The Grand Palace is a magnificent structure and one of the most attractive tourist spots in Bangkok Thailand without which the travel would remain incomplete, and has been being used as an official residence building for the Kings of Thailand, earlier was known as Siam since 1782.Although the current King does not reside here, many official events and royal ceremonies take place here every year. The Grand Palace is a combination of numerous buildings, gardens, halls and courtyards and is separated into a couple of parts including the temple of emerald Buddha, the middle court, the outer court etc.
History of The Grand Palace Bangkok:
The Grand Palace construction was initiated in 1782 by the King Rama I. The king Rama I also formed a dynasty in Thailand named Chakri Dynasty. After its beginning, a good number of buildings were added with the Palace. Though the royal family members lived on the Grand Palace for about 150 years, they had to leave the residence gradually for different reasons, and finally in 1932 all the government offices and agencies were moved from the Palace following the Monarchy abolition. Surrounded by walls, the Grand Palace is placed on 218,000 square meters. Located at the Chao Pharaya River, the Grand Palace is bordered by different roads. The Grand Palace is a combination of different halls, buildings, courtyards and gardens. The Palace is separated into different parts including the temple of the emerald Buddha, middle court, outer court and many public buildings.
The Grand Palace contains history of about 200 years of Thailand and a part of the establishment is opened as a museum. Some royal offices are still found inside the four walls of the Grand Palace. During its construction, the Grand Palace experienced fund shortage and was made of wood and after a few years, the woods were replaced with masonry. The entire structure of the Grand Palace was replaced with the masonry materials including the walls, gates, thrones hall, residences and everything. Bricks from the old royal palaces were used as materials to build the Grand Palace. Traditionally the palace was known as the Royal Palace and since 1851; the name was changed to as the ‘Grand Palace’.
Travel Guide information of Grand Palace: If you want to visit the Grand Palace, there are several ways and routes available to reach. You can use BTS skytrain, and boat service to reach the palace. Ride the sky train and get off at the Taskin Bridge station. Take a boat on the river that will take you to the opposite side pier and the Grand Palace is on the pier number 9. You cannot miss the Grand Place.
Some Tips when you visit on The Grand Palace Bangkok:
Since a part of the Grand Palace is opened as a museum, you cannot have a look on the entire establishment. Do not wear informal attires as those are not allowed inside the Grand Palace. If you hire a tour guide, that would be easier for you to know the Grand Palace without having any crowd and see the adorable attractions inside. You need to take off your shoes at some places like Buddha temple.
Culture & Customs of The Grand Palace Bangkok:
The Grand Palace once was the official residence of the Thai Kings and Monarchs. Some of the traditions are still maintained and you are to dress full-sleeve attires. If you wear short dress, the securitymen will send you to hire respectable full-length dresses with a costly charge and you are to stand in queue. Admission in the Palace is also costly – about 400 Bahts. Modern toilet facilities are available inside the Palace and most of the time it remains crowded.
Transport/ Getting Around in The Grand Palace Bangkok:
There are several ways you can get to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The most popular way is to catch the BTS (Skytrain) and then a riverboat. But if you aren’t confident using the local transport, you can always catch a taxi or one of the designated hop-on-hop-off bus tours, boats or tuk-tuks.
BTS & Riverboat:
The easiest way to get to the Grand Palace is via the BTS (Skytrain) and the Chao Phraya Express Boat.
Take the Silom Line (dark green), get off at Saphan Taksin Station (S6 Station) and take exit 2. Then, take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang Pier (No.9) and walk for about 10 minutes, following the signs to Grand Palace.
For minimal hassle, you can also take the hop-on-hop-off Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. The boat stops at the major tourist spots in Bangkok including the Royal Palace Bangkok (Tha Maharaj Pier).
Unless you are staying in central Bangkok, hiring a tuk-tuk can get pretty expensive. If you, however, only have little time in the city and still want to see the major Bangkok landmarks, get a 1-day unlimited Hop-on-Hop-off pass.
The pass includes access for both tourist Tuk-Tuk and Chao Phraya Tourist Boat making it a hassle-free day out.
If you are on a budget, it’s always a good idea to check the distance between your hotel and the Grand Palace Bangkok. Taking alternative ways such as riverboats may be quicker and way cheaper than hiring a taxi.
But if a taxi is your preferred mode of transport, be sure to catch one with a meter. Using the Grab Taxi app (works like Uber) could be a good alternative to local taxis, especially those without a running meter.
Open Hours of The Grand Palace Bangkok:
The Grand Palace is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The ticket office closes at 3:30 p.m. — you must arrive before then.
Occasionally, the Grand Palace does actually close for official visits and state functions, however, this is rare. Don’t believe any driver who claims the Grand Palace is closed, assuming you’re trying to go before 3:30 p.m.!
If the claims of closure are too convincing, ask someone at your hotel reception to confirm by calling: +66 2 623 5500 ext. 3100.
Entrance Fees of The Grand Palace Bangkok:
Considering that temples in Thailand are often free, the 500 baht (around US $16) per person entrance fee at the Grand Palace is relatively steep. Thai nationals do not have to pay.
An audio tour can be rented for an additional 200 baht. Optionally, human guides are available for hire; you’ll have to negotiate a rate with them. Choose an official guide within the compound rather than accepting someone’s offer on the outside.
Dress Code at the Grand Palace:
To show adequate respect, you shouldn’t wear shorts or sleeveless shirts in any temple or state building in Thailand. Numerous travelers do so anyway. But unlike many of the other temples, a dress code is strictly enforced at the Grand Palace.
- Men must wear long pants; women must cover legs to just above the knee.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting stretch pants or “revealing” clothing.
- Don’t wear sleeveless shirts or show shoulders.
- Don’t wear shirts with religious themes or symbols of death (heavy metal t-shirts, anyone?) on them. Many of the backpacker-favored Sure and No Time brand t-shirts portray Buddhist and Hindu themes.
- You may be told outside that flip-flops are unacceptable footwear, but this rule is usually overlooked for tourists. Shoes must be removed when entering sacred areas anyway.
If your attire is unacceptable, you’ll be required to cover up with a sarong. Assuming the booth is open and they still have sarongs on hand, you can borrow one for free (with a refundable 200-baht deposit).
If borrowing a sarong isn’t an option, you’ll be sent across the street to the myriad of sellers to haggle for an overpriced t-shirt or rent a sarong.
Note: The booth for loaning sarongs may close whenever they like, meaning you’ll have paid 200 baht for a used sarong.