The temples of Bangkok, Thailand are a study in luxury and grandeur. The Grand Palace, in particular, is magnificent.
The architecture of the buildings, the colors of the temples, the structures painted in bright gold—all these opulence certainly make one feel so small, so insignificant.
When I had a chance to spend a day in Bangkok in August, I made sure to include the Grand Palace in my itinerary. Despite the hefty 400THB entrance fee (equivalent to PhP600), it was well worth it.
The riot of colors inside the palace grounds was overwhelming; I entered the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, thinking I could get a bit of peace; boy, was I mistaken! In such a small space, there must have been hundreds of tourists. I immediately went out and took a deep breath of fresh air; still, the emerald statue’s unassuming elegance was not lost on me.
It is very easy to go to the Grand Palace, as public transportation is very accessible in Bangkok. If you’re near the BTS, just take the Silom line and get off at the Saphan Taksin Station. When you go out, take Exit 2, walk to the Central Pier, and buy a ticket (THB30) at the Chao Phraya Express Boat. Just tell the ticket seller “Grand Palace,” and she’ll know. Chances are, there’ll be loads of tourists there too so you won’t get lost.
Get off then at pier number 9 (the numbers are clearly seen on the pier). I suggest that you don’t sit down in the boat. Go to the back and remain standing; that is, if you like to take pictures. I took loads of photos of the structures by the river, including the Wat Arun and other more modern buildings.
When you get off the boat, just walk straight out of the pier, through the market, and straight ahead a few hundred meters. I just followed the white palace walls myself. Another warning: ignore locals who tell you the temple is closed. I couldn’t believe I was approached not one but three tuktuk drivers who told me the same thing! Didn’t they know their scam is well-known already?
I regret that I had spent too little time in Bangkok. The next time I go back, I will certainly do justice to this City of Smiles.