Day02 – 21st June 2007
After a busy day shoo-ing off a large number of tuk tuk drivers, running and dodging con-man/woman… me and Nicole decided that we should go and visit a really cool place,Â The Grand Palace. I’ve always wanted to visit the Grand Palace. I think it is really a beautiful place and I will have to give up every other place to visit… I would.
Now… the problem is getting in to the Grand Palace. One have no idea how many obstacles we would have to go through. Firstly, someone told us.. it was Buddha’s Day and the place will be closed for the day (all the sweet lies). Then someone told usÂ the locals need to do their prayers and only the locals can enter theÂ Grand Palace. The placeÂ will only be opened to visitors after 1.00pm (which is also a total lie). Then someone told us, our dress code is unappropriate and we will never get in. Hence the diversion to other places such as other temples and bargain place.
Pissed of with the harrast and not to mention after listening to so many lies, we just can’t help to just walk straight and go try or die thing. At that point of time, I wouldn’t really care if they kicked me out when I reach there. It is really amazing to find out, upon reaching the main entrance, there were so many noticeÂ being posted up to beware of the people trying to make offers to go some other temples and places. So yes, seriously… they are aware of this issues and problem happening.
Like many people would have guessed, my sleeveless top.. does not qualify me to enter the Grand Palace directly. Thank god they do rent out cloths for visitors. Yup, they have button shirt (in GREY colour) and sarong like pants to choose from. No worries, all you have to do is just leave a 100baht deposit with them. When you are done with the touring, all you have to do is just pass the receipt back and you will get your full refund back. Simple eh? Yeah, but if you really really want to take pretty pretty pictures, I seriously advice you to wearÂ a nice top and jeans 🙂
I am so excited! I am about to make my princess dream come true. wander around the palace… awww~ Okay, if I am not mistaken, the entrance fee is around 200 – 250baht. Right after paying, one will receive two seperate ticket, one white and one yellow ticket. The white ticket allows visitors to visitÂ The Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion while the yellow ticket is a one day valid entrance to the Grand Palace.
Since the Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion is located before the entrance to the Grand Palace, me and Nicole decided to hop in and drool over all the gold, emerald, diamonds, jade and everything expensive. Looking at the amount of gold belts, gold hair accessories, gold trees, cups, necklace… I must say I want to faint. Somebody carry me please. Not to mention, the Emerald Buddha (in 4 season) is located here as well. Of course one of it is currently being displayed at The Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Our grand tour soon begins. It’s like a total different world once we step pass the gate. Everything just blings. The amount of gold is just crazy. There are so many visuals on the wall to welcome us. Right in front of the entrance, we could actually notice the Hor Phra Rajphongsanusorn and Hor Phra Rajkoramanusorn. Awww… it’s really really nice. There are even loads of giagantic yaksha (giant guardian) around the area. Well, surely I must pose and take pictures of the yaksha. It’s after all a very symbolic thing.
We then continue to snap our way to The Upper Terrace which consist of 4 main monuments. Phra Mondop is a repository for Buddhist sacred scriptures inscribled on palm leaves, contained within a beautiful mother-of-pearl inlaid cabinet. Oh yeah, it really bling to the max. Trust me… it really does hurt your eye when the bright sunlight hit on it. Next to it is the Phra Siratana Chedi, aÂ reliquary in a shape of a golden chedi.
One could not miss the Prasat PhraÂ Dhepbidorn (The Royal Patheon). It is a place where the statues of the past sovereigns of the ruling Chakri dynasty are enshrined. I really love the style and how they actually incorporate the golden colour and other colour so nicely. I mean seriously… back then.. when even my grandparents weren’t born.Â They already have such exquisit taste. Ah… no wonder people would just die to take a glance back then.
There are many statues of elephants and mythical beings around the terrace. Yes, everything coated with gold… more gold and everywhere you turn to… there are hints of gold. No worries, you eyes are seriously fine :). As for me and Nicole… we pose and pose and pose and snap and snap and snap. By the time I finish walking on the Upper Terrace, my battery is already flashing for help.
We then make our way to the main attraction, TheÂ TempleÂ of the Emerald Buddha. The temple is a place one of the mostÂ popular places in Thailand where people come and pay their respect to theÂ Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is carved from a block of green jade and isÂ clad with one of the three seasonal costumes (summer, rainy and winter).Â The one we saw on the temple was theÂ summer costumes. To see other costumes, one can visit the Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion. The costumes of the Emerald Buddha are changed three times a year in a ceremony presided over by the King.
It is saidÂ that the Emerald Buddha was first discovered in 1434 in a stupa in Chiang Rai.Â The Emerald Buddha is enshrined on a golden traditional Thai-style throne made of gilded-carved wood known as a Busabok in the ordination hall of the royal monastery. The walls of the ordination hall are decorated with paintings depictingÂ events of the Lord Buddha’s life which includes his birth and childhood. There were also several other paintings which portray the enlightment and how the Lord Buddha is preaching his Dharma.
We then walk around and snap loads of pictures. Upon leaving the Temple of the Emerald Buddha we continue to walk on and notices a large strecth of walls with paintings. I must say, the detailing and the story flows is simply amazing. We then reaches this door which linked us to this other part of the place. There is a large sign at the door stating once you decided to go over, one can’t return back to the Upper Terrace andÂ the Temple of the Emerald Buddha area.
And since we have done most of the visiting at this area, we decided to move on. We landed ourselves to a more modern area. It is obvious the buildings now have more western influence in them. The first place we landed ourselves is at TheÂ Phra Maha Monthian Group which consist of 3 main buildings. The place was really big and we only manage to visit the Amarindra Winitchai Hall and the Hor Phra Dhart Monthian. The Amarindra Winitchai Hall is used for a number of ceremonies such as commemorating the birthday of the King.
From the Phra Maha Monthian Group area, there is a door linking us to TheÂ Chakri Group which consist of the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall andÂ The Central Throne Hall. The Chakri Maha Prasat Hall is built by King Chulalongkorn and was completed in 1882. As for the Central Throne Hall, it seves as a notable reception of foreign ambassadors on the occasion of presenting their credentials. There is a weapon museum located at this place where it exhibits the type of knife and weapon used back then.
Our walk continues andÂ weÂ stopped atÂ The Dusit Group. A section which consist of the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Rajkaranyasapha Hall and the Aphorn Phimok Prasat Pavilion. The Dusit Maha Prasat Hall was built by King Rama I was burned down in 1790 and is replaced by the wooden Amarintharapisek Maha Prasat. The Hall is main function is to held the funerals for the kings, queens and honoured members of the royal family.
After a long walk, me and Nicole decided that we should just grab a drink. Yes, we need a place to sit down, wipe our sweat… have a nice cold drink. Now yes… I of course have to return my cute little GREY shirt… get my refund and continue to hop on to my next destination.
Time and tide wait for no men…
The Grand Palace
Na Phralan Road
Phra Borommaharatchawang Sub-District
Phra Nakhon District Bangkok 10200
(662) 623 5500 ext. 3100, 1124
Opening Hour: Daily 8am – 4pm
Admission Fee: 200 Bht (Foreigner)
Taking photo inside the ubosot
Man: Shorts Pants Slippers
Woman: Undershirt Singlet Shorts Sandals