Grand Palace in Bangkok
There are no two ways about it, The Grand Palace is undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Bangkok, making this masterpiece a must-attend to any first-time traveller.
Getting to the palace is easy. Take the Bangkok Transport System (BTS) to Saphan Taksin. Here you can take a water taxi or a longboat across Chao Phraya River. Several stunning buildings make up the Grand Palace in Thailand.
Its four divisions take up 2,351,000 sq ft, and you can spend hours admiring the delicate craftsmanship. You'll be blown away by the attention to detail that has gone into every wall, ceiling and roof of the buildings, especially the magnificent gold architecture at every turn. The palace's quarters include the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the inner, outer and middle court.
The Thais consider this the most sacred temple in the country. The Emerald Buddha itself has been meticulously hand-carved from a single block of jade. Even at 66cm, the idol is an impressive creation. It's thought to bring prosperity to whichever country it resides in.
When visiting the palace, you need to be mindful of its strict policies and rules. Buddhist culture requires you to be respectful at all times. The Grand Palace is no exception to this. Open-toed shoes, short sleeves and shorts are an absolute no-no. Especially for women.
If you do forget to pack trousers or a light long-sleeved top, don't panic. There will be the opportunity to hire clothes for a deposit.
When visiting the Grand Palace, take the opportunity to go and see the nearby temples Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. It's also the biggest. While most of the temples in Thailand are uniquely intricate and ornate, few compare to Wat Pho. It houses over 1000 images of Buddha, and the most impressive one is almost 50 ft tall and 150 ft long. Entirely covered in gold leaf, this giant representation of Buddha is the embodiment of grandeur. With magnificent feet crafted using mother of pearl and elaborate images carved into the soles and finished with an iridescent sheen, the reclining Buddha is nothing short of beautiful.
Inside Wat Pho, there's a series of 108 bronze wishing pots, signifying the individual personalities of Buddha. You get one wish per pot you place a coin into, the more coins you have, the more wishes you get. What will you wish for?
Wat Arun is a smaller temple, no less beautiful than the other two. The shimmer as the light hits its porcelain features is impressive. With its glittery shine and every shade of green imaginable in the gardens, can you think of a better way to end a day's sightseeing?
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