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Sawadika Bangkok - Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sawadika! Kopunka! Shui jing jing! Okay, My Thai is only limited to those few words...anywho, we made a short trip to Bangkok last weekend with another couple and it was a blast! Our stomachs are very much happy, will go into more of that in another post! Our curiosities about certain things satisfied...well, you will know what I mean if you watched "The Hangover 2". Hint: not the lady-boys.

Squeezing Bangkok into just 2 days is a challenge, there's a whole long list of things that I wanted to see and eat, but the glutton in me somehow managed to cut my "to-see" list to just two places: The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, which is Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The temple is located within the Grand Palace compound. Killing two birds with one stone, and more time for eating and shopping, wee!!

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Remember to dress conservatively, no sleeveless or shorts, not even three quarters. Sarong is available for rental inside once you pass through the main entrance for free with a deposit of 200 THB. We did not get to rent any as the rental place closes at 2 p.m. or so. Our taxi driver had to rent from one of the vendors outside the palace for 30 THB a piece.

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Better off wearing these for an hour two rather than getting hot and sweaty in long pants.

The Grand Palace consists several buildings, halls and pavilions with different styles of architecture. There's even a mini Angkor Wat. Don't ask me why.

The Grand Palace Bangkok angkor wat

The compound is ridiculously huge and you need at least 2 hours to fully explore the place. The palace is no longer the royal residence but is still used for ceremonial purposes.

The Grand Palace Bangkok

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Ancient wall paintings.

The Grand Palace Bangkok wall paintings

The routine maintenance of wall paintings.

The Grand Palace Bangkok wall paintings

Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha sits atop a huge gold altar in the center of the temple. Nice to know: the buddha changes costume three times a year to correspond to the summer (crown and jewelry), winter (golden shawl), and rainy months (gilt robe and headdress). It is an important ritual and is performed by the Thai king.

Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha Bangkok

Dipping lotus buds into holy water and sprinkle water onto the head for good luck.

Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha Bangkok

Demons that stand guard at each of the entrances.

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Soldiers marching, saw this on our way out of the palace compound.

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Royal Reception Halls

The Grand Palace Bangkok

Open: Daily 08:30 - 15:30
Admission fee is 400 THB.
A strict dress code applies.

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