City of Angels

The Grand Palace

known in the Thai language as Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang is one of the most magnificent and unsurpassable of all the landmarks in Thailand and is one place in the world where you must, you really must see. I first visited this incredible work of Thai architecture back in 1992. My youngest son and I had flown into Bangkok to join my sister and future brother in law. On arrival I was suffering from a strong bout of Jet-lag, so I decided to have a lazy day at our gorgeous teak hostel while the rest of the family went sight-seeing. On returning my beloved son inquired as to how I was feeling. Fortunately, I was fully recovered so he informed me that we would go to the Grand Palace the following day. I knew he had already been that same day so naturally I said "Darling you won[t want to see the same thing again so do not worry" I shall never forget his words as he replied "Mama this is something you cannot possibly miss since you will never see anything like it, plus I will be more than happy to accompany you" that first visit will stay in my memory forever. I was totally blown away and believe me when I say that every time I revisit the Grand Palace, I am still as enchanted today as I was on that first occasion.

When Built in 1782, The Grand Palace was an important royal residence until 1925 and it is now used mainly for ceremonial events. Covering an area of 218,400 square meters you will be able to amble through stunning gardens and perfectly kept lawns, with ornate buildings, halls covered with exquisite murals and exotic pavilions.

I personally don’t think that one can cover everything there is to see in one day, but perhaps that isn’t a bad thing as you will always be able to discover new and splendid wonders when you return.

Wat Phra Kaeo 

part of the Grand Palace complex is renowned as the most beautiful and important Buddhist temple in Thailand. It houses Phra Kaeo Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), This exquisite masterpiece has been carved from a single block of fine jade and is the most highly revered Buddha image.

One thing I have to tell you all about visiting the Grand Palace is how you go attired. Girls take note!!! No, you can’t go in your favourite swimwear and whatever you do, please refrain from going with your derrière (that’s French for buttocks) hanging out of your shortest of shorts or your midriff bared to the world with your boobs overflowing out of your skimpy tank top. Guys take note!!! No, you can’t go topless (Oh blimey I forgot to tell that rule to the girls)  Mid-calf pants and definitely No-pants at all are just not acceptable.  Legs must be covered by long trousers and t-shirts should have sleeves. And neither may any of you wear all that sexy transparent stuff! If you don’t take notice of my good advice, I hate to tell you this, but you just won’t be allowed to enter. Should you arrive with inadequate attire, you will be obliged to leave or pay a small deposit at the booth near the entrance to provide you with an unflattering garment to cover up your bare bits and bobs. This is a sacred place, so please be respectful at all times during your visit.

The perfect and most enjoyable way to reach the Grand Palace is to take the sky train to the Saphan Taksin station, then walk towards the Central Pier. On arrival you will see a big desk with the sign saying "Tourist boat" and all the Thais, shouting out "Ticket here, ticket here" Totally ignore them as if you were deaf and half blind! as it will cost you an arm and a leg! walk straight past them onto the jetty where you can join the queue of local people. Wait for the boat coming upstream from the left-hand side and that has an orange flag, it is about a tenth of the price of the tourist boat) remember that you only buy the ticket of the boat. Enjoy the wonderful cruise up the Chao Phraya river till you get to number 8 eight pier. Walk towards the main road turn left and there a few meters along on the right-hand side you will find the Grand Palace waiting for you...Here is a very useful link on the Sky train service, the Metro service and even the Shuttle service to the airport. I really don't want you to say that you got lost in the effort!!! 

Also be aware of the bright spark Scammers who will always tell you "Solly Gran Palace closed" The reason being that they want to whisk you off to one of the umpteen gem factories where they will receive a big fat commission should you fall by the wayside and buy one of their dodgy stones, and even if you don't part with your hard earned dosh,  the Tuk-tuk man will still get some sort or reward.. So my dear friends whatever the locals of the street tell you, take it with a pinch of salt and check it out for yourself.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 15:30

  • Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)

  • Price Range: Tickets sold from 8:30 - 15:30 and cost 500 baht! One ticket includes entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.

Admission: 500 baht; additional 100 baht for audio guides (available in English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, and Japanese).

After your visit to the Grand Palace, and of course if you are not too exhausted from so much walking around,  

 

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

is another impressive temple to visit where the remarkable Reclining Buddha resides and measures 15 m high and 46 m long, it really isn't any wonder that it is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. With only a short walk from the Grand Palace to this temple, it certainly is worth seeing

Just a little tip should you visit the Wat Pho in the early afternoon. Directly in front of the temple across the road, there are a few alleyways leading to the river where you will find the Amoroso Bar. Be sure to get there about 16.45 (in order to get a front line table) and climb to the 4th floor.This amazing place sits directly in front of the Wat Arun temple (Temple of Dawn) situated on the opposite bank of the river,  From the rooftop bar of Amoroso you can relax with a delicious thirst quenching cocktail and take in the breathtaking sunset as it descends over the magnificent temple. I promise you, it will be the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Location:- 36-38 Soi Pratu Nok Yoong, 4th Floor, Arun Residence Hotel.

Wat Arun

my favourite of all the temples, I just love it! it is so astoundingly resplendent. The temple owes its name to the Hindu god  Aruṇá or Aruṇ a representation of the rising sun's reddish glow. Suffice to say "Just go there" from pier number 8 take the ferry that directly crosses the river to the temple. It will cost you all of 3 Thai baht (0.054 British Pounds) and the same amount to return.

Once again please adhere to the dress code required to visit any Thai temple.

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 -17:30

  • Location: Located on the west side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier)

  • Price Range: 50 Baht