The Grand Royal Palace in Bangkok is the main cultural and historical attraction of the Thai capital. Until recently, it was the official residence of the kings. It is located in the heart of Bangkok, between Sanam Luang Square and the Chaopraya River.
The construction of the palace began in 1782 when Rama I decided to move the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. Originally, the palace complex consisted of several walled wooden buildings and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which was built by the king for the personal worship of the deity. Unfortunately, the walls of the ancient palace, could not protect against attack and further Burmese burned. The palace has been restored to its former glory.
The palace was the residence of the king, the residence of his family, and the seat of government.
Today it is a large tourist complex. But on part of its territory continue to operate government institutions. The royal nobility does not reside here, but the palace remains the site of important official events.
The Royal Palace is located on the territory of 218 thousand square meters, is a complex of united buildings surrounded by four walls of the length of 2 km: 95 sacred pagodas, temples, museums, galleries, royal pantheon and more.
At the entrances and exits you will be greeted by Yakshi, five-meter-long demonic creatures guarding the treasures of the gods and devouring greedy humans. Many statues of mythical creatures: Kinari, Garuda - bird men, bronze lions guarding the entrance to the main temple. No epithets can not find to describe the overall beauty of the Royal Complex. Of the more popular attractions we can highlight:
Angkor Wat, a scaled-down copy of the Cambodian shrine, is of interest to tourists as a visual guide to history.
Regalia Pavilion where you can see Thai coins of different eras, devices and tools that were used to make them. At the exit you can buy coins of different sizes and denominations as souvenirs. The Royal Pantheon "Prasat Phra Thep Bidon" which means "shrine of the heavenly ancestors".
It is open to the public only one day a year, on the sixth of April. On this day, centuries ago, the Chakri dynasty was founded. The Boromphiman Palace is surrounded by a beautiful garden, in which in former times royal receptions were held once a year. Nowadays, the palace is only used to receive important guests: heads of state and especially respected monks. The walls of the building are painted with murals depicting Hindu gods and a list of virtues that should guide the ruler.
The Mahamonghian (Supreme Residence) consists of three buildings. The largest hall of the residence is used for royal and state receptions. On the anniversary of the coronation of the current monarch, a ceremony is held here to recognize citizens for outstanding achievements for the good of the state.
The Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, a grand palace, is bursting with greenery and flowers. Although designed in the Italian Renaissance style, the palace is dominated by features typical of Thai architecture. The western wing of the building housed the king's suite and the eastern wing the queen's suite.
You can't go inside, but there is a weapons museum on the first floor of the building. There are two exhibitions: small arms and spear-cutting weapons. Nearby there is a pavilion-museum of guns, in which you can trace the entire history of weapons.
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles is a textile museum. More like a traditional European museum. The building, located to the right of the entrance to the Grand Palace. The museum displays collections of textiles from East, South and Southeast Asia.
The museum introduces the history of traditional Thai costume, silk production, the queen's closet, and the process of making fabric on the loom. At the exit you will see a small store. Various exclusive handmade items are sold here. The part of the Royal Palace where the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located is surrounded by covered galleries.
There are always a lot of tourists here. The place attracts attention with wall paintings, frescoes with precise detailing. But you can also hide from the scorching sun here for a while.
Time and cost of attendance
The palace is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, after 3:30 pm for new visitors the entrance to the territory is closed. The ticket office is located at the beginning of the street leading to the palace complex.
The price of the ticket is 500 baht, it consists of several tickets designed to visit the different temples and museums of the palace complex. In addition, they offer a two-hour audio guide for 200 baht. There are eight languages available, including Russian.
How to get there
Tuk-tuk or cab, tell the driver that you need to go to the King Palace, but immediately agree to pay by the meter. The average cost of the trip is 200-300 baht according to the meter. Buses #1, 25, 32, 44, 47, 53, 82, 91, 123, 201, 503, 508. The price of the trip is from 5 to 25 baht.
Royal Palace on a map of Bangkok
Express Boat on the Chao Phraya River to the pier - Tha Chang. The cost of the trip is 15-30 baht, depending on the distance. Then go in the direction of the river, passing the market on the right side to see the long white wall surrounding the palace. The entrance is on the side of Na Phra Lan street. If you live on Bangkok's main tourist street, Kaosan Road, Riverside or Chinatown, you can get there on foot.
Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Phone: +66 2 623 5500
Tips for tourists: rules for visiting the temple
There are several entrances to the Palace grounds. The tourist entrance is at the gate, Visetchaysi (Gate to the Miraculous Victory). It is always crowded near them. You will not be allowed to enter the territory with a large bag, suitcase or backpack. And there are no storage rooms.
There is a dress code for visiting temples. Clothing must cover the shoulders and arms. Men wear pants, women wear skirts below the knees. Shoes, too, choose those with closed backs. Necessary clothing can be rented at the entrance, provides a deposit of 200 baht. There are also convenient booths where you can change your clothes.
The guards are provided by the royal guards. You can take pictures with them. But in temples, palaces and museums it is forbidden to take pictures, and they jealously enforce this rule.