Grand palace Bangkok is one of the must see things for Thailand visitors. Dated in 1782 when King Rama I decided to move the Thai capital from Thonburi to Rattanakosin, housing the king’s residence and major government offices until 1925.
I reserved it for my last day in Bangkok and besides forgetting to bring my passport and being saved by a Spanish girl (this remains my little secret for now), the Grand palace visit became the highlight of my Bangkok trip.
No words can truly describe the opulence and beauty of this magnificent golden structure which can be best experienced with the below tips and tricks:
How to get there
The Grand Palace Bangkok is located in Rattanakosin which is Bangkok’s historical area by the Chao Phraya river in Phra Nakhon district.
If you’re staying in Khaosan road, the palace is just a walking distance. If you live farther, riding the Chao Phraya express boat would be fun. Alight at either Tha Tien pier on the southern end or Tha Chang pier on the northern end of the palace complex. Walk through the market around the pier and across you’ll see a white wall. That’s the Grand Palace complex.
Grand palace Bangkok opens daily from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. The palace is rarely closed unless there is a state function.
If someone tells you it’s closed, don’t believe them, just walk in and confirm. There are many con artists around the Grand palace ready to con unsuspecting tourists.
Free guided English tours are available every day at 10.00, 10.30, 1.30 and 2.00 pm.
A day pass costs 500 THB ($14.5) per person payable inside the Grand palace complex. Upon payment, you’ll receive a brochure with complex details and a map.
The Grand palace complex is massive so you really need one just to help locate where you are, areas you’ve visited and where to go next.
Grand Palace Bangkok Dress Code
Grand palace Bangkok, just like temples is considered a sacred place so it’s important to follow the dress code. This means you can’t enter if in shorts, sleeveless shirts, see-through clothes, short dresses or even barefoot.
When i left our hostel i thought my little dress was long enough but it didn’t meet the temple dress code so i had to cover myself with a scarf which i had in the bag.
Please note near the entrance of Grand palace complex, there is a small booth where appropriate clothes are provided to those who are not properly dressed for 200 THB.
What to carry
Bangkok weather in summer is sizzling hot. You’ll need a lot of drinking water to keep you hydrated. The palace complex is huge which makes it a long walk hence you need an energy bar to refuel. If you didn’t bring any of these, you could walk outside the palace gate to the shops and get an ice cold fruit juice and water.
Bring your identification document with you- passport or ID as you’ll not pass security at the main entrance without one. I forgot to carry one and thanks to a Spanish girl from our hostel who saved the day. How she did it is a story for another day 😀
Although cameras and video equipment are allowed in most places within the Grand palace complex, they are restricted in Wat Phra Kaew temple (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).
- Bring your passport or ID.
- Don’t wear revealing clothes or sleeveless clothes.
- During summer, bath on sunscreen, please. It’s hot in Bangkok!
- Carry enough cash for the ticket and drinks at the shop. They don’t take credit cards.
- If you didn’t pack any ‘appropriate clothes’ bring a scarf. It’ll save you 200 THB ($6)
- You really don’t need the guided tour as the brochure is clear enough to help you navigate. Or you could just follow the crowd.
- Finally, arrive early and don’t believe anyone who tells you the palace closed. Go see for yourself.
Carolina | My Global Attitude