Bangkok Diaries: The Grand Palace

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!

Good morning, Bangkok!
We were greeted by this view from our room on our first morning in the city

This is part of a series

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 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.

It was a special morning that day at the hotel as they had someone make these fried roti with banana filling for breakfast

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, eventuallyPlanning of course is different from execution.

A typical BTS Sukhumvit Line station
Passengers queue outwards first instead of directly on the sides

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.

I don’t really remember which station this is 😀
View from Sathorn Pier right under King Taksin Bridge

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.

See how small our boat is?  What it lacks in size, it makes up in speed!
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) having restoration works as seen from the river

Chao Phraya river

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 view soon after leaving the market area of Tha Chang

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.

So many tourists even on a weekday!
Entrance to The Grand Palace complex is ฿500 per person.  It is open daily from 8:30AM to 3:30PM only.
Feels like we are entering an amusement park with all the tourists…
Beautiful murals greet you upon entry

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:

One of the first things I saw upon entering the complex
Expect a lot of tourists everywhere!
Just take a look at the details of these statues!
Yes, it gleams under the bright sunlight!
Each structure is very ornate
Looking back at where we entered from
The roofs are all impressive and seem to be perpetually clean and shiny
Even the smaller statues are highly detailed
All of the buildings here are stunning!
Phra Sawet Kudakhan Wihan Yot
Tired tourists take shelter at areas like these all around the complex
I believe this is called the Golden Chedi
A closer look at the details of the Golden Chedi
The Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Taking a “solo” photo here is practically impossible (some tourists would not budge even if they know you are having your photo taken)
More golden statues…
I can’t imagine how much effort went into this roof
Pigeons are at home with tourists here
He’s watching…
Elephant statues…
…Encircling this shrine
A Buddha statue
People flock in queues to enter the sacred temple
Again, look at those intricate details!
We did not enter as the line to enter was very long so I just admired its beauty from the outside
Wat Phra Kaew from another angle
And this is The Grand Palace
I’d love to stay longer, but my stomach is asking me to go elsewhere…

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.

Taking a quick lunch break before we head off to our next destination…

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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Bangkok Diaries:

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Monch Weller says:

    Now that roti looks appetizing!


    1. dhenztm says:

      It’s very simple but it’s good 🙂
      I’ve also seen it on the streets

      Liked by 1 person

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