The Grand Palace and The Emerald Buddha Temple

This is a MUST Go – See – Do in Bangkok, Thailand!
Don’t be confused if we talk about the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw (The Emerald Buddha Temple), because both places are in the same area or I would say, Wat Phra Keaw is inside the Grand Palace.


The Gland Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital. The Grand Palace remained the Royal Family’s official residence from 1782 to 1946. The last king to live there was King Rama V. (King Rama the IX is on present King).

Don’t forget that you are going to a Palace, there is a strict dress code. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves- no tank tops. If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Similarly, women must be modestly dressed, no see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc.

If you show up with improper dress, the front booth can provide clothes to cover you up properly but you have to leave your passport or credit card as security.

Scams are everywhere in the world even here! So beware, it’s unfortunate that some tourist scams do take place and they target the area around the Palace. If someone stops you before you get to the entrance and tells you “The Palace is close today but I can take you to….” It’s probably a scam!
You are better of walking to check with security guards inside the Palace wall.

The admission fee is 500 Baht (~16-17 USD) for foreigners (but Thais are admitted free because this is a place of worship not a tourist attraction for Thais).

The fee also includes tickets to the Coin Pavillion and Vimanmek Mansion within 7 days of your Grand Places visit.

FYI: The Vimanmek Mansion is not in walking distance from the Grand Palace.  If you travel on your own, you need a taxi or tuk tuk to get there, it’s about 20 mins away from the Grand Palace depending on traffic.

There’s only one main entrance into this temple but many exits, one wrong turn, may be an exit and that means you gotta pay again to come back in.

Credit Graphic Picture: Thairath TV

So you are better to follow me – Lets start!

The first statue you will see is, the Hermit Doctor…The Hermit Doctor is the father of Thai herbal medicine.
You can pray for luck and health but don’t forget “you are what you eat”.


It’s all GOLD!!!

The Elevated Platform or the Upper Terrace, within the complex have many buildings with diverse purposes and in differing styles with 3 main buildings,  Phra Sri Rattana Chedi, Phra Mondop or the library,  Prasart Phra Thep Bidorn

The Big Demons are around the temple, they are working as security to guard the Emerald Buddha from bad spirits.

Walking around the platform you will see more than I can explain, but at this stop for what we(Thais) like to tease tourists  “Can you spot the monkey from the Demon?” I won’t tell you, keep guessing or come to see what is different.

The Mural Painting…The Murals line the inner walls of Wat Phra Kaew. Depicting the Ramakian, the Thai version of Hindu epic the Ramayana. You can find the story of each painting on the nearby pillar but only if you can read Thai.

The Ubosoth or the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha house. The Emerald Buddha was first discovered in 1464 and King Rama I built the city of Bangkok and placed the Emerald Buddha in the Chapel.

The Emerald Buddha has 3 different golden costumes, one for each season (Summer, Winter, and Rainy), the King changes the Buddha’s garments with the annual change of whether.

Photography inside the Emerald Buddha chapel is strictly forbidden. This is not just a requirement but taking pictures ofBuddha images is against the law in Thailand.  But outside is no problem, you can take your camera to visit the Grand Palace.

Important turn in the Palace, this is what I have mentioned before after you get out of the Chapel you will see the sign to turn in the Palace zone…and this is one way which means
“No Entry – Exit Only”

In the Palace area, there are many halls that are very beautiful inside.  The Chakri Maha Prasat, building was constructed by King Rama V and it was designed by a British architect in the European style.

While it was under construction, there were so many comments about how this hall doesn’t look like Thai style at all.  The King decided to put the pure Thai Style roof and it came out in totally amazing!!! Construction took 6 years from 1876 to 1882.

This building was for Elephant before it changed to the weapons room (Arsenal).

And you can take a picture with the royal guards, just be respectful and no teasing them (they are holding real guns!)

Next to Chakri Maha Prasat is Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall.  This is recognized as a masterpiece of classical Thai architecture. The top of this prominent throne hall, in particular, is elaborately designed and splendidly formed. This throne hall was constructed at the same time of the Grand Palace, in the reign of King Rama 1.

This hall was used for King Rama 1’s funeral and the hall became the location for Royal funerals after that.

Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall is now the focal point for people all over Thailand and from other parts of the world to pay their respects to the beloved King Rama 9, who passed away on 13 October 2016.

Religious ceremonies in mourning are held every day (until further notice), with the participation of members of the Royal Family and senior officials.

Cr: REUTERS/Jorge Silva   Ayutthaya elephants and mahouts pay their respects at the Royal Palace where Thailand’s late king Bhumibol Adulyadej is lying in state, in Bangkok, Thailand November 8, 2016.

“The Grand Palace” is much more than I can tell you or show you with pictures…but I would recommend you to put this in the first list of things to see when you come to Bangkok.

FYI – Wat Pho is within walking distance and Wat Arun’s pier (ferry crossing) is directly across from Wat Pho

*** Idea for day trip – you can do all of these 3 “MUST SEE” in one day***
***You are here***
First stop in Bangkok? Welcome to the Grand Palace!!!
Why not? A real palace open for you to visit….

Wat Pho…The most beautiful reclining Buddha is at Wat Po, next to the Palace – And it’s the home of the Thai traditional massage school. Be sure to stop for a massage!
Wat Arun… The Temple of Dawn – see where the Emerald Buddha was enshrined before moving it across the river to the Palace.
Climb the steps and touch some history!

About Jam

I'm Jam, the blogger, and illustrator of this website. I live in Bangkok, Thailand and Louisiana, USA when I'm not travelling.

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