About The Grand Palace – Bangkok
In the heart of Bangkok, the Grand Palace has been a royal residence of the Chakri Dynasty since the reign of that house’s first monarch, King Rama I, also known as Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, during the 18th century. With its beautiful Thai-style architecture and spanning over 200,000 square metres, the Grand Palace is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Thailand.
The Grand Palace – Bangkok history
King Rama I ruled from 1782 to 1809 and moved the capital from Thonburi to its current location, building the Grand Palace as his home and offices. Construction began in 1782, although the palace was continuously added to through successive reigns – particularly under King Chilalongkorn.
By 1925 the royal family and government were no longer housed at the Grand Palace, especially after the monarchy was abolished in 1932.
The Grand Palace – Bangkok today
The Grand Palace is actually made up of a series of buildings, including government offices, monasteries and a museum and a visit can last several hours. Upon entering the palace complex, one is in the outer court, which once housed government departments and now contains the famous Chapel of the Emerald Buddha – a definite must-see attraction together with the Museum of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which contains many artefacts relating to Wat Phra Keo.
The rest of the complex is divided into the inner and outer courts, some out of bounds to the public. However, the Dusit Maha Prasat throne is open on weekdays and, as one of the least altered buildings in the complex, contains an audience hall with a mother-of-pearl throne built by King Rama I.
Tourists can also enter the Amarin Winichai Mahaisun Audience hall on weekdays. Part of the Grand Palace’s Phra Maha Monthien complex of buildings is where all important state occasions take place. It can be worth hiring a guide beforehand if you want to learn about the Grand Palace history and make absolutely sure you abide by the strict modest dress code.
Getting to The Grand Palace – Bangkok
The cheapest way to reach the Grand Palace is taking the BTS Skytrain and getting off at Saphan Taksin Station (Exit 2). Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Sathorn Pier and walk 3 minutes to the palace, opposite the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
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