial of the occupation of the Kingdom of Cambodia by Siam, until the colonization by France.
The Grand Palace, is the former residence of the King, adjoins the temple. The King makes use of this Grand Palace for ceremonial functions such as the Coronation Day. But I am not going to bore your with more details, all information can be found online. The point is to let you know that Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Wat Phra Kaew, are two must see and do while in Bangkok.
Operating hours: daily from 08.30AM till 4.00PM. Literally if you arrive when the doors open, you will have the complex for your own. Entrance FEE: between TBH 350 to 400. And please, from experience, do not pay attention to the people outside of the Palace and their stories, even if they tell you that they work for the Palace. The classic lie is to say that the Palace or Temple is closed because Thai Monks are praying, and with that trick you to take a Tuk Tuk to another temple of attraction. Result, you will end up in a taylor or jeweler shop, and they will put in their pocket the TBH 300 that shops give them for taking farangs (foreigners) over. After this two attractions, visit the Wat Arun Temple of Dawn, and the Mount Golden, which are all in the same area. CM
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