We were up early on our first full day in Bangkok to explore what the city has to offer. Our itinerary included the top tourist spots but without any prior knowledge on the transport system and still having no local SIM for data, we have to navigate ourselves using our offline tools. And here’s the start of our adventure!
Days before our Bangkok trip, I scoured the internet for itineraries and even asked tips from friends. One of the most useful tips that I found were from visitacity.com where I was able to get a plan for a day and even multi-day tour. And from there, I only needed to figure out how to get from our hotel to our first destination.
Our first destination is probably one of the most visited places in Bangkok, The Grand Palace. It is outside the reach of the Bangkok trains, a.k.a. our comfort zone, but I figured it out, eventually. Planning of course is different from execution.
The most convenient way of getting to The Grand Palace complex from our hotel is via the Chao Phraya River, and fortunately, one of the Bangkok train lines run across the river. From BTS Sukhumvit Line Asok Station (E4) we went to Siam Station (Central) Interchange where we transferred lines to reach BTS Silom Line Saphan Taksin Station (S6). From here, it’s only a few steps to Sathorn Pier where ferries that traverse the river await.
There are two platforms in Sathorn Pier and we didn’t know what the difference are between the two and so we just went to the right side and ended up going with a smaller but longer boat. We didn’t realize it at the time but we actually boarded an express ferry to Tha Chang Pier, the one closest to The Grand Palace. At ฿100 per person, it is much more expensive than the regular ferry (but we didn’t know that at the time), but I could actually recommend it as you get there faster and I think it’s more intimate.
We arrived at what looks like a small market at Tha Chang Pier. There are a lot of items on sale here, mostly food, at tourist prices. We didn’t pay much attention to these as we were excited to visit The Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is probably the most touristy historical place I’ve ever been to! It felt like we were going to Disneyland because of the crowds of tourists flocking the entrance to the complex! It didn’t deter us though and followed them to the palace grounds.
I was overwhelmed when we finally got into the palace grounds! There were just so many beautiful structures that I don’t know where to look at! From the statues to the buildings, everything was highly decorated and detailed! I could literally spend a whole day here looking and photographing and I still would not run out of interesting subjects. But instead of me describing what I saw, I’ll just share some of my favorite photos and let them do the talking:
The photos did not do any justice with the intricate structures at The Grand Palace complex. Everything is such an eye candy that you’d forget that you’re in the company of hundreds or even thousands of other tourists.
If you are planning to go to The Grand Palace complex, here are some tips:
- Dress appropriately. That means no shorts and no sleeveless tops for both men and women. These are strictly reinforced before you enter. Pants and shawls to cover yourself are available in shops around the area though in case you forget.
- Bring water. Expect a lot of walking so you might need it.
- Set aside ample time to explore the area. There are “trail” signs you could follow depending on how much time you have to tour.
- If you’re wearing socks, wear decent ones as you’re required to remove your footwear when entering temples.
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