Travel File // The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Tourists bought up “Jeannie Pants” as fast as card hustlers and pulled them on over their shorts.  Women threw scarves over their bare arms while more travelers purchased parasols from street vendors.  Sleeping children, cats in baskets, boiled eggs, wallets, shoes, water…a sea of people making a living, with their wares and daily lives on display.  It was another typically hot day in Bangkok.

Bangkok shopping_Grand Palace

Bangkok market

Our group had crammed into a taxi after sleeping in and eating a ridiculously phenomenal buffet breakfast at the hotel. Heavy traffic made for delicious sight-seeing and equally annoying car-sickness on our way.  Upon immediate arrival and ejection from the taxi, we were slick-skinned and thirsty like the rest of the tourists hustling to get into the temple.  After we exchanged our American currency into Baht across the street, we entered the Palace gates only to discover that they were closing early that day to accommodate a high-profile visitor.  With 45 minutes before closing time, we booked it around the gardens and opted out of the additional cost of touring the interior, figuring there was only time for one or the other.

Grand temple Bangkok 2

Monks on the lawn…

monks on the lawn

Color, craftsmanship and parasols decorated our tour and granted distraction from the midday sun.  45 minutes turned out to be long enough.

Grand Palace Umbrella

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings that was the official residence of the kings of Siam (and later Thailand).  These buildings, halls and pavilions have been built over a 200 year span, adding to the eclectic architecture of the Palace.  The king, his court and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925.  The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), currently resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.

Grand temple Bangkok 1

Grand Palace Bangkok 3

We went on to shop the streets (I picked up a pair of those “Jeannie pants” and wore them almost every day of the trip!), took in the wafting scent of street foods and gasped at embarrassingly low prices for handcrafted items.  It was a day full of surprises:  we waited an hour for a boat that never showed up; took separate taxis to a shopping mall, which separated our group and dumped us off in the middle of a political protest; spent the evening on a river boat with a seafood buffet and bad karaoke music…

All of that to say, we’d go back in a heartbeat!  It was a most excellent way to spend a day in Bangkok! 🙂

If you are interested in visiting the Grand Palace In Bangkok, Thailand, check this website for specifics about the venue. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, but it remains a working palace, with several royal offices still situated inside.  There are many rules about what to wear (no shorts or bare arms for instance), so make sure to do your homework before arrival.  I will interject here that the palace has scarves, etc. that you can borrow for the afternoon if you’re a visitor.  If they run out (like they did the day we were there), you can hop across the street and buy one for a few dollars from a street merchant.

If you want to see more posts about our trip to Thailand, type “Thailand” into my blog’s search bar 🙂

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