Grand Palace

พระบรมมหาราชวัง

This is exactly the place to start learning about the mysterious country of Thailand. The Grand Palace is one of the most intriguing and famous sites of Bangkok. In the 18th century here was the residence of Thailand's rulers – it was the center of the royal and religious power in the country. A visit to this palace will be all about outstanding impressions from the most amazing facts about Thai history and culture. Moreover, the Grand Palace has its own set of mysteries hiding behind its tall white walls. Currently the palace is not used as a residence of Thailand kings. It hosts annual royal ceremonies, as well as royal weddings, funerals and state receptions. The Borombhiman Hall was the residence of King Rama VIII after he returned from abroad. When the king mysteriously died in 1946, his brother, King Rama IX moved the residence to the Chitralada Palace. Today Borombhiman Hall is a place the foreign guests are received.

The construction of the palace started in 1782 under the reign of Rama I when the capital of the country was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok and the king decided to build a new palace that would amaze everyone with its brilliance. Soon the Temple of the Emerald Buddha was built on the grounds of the palace.

The Dusit Throne Hall, commissioned by Rama I, features Italian style arched portico and Thai style roof with a spire and is used as a place of farewell ceremonies for the passed-away members of the royal family before their cremation at Sanam Luang square. Here stands the teak throne with mother-of-pearl inlays constructed during the reign of Rama I. To the east of the throne hall there is the Aphon Phimok open pavilion built by Rama IV on a cross-shaped platform. Here was the place where the ruler was dressed in ceremonial costumes – he used to get out of a palanquin and put his feet on the first elevated step, in order not to touch the ground. In front of the throne hall do not miss the museum of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where a rich collection of Buddha images and many of the items that were out of place in the shrine are on display.

The former residence of Rama V called Maha Prasat, which magically combines oriental and European architectural styles, houses reception halls, while the upper floor of it is where the urns with ashes of Chakri dynasty kings are kept. In the throne hall of Amarin Winitchai the coronations and other important ceremonies are held. On his birthday the king gives here his festive speech. Here was also the dormitory of Rama I. And spare some time to visit the Inner Court, a place where royal wives and children lived. It is possible to see it only from outside, while one can only imagine what was happening inside.

All the visitors of the palace must dress carefully. Here it is prohibited to wear shorts, miniskirts and clothes with short sleeves.

Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon
Opening hours: daily 8.30 am – 3.30 pm. The ticket includes visits to the Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
How to reach: Tha Chang pier
Coordinates: 13.74997, 100.49121