There is a magical place in Thailand where tourists come not just for a tour, but to replenish their spiritual strength. The famous Royal Palace in Bangkok is a unique sanctuary of an exotic state, which is a huge complex of buildings and religious buildings. With its grandeur and uniqueness it overshadows all the other attractions of the city, charming beauty and indescribable spirit of tranquility and those who come here for the first time, and those who are constantly resting in the Thai resorts. The Royal Palace in hospitable Thailand offers tourists the opportunity to touch the historical heritage of the state and appreciate the ancient architecture of the sacred place with their own eyes.
History of the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Bangkok traces its history back to 1782. The decision to elevate this once small fishing village to the rank of capital of Siam, Rama I, who ruled the state at the time, ordered the construction of a personal residence and a place where members of the government would be accommodated. Thanks to his aspirations, a spacious wooden palace was erected. In time the royal residence was rebuilt with sturdy walls of stone.
For nearly three centuries, until 1946, the sacred building served as the family home of the ruling dynasty. It was only after the mysterious death of Rama VIII that it was decided to relocate the royal family to another palace, also in Bangkok.
Today, no one lives on the territory of the unique architectural complex. However, it still hosts important royal ceremonies and events of state importance to Thailand. Due to the fact that for 300 years, each reigning monarch has considered it his duty to improve or radically renew the exterior and interior of the Royal Palace in Bangkok, today this place is a model of harmonious mixture of different styles of architecture.
Arrangements for the Royal Palace
The modern territory of the Bangkok King’s Palace covers almost 218 square kilometers. It is enclosed by a stone wall, the length of which is about 2 km, and the entrances are guarded by statues of demonic creatures 5 m high. The royal palace is a real treasure house, where all the tourists are fascinated by the “precious pearls”. Here temples rise majestically, bright pagodas strike the correctness of the lines, museums and art galleries are open for viewing.
Visitors to the site should note that the main entrance is located where the central gate is open with murals, on both sides of which sit bronze lions, and hangs a sign with information about the mode of operation of the tourist site.
What temples and significant monuments of Bangkok’s history and architecture can you see in the Royal Palace?
The shrine of the heavenly ancestors
The Chakri dynasty, to which the currently ruling monarch of Thailand belongs, was founded on April 6. That is why the Royal Pantheon opens its doors to guests only once a year and that is on the sixth day of April. Every year this date attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to the palace. This attraction is definitely worth seeing!
“A European in a Thai Hat”
The magnificent King’s Palace in Bangkok is the most interesting building in the appearance of which harmoniously combines the traditional European style of building and authentic roof, corresponding to the techniques of the original Asian architecture. Inside you can see an exhibition of weapons, which in different years belonged to the local monarchs. At the entrance there is a guard of honor, the ceremony of changing which is quite spectacular.
Queen Sirikit Museum of Siam
The colorful and colorful museum exhibition introduces guests to the Royal Palace with textile samples from various Asian regions. Here tourists will be introduced to the intricacies of the production of natural silk fabrics, they will be told many interesting things about the origin of traditional Thai costume. A separate exhibition is devoted to the personal items of clothing of Queen Sirikit. At the entrance to the museum, there is a shop where you can buy handmade goods created on looms.
Dusit Maha Prasat Hall
Its hall holds the first throne that appeared to the local rulers. The product of renowned masters is generously decorated with carvings and shimmering sheen of natural mother-of-pearl. To see the throne, whose importance to the state cannot be appreciated, will be extremely interesting.
It is a modest complex of small buildings, built in the traditional Asian style. The main residence hall serves as the venue for important state receptions and meetings, and is also used to organize awards ceremonies for Thailand’s citizens who have made significant contributions to the country’s development.
This is by no means the entire list of sacred buildings on the compound. However, following a well-known saying, it is better to see all the special objects once with your own eyes, going on a tour of the Royal Palace on your own or in the company of a guide. Some buildings are not available to travelers to visit, to see their interior decoration is impossible.
Note that tours of the Great Royal Palace in Bangkok are conducted in English.
Emerald Buddha Temple Tour
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the undoubted highlight of the complex. It can only be entered through the portal on the side of the structure – only the King of Thailand enters through the central one. Thanks to the incredible architecture and paintings on the walls, this particular temple has been recognized as the most beautiful in the country and honored as the place of coronation of the heads of state.
Wat Phra Keo houses the country’s main symbol, a green jadeite monument to Shakyamuni Buddha. It was found in Chiang Rai back in the mid-15th century. The sculpture is only 66 cm high, but it is of great value to Thais. In the Temple of the Emerald Buddha 3 times a year there is an amazing ritual – the acting ruler disguises the statue in the appropriate seasonal attire: winter, summer or associated with the rainy season.
Reviews of travelers who have been here call this part of the palace the most memorable. The walls of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are decorated with an original painting that tells the story of the heroes of folk epics and the life of the royal family, surprising clarity and thoughtfulness of the smallest detail. They are decorated with images of blooming lotuses, traditional ornaments and carvings, gold elements and details of various materials. The decor is dominated by shades typical of the theravada school: gold, orange, green, and red.
Near the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are also the Royal Library and the Cemetery of the Kings.
Rules for visiting the Royal Palace
To make it easier to navigate the complex, keep track of movements around the Royal Palace in Bangkok on the map, which you can buy at the entrance. There are paths leading to each temple, so you can’t walk on the lawn or rest on the grass.
In addition, a visit to the complex requires tourists to comply with certain rules:
- not to enter the temple grounds with bags and backpacks;
- Clothing should cover the hands at least up to the wrists;
- No shorts above the knees are allowed;
- The shoes should hide the heels.
If the clothes are not suitable for visiting, do not get upset before time – at the entrance to the temple Thais sell and rent the necessary equipment.
Operating hours and ticket prices for the Royal Palace
The gates of the Royal Palace in glorious Bangkok are open daily. Hours of operation are indicated on a sign near the gate – opening at 8:30, closing at 16:30. Unfortunately, no new guests are allowed in after 3:30 p.m., so you should plan your visit for the morning hours.
The ticket price has been the same for several years – about 500 baht. For another 200 baht they offer an audio guide in Russian.
Tickets are sold at the ticket booth located at the beginning of the street on the waterfront side of the Chao Phraya River.
How do I get to the Royal Palace?
There is no subway station near the Royal Palace in Bangkok. You can get here on foot from the main square of the capital of Thailand or take a trip on the river on the river streetcar, the ticket price is about 30 baht. Swim to the pier called Tha Chang. Just a few steps from the market located on it, the wall of the former monarch’s residence rises.
The Royal Palace in Bangkok on the city map
You can also get to the temple complex by public transport. Here are the routes of buses number 1, 53, 508, 32. You will have to pay from 5 to 25 baht for the ride.