After being taken for a ride by my taxi driver, I arrived at the outside of the Grand Palace. The place was humming with tourist swarming about like insects. I played a real life game of Frogger as I hopped across the busy street trying not to get run over.
I followed the mass of tourist inside the Palace Wall and was immediately in awe.
From the outside you really couldn’t tell how massive it was on the inside, I hadn’t even made it to the ticket gate yet and I was already amazed at the sights. After paying the entrance fee I received a map which I put in my backpack – but probably should have read it – and once again followed the river of other tourists inside the grounds.
Wat Phra Kaew
The tour starts at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew which is the most sacred Buddhist Temple in Thailand. It houses dozens of elaborately ornate buildings that had my head snapping around trying to take it all in. The main building contains the Emerald Buddha, a sacred Buddha statue two feet high and made of Jade.
The Grand Palace
The next part of the tour takes you through the Grand Palace. You don’t actually get to tour the inside of the Palace, but you get to walk the Palace grounds and take in the many wonderful buildings in the complex.
The palace was built in the late 1700’s as a resident for one of the Thai Kings. Though it is not the residence of the current King, it is still used for many formal affairs and State ceremonies.
I had a nice wander around the grounds and snapped a few photos. I enjoyed it immensely, but I think I would have gotten more out of it if I had a guide that could have explained more of the history to me.
The Changing Of The Guard
As I was heading for the exit of the Grand Palace I started to hear drums playing in the distance. I was a bit confused and stopped to look around. Within moments a new contingent of Palace guards were marching right past me in ceremonial dress. I didn’t plan on seeing it, nor did I even know that the changing of the guard was a thing. But it was a nice little surprise for the end of my visit.