The Grand Palace
Built in 1782 by King Rama I, the Grand Palace is where
you can see an interesting mix of European and Thai architecture
in the one compound. Together with the royal chapel or Wat Phra
Kaeo, the Palace is one of the must see places in Bangkok.
Remember to take a hat and dress appropriately for one of
Thailand's most revered and sacred location. The complex is open
daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m, except for ceremonial days.
Located on Si Ayuthaya Road, this complex of five Thai style
houses occupies a beautiful garden and houses an important
collection of Asian antiques. A lacquer pavilion is decorated
with sumptuous late Ayutthayan period (1350-1767) gold-leaf
murals. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to
4.00 p.m. Admission is 50 baht.
Wat Phra Kaeo (Golden Palace)
Located in the Grand Palace compound, this temple is home to
Thailand's most revered Buddha image - the Emerald Buddha.
Overwhelming in its rich display of colour, images and
architecture, the buildings inside the temple grounds comprise
of a Golden Stupa, containing relics of the Buddha, a Library
where Buddhist scriptures are kept, and the Royal Pantheon which
is a pavilion used for keeping statues of deceased kings of the
Chakri dynasty. The entire area is surrounded by a wall
containing mural paintings depicting the story of the Ramayana.
Open daily from 8.30 to 3.30 except for auspicious and
ceremonious occassions, visitors must dress appropriately.
Opposite the Grand Palace on the Chao Phraya River, the
temple is easily spotted on Bangkok's skyline by it's tall thin
pagodas decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multi-coloured
porcelain. Easy access is by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat
The largest temple in Bangkok, it is also famous for its 46
meter long, 15 meter high gold-plated reclining Buddha which
rests in a large hall built in the reign of Rama III in 1832.
Wat Po is also known as a place of learning, and is the centre
for traditional medicine and massage - all of which can be
practiced or sampled by locals and tourists who flock to this
temple for relief from the tensions of modern life. Getting
there - by riverboat stop at Tha Thien. By bus - head for the
Grand Palace and and walk down to Chetupon Road. Entrance is on
the south side of the monestry..
Located on Na Phrathat Road near Thammasat University and in
the vicinity of the Grand Palace, the temple houses
Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the two highest
seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand and also offers
meditation classes for foreigners. The temple is open daily from
9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Another prominent landmark on Bangkok's skyline, Wat Saket
features an artificial hill topped by a gilded pagoda which is
260 feet in height from its base. Begun by King Rama III and
completed in the reign of King Rama IV, the golden mount is one
of the most celebrated landmarks in Bangkok's old area and
offers a panoramic city view from the top.
Within walking distance of the Grand Palace, the National Museum
houses a collection of artifacts found in all parts of the
country ranging from Neolithic times, Sukhothai, Ayuttthaya to
Bangkok period. Open everyday, except Mondays, Tuesdays, and
annual holidays, from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 40
National Gallery Museum
Located on Chao Fa Road opposite the National Museum, you can
find traditional and contemporary works of art created by Thai
artists. Open everyday except Mondays, Tuesdays, and public
holidays from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Royal Barge National Museum
Located near Phra Pin Klao Bridge, the museum houses barges used
on royal occasions and formerly at war. The most beautiful barge
is "Suphannahong" used by the king only when he made his royal
river procession for the Kathin ceremony, a Buddhist tradition
of offering robes to monks, usually during October to November.
Open everyday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Getting there - by
long tail boat from any pier along the river.
The riverine section of Bangkok is favoured by back-packers for
its budget accommodation. The area offers inexpensive items,
especially readymade clothing, leather foods, footwear,
cosmetics and curios. Bargaining is recommended.