For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to take myself on a trip to Thailand. Why not head to Southeast Asia in celebration of the holiday centered around discovering America, right?!
Day 1 in Bangkok took me to several locations, including the highly renowned Grand Palace. Below are some of the things you should know before you visit this amazing location.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Thailand, housing the former residence of the various Kings of Siam from 1782 through 1925. The great majority of the palace is now used for tourist attraction purposes, however there are still areas that are closed to the public, and occasions where official ceremonies are held on the grounds.
You should know that the Grand Palace has a strict dress code. Because of its status as the former home of the King, visitors are expected to treat the site with great respect. While you can go to the other Buddhist temples wearing a scarf of shall that covers your shoulders, that doesn’t fly at the Grand Palace. You must be wearing a shirt that covers your shoulders completely (down to about mid-bicep), and your pants or skirts must be covering your knees completely. They do check at the door and they will turn you away if you’re not appropriately dressed. Specific items on the “prohibited” list include (for both men and women):
- Tank tops
- Shorts or skirts that show the knee
- Any midriff baring shirt
- See through clothing
- Ripped jeans/pants with holes
- Workout attire
The palace complex is home to several buildings, including the extremely famous Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The construction of the palace spanned many years due to the hand-made construction which is apparent as you get closer to the intricate and very non-uniform detail. Quite incredible when you think of watching an individual manually lay each of the tiles one-by-one. Now that is patience!
Wat Phra Kaew
More officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, and commercially known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple holds the most sacred Buddha statue, initially believed to be carved from emerald but later discovered to be carved from a single piece of jade. The robes of the Buddha are changed with the seasons. Photos within the walls of the temple are forbidden.
Don’t let the photos fool you. It’s possible to take photos at an angle that makes the Grand Palace seem like a serene place to visit but you should be prepared to navigate the wicked crowds. It’s considered a popular tourist place for a reason.