Roadbook Tips: Bangkok Grand Palace Tour - Roadbook Roadbook Tips: Bangkok Grand Palace Tour - Roadbook

Roadbook Tips: Bangkok Grand Palace Tour

Roadbook Tips: Bangkok Grand Palace Tour

A Grand Palace tour should be on your list of things to do in Bangkok. You may wonder if there is a dress code or entrance fees. Let Roadbook share some tips and street-level intel to make your visit to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha as smooth as possible.

Where is the Grand Palace?

The Grand Palace is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of the Rattanakosin Island, in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon District. Bordering the Grand Palace is Sanam Luang (the Royal Field).

How do I get there?

There are many different ways to get to The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex. The most picturesque is coming from the river, using the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

If you want to take the BTS Skytrain to the boat, get off the Skytrain at BTS Saphan Taksin station and head down to the pier for the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The fare will be no more than 20 baht (don’t take the more expensive the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat unless you want narration of your trip up the river). You will pass Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn). Get off at Tha Chang pier, which is the stop for the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

You can also get there by taxi, motorbikes and Tuk Tuks for a variety of prices. Just tell them you are going to “Wat Phra Kaew” and they all will know!

History of the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is not a single structure, rather, it is comprised of numerous buildings and pavilions set around open lawns, gardens, and courtyards. King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty began construction of the palace in May 1782, when he moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok.

According to the Grand Palace official website, Thailand’s Grand Palace was the former residence of King Rama I to King Rama V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Today it hosts royal ceremonies (including the recent coronation of King Rama X) and welcoming state guests and other foreign dignitaries.

The Grand Palace is divided into two main zones — the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Royal Residence. The latter is divided into three courts — The Outer Court, The Middle Court, and The Inner Court. The southern area of the Inner Court was at the time a female-only zone; no man except for the king was allowed to get into the area, where the queens, consorts, consort mothers, and daughters of the king lived together with many ladies-in-waiting and servants.

By 1925, the King and the Royal Family were no longer at the Grand Palace and had moved to other residences. After the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, all government offices were completely moved out of the palace.

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Is there a dress code for the Grand Palace?

Out of respect, a strict dress code is enforced for all visitors to the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex.

The key is covering yourself up — upper arms and legs and feet. No shorts are allowed. No tight tops or tight pants. Men and women must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Tank tops are a no-no. Regarding shoes, there are no bare feet — you must wear socks if wearing sandals or flip-flops. Women must be modestly dressed with no bare shoulders. If you arrive at the palace gates improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance offering clothes rental to cover you up properly. And yes you can wear jeans — but no rips or tears, please — and sneakers are OK at the Grand Palace.

What else can I see?

Behind the Grand Palace complex is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Here is also a famous traditional Thai massage school where you can sign up for an hour or more of TLC.

The Emerald Buddha. Credit: JPSwimmer

What are the opening hours for the Grand Palace?

The Grand Palace is open every day from 0830 to 1530.

Are there entrance fees?

Tickets for the entry fee to the Grand Palace are 500 baht for foreigners and are sold between 8:30 and 15:30. You’ll have access to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, as well as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Please be vigilant and aware of anyone offering services to you on the street, or telling you that the Grand Palace is closed. Schedules do sometimes change. When in doubt approach the main entrance to the complex.

Any other tips?

The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex is one of Bangkok’s most revered and visited spots by foreigners and locals. It can be hot and crowded. Stay hydrated, bring a hat, and a good amount of patience. Photography is not allowed inside the main chapel where the Emerald Buddha is. If you are able to sit inside the chapel, do not point your feet at the Buddha, which is considered to be extremely disrespectful.

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Roadbook Tips: Bangkok Grand Palace Tour

A Grand Palace tour should be on your list of things to do in Bangkok. You may wonder if there is a dress code or entrance fees. Let Roadbook share some tips and street-level intel to make your visit to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha as smooth as possible.

Where is the Grand Palace?

The Grand Palace is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of the Rattanakosin Island, in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon District. Bordering the Grand Palace is Sanam Luang (the Royal Field).

How do I get there?

There are many different ways to get to The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex. The most picturesque is coming from the river, using the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

If you want to take the BTS Skytrain to the boat, get off the Skytrain at BTS Saphan Taksin station and head down to the pier for the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The fare will be no more than 20 baht (don’t take the more expensive the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat unless you want narration of your trip up the river). You will pass Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn). Get off at Tha Chang pier, which is the stop for the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

You can also get there by taxi, motorbikes and Tuk Tuks for a variety of prices. Just tell them you are going to “Wat Phra Kaew” and they all will know!

History of the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is not a single structure, rather, it is comprised of numerous buildings and pavilions set around open lawns, gardens, and courtyards. King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty began construction of the palace in May 1782, when he moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok.

According to the Grand Palace official website, Thailand’s Grand Palace was the former residence of King Rama I to King Rama V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Today it hosts royal ceremonies (including the recent coronation of King Rama X) and welcoming state guests and other foreign dignitaries.

The Grand Palace is divided into two main zones — the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Royal Residence. The latter is divided into three courts — The Outer Court, The Middle Court, and The Inner Court. The southern area of the Inner Court was at the time a female-only zone; no man except for the king was allowed to get into the area, where the queens, consorts, consort mothers, and daughters of the king lived together with many ladies-in-waiting and servants.

By 1925, the King and the Royal Family were no longer at the Grand Palace and had moved to other residences. After the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, all government offices were completely moved out of the palace.

 

Is there a dress code for the Grand Palace?

Out of respect, a strict dress code is enforced for all visitors to the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex.

The key is covering yourself up — upper arms and legs and feet. No shorts are allowed. No tight tops or tight pants. Men and women must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Tank tops are a no-no. Regarding shoes, there are no bare feet — you must wear socks if wearing sandals or flip-flops. Women must be modestly dressed with no bare shoulders. If you arrive at the palace gates improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance offering clothes rental to cover you up properly. And yes you can wear jeans — but no rips or tears, please — and sneakers are OK at the Grand Palace.

What else can I see?

Behind the Grand Palace complex is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Here is also a famous traditional Thai massage school where you can sign up for an hour or more of TLC.

The Emerald Buddha. Credit: JPSwimmer

What are the opening hours for the Grand Palace?

The Grand Palace is open every day from 0830 to 1530.

Are there entrance fees?

Tickets for the entry fee to the Grand Palace are 500 baht for foreigners and are sold between 8:30 and 15:30. You’ll have access to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, as well as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Please be vigilant and aware of anyone offering services to you on the street, or telling you that the Grand Palace is closed. Schedules do sometimes change. When in doubt approach the main entrance to the complex.

Any other tips?

The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex is one of Bangkok’s most revered and visited spots by foreigners and locals. It can be hot and crowded. Stay hydrated, bring a hat, and a good amount of patience. Photography is not allowed inside the main chapel where the Emerald Buddha is. If you are able to sit inside the chapel, do not point your feet at the Buddha, which is considered to be extremely disrespectful.

More stories in Roadbook Journal

Explore more with Roadbook Experiences

Book first-class Roadbook Transport

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ROADBOOK JOURNAL

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