Bangkok! So many choices, so much variety, so much character. Colourful and hot! No matter how much I tried to prepare myself for the heat and cultural differences it was difficult not to be overwhelmed at first. It’s easy to see why it is one of the top tourist cities in the world. We had to narrow down our choices so we decided to take the water taxi and head for the Grand Palace.
Once we landed at the dock we made our way through the maze of vendor stalls waiting for the sure group of tourists that would be passing by on their way to the Palace.
I was simply amazed and intrigued by the amount of fresh food cooked and presented so beautifully with the most basic equipment.
Once out in the street looking back at the area we had just walked through.
Inside the entrance to the Grand Palace complex I waited by the sign as John went to put on his long trousers. There is an enforced dress code that shoulders and legs must be covered.
If you don’t have the proper attire there are clothing items you can rent or buy nearby as evidenced by the variety of colourful choices below.
The palace complex includes many areas to visit. The section which holds the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most decorated and intricate area.
The entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred and important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Within it contains the Emerald Buddha made out of a single piece of jade that dates back to the 14th century. The gold robes of the 30 inch tall Buddha are changed with the Thai seasons by the King of Thailand. (no photos allowed inside, but if you are interested you can google emerald buddha for a photo.)
The Grand Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782. The king, his court and royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. (wikipedia source)
A guard stands watch outside the Palace.
When we were there the buildings around the country were being decorated in the yellow and lilac fabric for the upcoming Kings Day celebrations.
Changing of the guard. There are many buildings and temples to visit on the grounds as well as a Silk Museum and gift shop which I really enjoyed.
Back on the river we could view another famous temple – Wat Arun. I think I will leave it here for today’s post and next I’ll share a little ride we took out in the country the next day.