Grand Palace of Bangkok
Grand Palace in Bangkok (The Grand Palace) is the place without which to leave Thailandor at least Bangkok, does not. It is very reasonable to combine a visit to the Royal Palace with a visit to the temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) and Temple of dawn (Wat Arun)that is very close. The ideal option would be, for example, a route early in the morning to come and explore the Royal Palace, then visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, after a little stroll around Chinatown and end the day with a visit to the temple of dawn while it's still light, and finally, admire the temple at dusk.
Among the many temples and sights of Bangkok 's Grand Palace is the most important. Moreover, it is significant and interesting not only for tourists but also important to local residents, is highly revered by them. For the Thai Royal Palace is one of the most sacred places in Thailand.
Grand Palace of Bangkok, as befits the main Royal Palace is a complex of palaces, temples and other buildings of incredible beauty. He began to build in 1782, and construction officially ended in 1785. The first Palace was made of wood, over time more and more overgrown buildings, wooden buildings were replaced by stone buildings. Now it covers an area of 218 thousand sq. m. (for comparison, the square of the Moscow Kremlin is 277 thousand sq. m.) and the length of the perimeter walls is 1,900 meters. The territory is divided into available to tourists and closed. For visits not available to the Royal residence and offices. In an open access area are several palaces and temples, the throne hall and other rooms, Chedi and museums, exhibitions. Detailed information about all the buildings and a map of the Royal Palace you can get a free booklet when you purchase tickets, so we detail here will not stop. You can also get information and take a virtual tour of the Palace on the website http://www.palaces.thai.net
Especially from all the buildings of the Royal Palace stands the Palace of the emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), built by order of King Rama I and destined for his personal worship of the Buddha. It contains a statue of Buddha made of pure emerald (more jadeite) height 66 inches, which was discovered in 1431. The statue was discovered, because when it was made, according to legend, nobody knows. Found the statue in the temple of Phra Kai (Wat Phra Kaew) in Chiang Rai in the North of the country, and according to one version it was hidden in another Buddha statue made of clay, and the other covered with Golden plates. Taking pictures in this temple is strictly forbidden, although you can go to the temple hall can be anyone.
Despite the fact that the Palace is the official residence of the Royal family of Thailand, the king and his family do not live here since 1946. In 1946 in the Palace under mysterious circumstances he died, king Ananda Mahidol, Rama VIII, and since then, the Royal family resides in the Chitralada Palace in Bangkok, too. Here the king appears only for formal occasions. Reliably the cause of death of king Rama VIII was never installed, or at least not announced to the public, and discussing the circumstances of this tragedy in Thailand is prohibited.
For a complete tour of the Palace should be given at least half a day, and ideally this should be done with a guide, audio guide, or at least with a paper guide, that will tell you interesting stories about each of the buildings on the Palace grounds. When buying tickets you can get excellent paper guide to the Palace with a detailed description of absolutely free, or for 200 baht media player-an audio guide, which in detail will tell about the history and guide you throughout the Palace (the Russian language). Also at the entrance there will be many offers to escort you to the Palace from the living guides, price which is negotiable.
It is best to start the examination of the complex from the early morning, when it's not too hot and not very many tourists. Buses with groups of tourists are very active to arrive here around 11, and after that time had almost no chance to make beautiful pictures of the Palace without the crowds of tourists. After lunch the tourists here is so much that sometimes even hard to push in some of the narrow passageways of the Palace. So, if you want to see the Palace in a more relaxed atmosphere, welcome here by 8:30 in the morning.
Beware. If you get to the Royal Palace on foot, on the approaches to the Palace and even outside the gates of the Palace you can meet all sorts of spring and summer-the tuk-tuk drivers, who, under various pretexts, will lure you on a walk around the neighborhood. They won't hesitate to lie to you and say that the Palace is not open today. They even claim to be servants of the Palace and under the pretext that you are not dressed appropriately they will not pass up to their tuk tuks. They do this in order to ride you to the jewelry stores, malls, and restaurants for every tourist they get a Commission. They even can offer free travel, because today is a special day and a holiday, the Palace does not work, and they work for free. In General, what the above does not happen. But most importantly, by agreeing to this trip, you will only lose time, and at the end of the "free" trip you can also bring in a remote alleyway and begin to demand money for the fare.
To get into the Palace, one must pass through the main gate (the main gate and the entrance to the Royal Palace on the map). After passing through the main gate you have to pass through a cordon of guides, all helped and made a pass, from which should be abandoned. Around here you would pass the dress code for the access to the Palace, and if you are not dressed appropriately (t-shirt with bare shoulders, shorts, short skirt, beach sneakers are not acceptable) you will stop and offer to rent a wrap. Moreover, the Cape is free, you only need to leave a Deposit of 200 baht. With large backpacks and bags, food and drinks at the Royal Palace, too, can not let, you can try to leave where the issue capes.
Offices are not located immediately after entering the main gate. You need to pass straight through to the end, and then to the left, there you will see the cash register. Buy tickets only at the box office, and not with hands. To navigate the complex of the Royal Palace can be loose, arbitrary route. Photography inside the Palace is not prohibited (with the exception of the Temple of the emerald Buddha). Before entering the temples remove shoes.
Well, when you get to the Palace, then sort it out yourself :-)
Operating time: daily without days off from 8:30 to 16:30 (ticket sales and entry of visitors stop at 15:30). Sometimes (very rarely) the Palace is closed for special Royal ceremonies
Entrance fee: 500 baht / 100 baht media player-audio guide in Russian / 200 baht - Bicycle clothing
How to get there: the Royal Palace of Bangkok located on the banks of the chaopraya river (Chao Phraya) on the Peninsula Ratanakosin (the entrance to the Royal Palace on a map of Bangkok). Quite close to him are areas of Khao San road and Chinatown, part of the riverside (see areas of Bangkok), and access from these areas to the Palace on foot.
Metro station close to the Royal Palace there, and from other parts of Bangkok will have to take a taxi, boat or bus transport. The taxi ride on the meter from the Royal Palace of the most Central parts of Bangkok will not cost more than 200 baht. If near your hotel there are metro, easy access to BTS Saphan Taksin, and then from the pier near the station on the Express Boat along the chaophraya river for 15 baht to swim to the pier next to the Royal Palace. This route is nothing complicated and is not very interesting. Cheaper to the Palace can be reached by city buses №1, 3, 9, 15, 25, 30, 32, 33, 39, 43, 44, 47, 53, 64, 80, 82, 91, 201, 203, 501, 503,508, 512 (travel depending on distance and category of bus stands from 6 to 23 baht), but at time can be quite long. To find out whether a particular bus route in the area of your hotel can use the service on the official website of the city bus BTMA or just ask at the hotel reception.
Another option to get closer to the Royal Palace to swim through the canals in a water taxi. The nearest water taxi stop is located near the Temple of the Golden mount (almost two kilometers from the Palace) and is called the Phan Fa Lilat. To sail direct to it from the districts of Pratunam and Siam for 13 baht.