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Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace

The one that nearly got away

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View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

I was so impressed by the spendour and extent of Wat Pho when I visited it on my first day in Bangkok that I assumed incorrectly that I had covered off Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace (the number 1 tourist sight in Bangkok) next door as well. Having realised my mistake I realised I could just about fit them in on the morning of my departure.

I took my by now well trodden path of the Skytrain to the central pier at Saphan Taksin (the Skytrain is a couple of railway lines built on elevated trackway along major streets in the centre of Bangkok) and then the ferry up the river to the Chang Pier (Pier No. 9) where I negotiated my way through the street market to the entrance to the Grand Palace Complex.

Skytrain at the National Stadium Station

Skytrain at the National Stadium Station


Skytrain tracks at multiple levels outside the MBK Center

Skytrain tracks at multiple levels outside the MBK Center


View from aboard a ferry on the Phraya River

View from aboard a ferry on the Phraya River


Getting off the ferry at Saphran Taksin

Getting off the ferry at Saphran Taksin


Street Market by the Chang Pier on the way to the Grand Palace

Street Market by the Chang Pier on the way to the Grand Palace

Once I got to the Grand Palace it was overrun with tourists, especially the older initial Phraw Kaew that houses the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha itself is tiny when compared with others I have seen - only 66cm tall - but the spendour of the gilded temple that houses it you would hardly notice. Dress code was particularly enforced at the Emerald Buddha and many of the ladies ended up wearing borrowed sarongs and no photographs are allowed inside so the picture I have got was taken using zoom.

Wat Phra Kaew viewed from the outside

Wat Phra Kaew viewed from the outside


Giant guarding the entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Giant guarding the entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha


The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha


Me by the Temple to the Emerald Buddha

Me by the Temple to the Emerald Buddha


The upper terrace at the Grand Palace, including the Golden Chedi, Phra Mondop and the Royal Pantheon

The upper terrace at the Grand Palace, including the Golden Chedi, Phra Mondop and the Royal Pantheon


Detail from around one of the spires outside the Royal Pantheon

Detail from around one of the spires outside the Royal Pantheon

Next door to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Complex is the Grand Palace itself. This is a much newer and contains buildings that are still used for state occasions and also is guarded by ceremonial guards. Just like in London the guards constantly had tourists jumping beside them to have their photo taken!

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace


Changing the Guard outside the Grand Palace

Changing the Guard outside the Grand Palace


Me outside the Chakri Maha Prasat and Dusit Maha Prasat Hall at the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok

Me outside the Chakri Maha Prasat and Dusit Maha Prasat Hall at the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok


The Dusit Maha Prasit Hall next to the Grand Palace

The Dusit Maha Prasit Hall next to the Grand Palace

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged trains temples markets boat city palaces buddha monorail solo

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