the grand palace, bangkok

so I’ve shown you two places now where you can eat pretty darn well near the grand palace – but what of that great compound itself?

I admit to a slight amount of jadedness – I’ve been lucky enough to do my turn around dozens of churches, european palaces and town squares such that they’ve started to merge in a continental blur. but the bangkokian palaces and temples were such an immense shake of color and architectural appeal – just lovely.


it was a colorful entrance to the palace, filled with throngs of people (hey, asians! looks like disneyland) being segregated by the clothing-watchguards at the door.

they’re real serious about being respectful here, so keep it in mind – knee-length trousers aren’t abided, and neither are flipflops or showing your shoulders (and most definitely not anything you would wear to a beach); and any deviation gets you into a queue for rather unflattering trousers to wear over your inappropriateness.

but once you’re properly in, it’s utterly majestic. it’s like land of the spires! pointy little building tops that extend high into the sky, and most gilded or painted a bright shade of yellow – they sure make for a stunning ‘scape.

the courtyards hold their own gems – delicate and very intricate wall embellishments, mystical beings that serve as both building support and general watcher-outter, and sweet flowers swarming with bees.

if you step into the shadowed hallways surrounding the courtyard, you’ll see huge murals of fantastic detail. I think it both shows the pride the artisans had in doing their work – and also how such art is missing from our modern glass and metal skypokers.

the rest of the palace outside the first compound is a clever mix of modernity and tradition – but you see the care that goes into maintaining this place everywhere: from the pristine grounds and precisely-manicured lawns, to the stern-faced guards suffering from the hordes of tourists posing next to them.

my favorite part of the palace? the gold. it’s incredibly festive and glorious and majestic – and truly makes you realise you’re somewhere special.

it’s a great palace – pretty expensive entry but worth a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see how royalty live. long post, but I hope you liked the photos!

พระบรมมหาราชวัง, RTGS: Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang (the Grand Palace)
Na Phra Lan Road
Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
tel +66 2-623-5500
per entry: B500

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