A stand-out for its historical significance and architectural splendor
Thailand has a rich royal heritage spanning several centuries. Many royal palaces in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country offer a fascinating glimpse into the majesty and splendor of the Thai monarchy. Most of them are open to tourists.
The Grand Palace that is located in the same compound as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is probably one of the most visited for its historical significance and architectural grandeur.
Built in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I after he decided to establish Bangkok as the capital of Thailand, it was previously the residence of the Chakri Dynasty. The palace is divided in the Mahamontien, Chakri and Dusit group.
The Mahamontien consists of the audience hall of Amarindra, where ceremonies of the court are held; the Paisal Hall, where the Thai monarch is crowned; and the Chakrabadibiman building where was where King Rama I, II and III lived.
There's the Chakri that was built by King Rama V. Today, only the reception portion is used as well as the throne hall where special occasions are held for foreign envoys.
In the Dusit is an audience hall with a throne of mother-of-pearl surmounted by the usual nine-tiered white canopy. Also here is a royal funerary hall.
Visitors should not miss the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It consists has all the architectural features of a monastery but without a residential quarter. The Emerald Buddha is a small image, 24 inches high, and made not of emerald but of a single piece of jasper.
Before entering the Grand Palace, remember to dress properly. Women are requested not to wear slacks, shorts and sandals. Cameras are allowed inside the palace but not in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.