Bangkok’s Grand Palace is the Versailles of the East

I made a travel plan for Bangkok because I did not want to commit the same mistake as I did in Kuching.

My plans for the Sunday was to see the Grand Palace and then walk north to the museum and then to Khaoshan Road. It was a relaxed plan since I didn’t want to stress myself.

My friend N told me that it would take more than 2 hours to admire the Grand Palace. Looking at the 2×4-inch map on Lonely Planet, I wasn’t too convinced.

I set off for the palace after a meal of noodles and beancurd at two of the hole-in-the-walls outside the palace gate.
Behind the walls

When I reached the white walls, a loudspeaker spoke in a patient voice reminding tourists that there is only one ticket seller and trust no one. (It’s to prevent tourists from being cheated by swindlers.)

There was a bit more walking from the walls to the ticket selling booth. There were quite a lot of people around since it was Sunday.

The queue was short though, everyone seemed to crowded away from the ticket booth. I paid my 400 baht and got a lot of tickets.
Pricey Grand Palace tickets

I wasn’t even sure what most of the tickets were for.
Grand Palace tickets

I read that visitors need to dress modestly when visiting the Grand Palace so I brought along my own sarong cloth. I tied it haphazardly around my waist with one side higher up than the other.

When I headed in, I was stunned.

There was a small shrine dedicated to a medicine man. But the shrine was so over-the-top sparkly from the tiles that I just stared at it with my mouth open.

Wow.

I’ll let you look at the pictures instead of babbling about.

Mini shrine

Relaxed doc

Versailles of the East

I immediately thought of Versailles when I saw all the golden walls.

The castle of Louis XIV The Sun King must also be as grand as these.

Gold stupa

Gold stupa

Violet building at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Violet building at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

green+ gold building

green+ gold building

Another building

Another building

The map that came along with the brochure was not that useful because I promptly forget which building I was looking at when the sparkling walls blind me.

Random colorful wall

Random colorful wall

Green wat

Green wat

Tiles of Bangkok's Grand Palace

Tiles of Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Tiles of Bangkok's Grand Palace

Tiles of Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Statues of mythical beings

Guardian at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Guardian at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Many green guardians at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Many green guardians at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

White guardian at Bangkok's Grand Palace

White guardian at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Garuda at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Garuda at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Many gold guardians at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Many gold guardians at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Intricate shrine at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Intricate shrine at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Hydra at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Hydra at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Emerald Buddha

There’s a Chinese phrase “镇庙之宝” which loosely translates to the treasure that holds the temple. It’s the treasure which attracts people to a certain place.

At the Grand Palace, there is a temple for the Emerald Buddha. It is housed in a gorgeous building and on high steps so no one can go near.

There’s not photo taking inside the temple. Visitors sit on the floor and are not allowed to point their feet towards the small statue.

Emerald Buddha shrine (?)

Emerald Buddha shrine (?)

Entrance to Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace

Entrance to Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace

Exit of Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace

Exit of Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace

Cool stuff in the Grand Palace

ALTrashcan in Bangkok's Grand PalaceTTEXT

Trashcan in Bangkok’s Grand Palace

How not to sit on the banister

How not to sit on the banister

Closed to tourists

Closed to tourists

Ramayana murals at Bangkok's Grand Palace

Ramayana murals at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Seniors tour group with German-speaking guide

Seniors tour group with German-speaking guide

I spent about two hours in the palace grounds and I got hungry.

Next stop, the National Museum!

Have you been to the Grand Palace? How was your experience there?

mcdonald bangkok

First impression of Bangkok

mcdonald bangkok

Ronald greets us with a wai


Hello, I’m still in Bangkok and I’ll be returning to Singapore on a 6.30pm plane this evening.

I quite like Bangkok. I love the Skytrain. Any city with a metro system gets one thumbs up for me. Two thumbs if it doesn’t smell like pee.

I love the shrines along every street. I love how the king is loved so much that I see as many of his posters as I would a regular celebrity.

Unfortunately, I’ve only eaten one meal since I have arrived. Yes, the Glutton ate ONE meal in Bangkok. It’s a long story: I had to wait 1.5 hours for a massage and I was too lazy to find food. Plus, having a full stomach is not conducive for the wrestling moves I had to do.

Here’s a video I did before I head out into the streets.

Thailand, my 2012 destination

A post inspired by the Travel Belles:

Welcome to Across the Cafe Table where every second Wednesday we ask a question and share our answers

Question this month: In 2012 where do you most want to go but haven’t yet, & why?

Thai temple in Penang

I’ve not set foot in the Land of Smiles yet. It seems to be the destination to go for Malaysians and Singaporeans. Of course, growing up on the other side of the South China Sea means it will be a bit more difficult for me to get air tickets there.

I heard that Bangkok is wonderful for its clothes/food/cosmetics/shopping/everything/people/temples. My mom said Chiang Mai was nice. And then there’s the Thai towns just across the Malaysian borders.

If it’s for a shopping or eating trip in Bangkok, I have plenty of airlines to pick from. In fact, AirAsia just added another flight in the late evening.

Or, I could take the sleeping bunk on the Malaysian train and take a whole 24 hours to get to Bangkok.

So many choices! I must visit Thailand by the end of the year.