A Guide to the Grand Palace in Bangkok

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is an incredible sight to see, from the thousands of mosaic tiles, the incredible shimmer of the gold buildings and the beautiful attention to detail everywhere you look. This should be on everyone must see list for Bangkok.

 

The basics:

The official address: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok (Located just a short walk from Khao San Road)

Hours of operation:  Daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm except for a few days a year for special royal ceremonies.

Entrance fee: 500 Baht, this includes access to Wat Phra Kaeo, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion and Museum of Textile, which is located within the Grand Palace compound, and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road.

It is an additional 100 Baht for an audio guide available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese or Mandarin if you like.

 

Dress code: Visitors are required to dress appropriately. Many tourists are denied entrance on a daily basis because they did not come dressed properly.  Follow the below rules, and you will be fine.  If you didn’t pack right, no worries, buy your clothes outside the white wall (already inside the palace grounds) or borrow the proper clothes from the Palace for free (inside the white wall).

– You must be covered to your ankles.  This means no shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, capris, tight fitting trousers, and tights.  Yes I know it is hot but if you want to go inside you have to be respectful. Sweatpants or PJ’s are also not permitted, dress nicely.

– Your shoulders must be covered at all times.  This means no sleeveless shirts or vests but includes see-through shirts and blouses.  There is also a sign saying rolled-up-sleeved shirts but they didn’t seem to enforce this.  You cannot however just bring a sarong or scarf and put it over your shoulders you must actually have a shirt on.

– No Sandals without ankle or heel straps, sorry this means no flip flops or thongs.  This is something that is not always enforced but best to be on the safe side…  It might be a good day to wear your shoes.

– Lastly for all of 2017 if possible wear black to show respect for the passing of the King, Bhumibol Adulyadej. (The whole country is in mourning)

What to Bring:

Water: It is hot in Thailand and wearing all the modest clothes makes it even hotter. Be sure to bring enough for a few hours.  You can’t buy anything once inside.

Camera: You are going to want to take a lot of pictures.  If you have some crazy professional looking set up you will not be allowed in.  DSLR’s are just fine.

A bag for your shoes: You will need to take them off to enter the Temple and they do get stolen quite often

 Helpful hints:

-There are several decent western style bathrooms once inside the grounds bring toilet paper just in case they are not stocked up or use the bum gun and drip dry.

– The free “borrow” clothes can get a little nasty.  I would really recommend buying a 100baht sarong outside the Palace instead of having to borrow the clothes there.  Even better come prepared with a long sleeved top and a long skirt/ pants.

– You many notice a huge line at some point (usually just outside the white walls) walk right past this line and into the gate of the white walls.  These are tour groups waiting for their time slot.  You can walk right past them into the grounds to buy your ticket.  I have heard from a few people who turned around when they saw all the people waiting, remember this is for groups.

– If you get tired take a breather in the porch area of the Temple take a little time to sit down, the marble is cool.  This was my favourite part of the entire Grand Palace, was just sitting down taking in the beauty surrounding us.

– There is quite a bit of walking involved in the direct sun wear sunscreen, dress appropriately, to stay cool but modest.

– There are a ton of people inside and bottlenecks tend to happen, be patient.

– Go early to avoid the heat and some of the crowds but 10 am this place is really busy.

Is there anything else missed?  What did you like most about the Grand Palace?  Let us know in the comments below.

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