Grand Palace (Bangkok): description of the place of interest
The Kingdom of Smiles Thailand attracts touristsall over the world not only with white sandy beaches and warm sea. In this country, Southeast Asia can not find interesting cultural and historical attractions. These are numerous Hindu and Buddhist temples, the Royal Grand Palace (Bangkok), Krabi, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Phuket, Phi Phi and much more. But in this article we will focus on only one of the sights of the Thai capital. Do not see the complex of the royal residence - it's like not to go to Bangkok. All the guides around the capital of Thailand point to him as "mast number 1". In addition, this palace is not quite a museum. This is one of the residences of the ruling monarch. It is unlikely that in the UK you will be allowed home to Queen Elizabeth. Let's make a virtual visit to His Majesty Rama IX (Phumipone Adulladet).
The beginning of the construction of the palace belongs to the period,when the first ruler of the new dynasty, Rama I (Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke) decided to transfer the capital of Siam from the city of Thonburi (west of the country) to Bangkok. On the eastern bank of the river Chauphrai, he laid the first stone of the royal residence. It happened on May 6, 1782. The palace plan repeated the scheme of the old residence of the ancient kings in Ayutthaya. At first it was a complex of wooden buildings that were surrounded on four sides by a defensive wall 1900 m long. But soon the residence of the kings began to expand. The same Rama I ordered the construction of a palace temple, now called the Emerald Buddha. In 1785, the ceremony of coronation of the monarch was held in the palace. This complex housed not only the chambers of the ruler, but also the court, the library, and other administrative buildings.
The palace as the seat of the throne
All kings of the Chakri dynasty before Rama V usedThe Grand Palace (Bangkok) as its main residence. His sons, becoming rulers of Siam, built other palaces, but used them only as private quarters. The status of the main official residence of Rama VI and VII was reserved for the palace. All solemn ceremonies were held here, audiences and ambassadorial delegations were received. In 1945, Rama VIII settled in the Great Palace. But a year later he was killed under mysterious circumstances. His relative, who came from the United States of America, Phumipon Adulyadej, who became the will of fate Rama Ninth, settled with his family in the palace Chitralada. But this sight of Bangkok has not lost its monarchy splendor. In this royal residence are all official ceremonies: weddings, state receptions, funerals.
Grand Palace (Bangkok): how to reach
As already mentioned, this complex of royalThe chambers are located near Chaoprayi. Opposite it, on the opposite bank, stands the famous temple of Bangkok - Wat Arun ("Morning Dawn"). The Royal Palace is surrounded on the perimeter by a rectangular wall. The western part of the complex goes to the river, and the castle itself is located in the east. This area is located near the street of budget hostels of Khaosan Road and Chinatown. From there you can walk to the palace-museum. From the more remote parts of Bangkok to the Great Palace, you can take a taxi for 200 baht; on a passenger boat for 15 baht (the pier is called the Big Palace), on the above-ground metro for 25 baht (Saphan Taksin station); on the city bus for 6 baht. The main thing is to find not the Great Palace, but the entrance to it. Have to go along the wall for a long time.
Practical information for tourists
Like all museums in Bangkok, the Grand Palace hastheir hours of work. The period when you can see this landmark of the Thai capital, is small. They start to start inside at half past nine in the morning. The ticket office closes at 15.30. And the tourists start asking to leave at half-past four. All reviews of tourists are strongly recommended to arrive at the ticket offices for the opening. There are several reasons for this. First, the hot Thai sun. On the territory of the complex there are very few trees and, accordingly, shadows. Take an umbrella with you so you do not get a sunstroke. Secondly - numerous excursions. Buses with groups begin to drive up to ten, so early birds can see everything without the hustle and bustle. At the entrance you will be waited by taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers. They will say that the museum does not work today, and invite you to go to see other sights. This is fake information. The Grand Palace (Bangkok) works seven days a week.
Do not forget that this is not a simple museum, butthe residence of the monarch himself. Therefore, when going to visit him, tourists should be dressed appropriately. This is reported and the sign on the counter. No decollete, open shoulders, mini skirts, shorts, tight fitting figure dresses. Shoes should cover the toe and heel. Given the heat in Thailand, few of the tourists correspond to this dress code. Therefore, next to the cashier you will see the second line. People stand behind shawls and sarongs, which can be rented on bail of two hundred baht. Although this is a free service, you will lose time in the queue. Therefore, it is better to dress appropriately (long pants or skirt, blouse, covering shoulders, sandals with a closed toe). In front of the entrance to the Grand Palace (Bangkok) are Thais who are trying to sell tourists shawls and skirts. Buy if you really liked the thing. But in the markets of Bangkok, such clothes are several times cheaper. To the dress code on the territory are very strict. Servants are suitable for tourists wishing to remove their cloaks. They also watch for everyone to take off their shoes at the entrance to the temple.
Territory of the Royal Residence
By the way, about the ticket to the palace-museum.Do not rush to throw it away, having examined the landmark. He gives you the right to visit another royal residence - Vimanmek, which is located in the Bangkok Dusit area for a week. So, having paid five hundred and fifty baht per ticket, we pass through the turnstile to the Grand Palace. Bangkok is rightfully proud of this landmark. The area of the royal residence is more than two hundred thousand square meters. On a vast territory are temples, sacred stupas, gardens, government buildings, corridors and galleries. In order not to get lost and not to miss anything, it's better to photograph the plan of the Great Palace. It is located immediately behind the entrance. And again: there are no cafes and eateries on the territory of the residence. Therefore, you need to take with you the right amount of drinking water and sandwiches. At the ticket office, you can take an audio guide for 250 baht or a free guide (booklet) to visit the palace. Inside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, photography is not allowed. But you can take a picture with the guards from the guard of honor. They look rather exotic - in white uniforms and cork helmets.
What you need to see in the Grand Palace
Best to plan for a full tourday (before closing the museum). However, considering that tourists go to Thailand for beach holidays and Bangkok is regarded as a stopover, consider a short visit option for a couple of hours. What is the most famous residence of the kings of Siam? The most famous and bizarre structure is Chakri Maha Prasat. It is the residence of King Rama V. It was built in 1882, when Thailand experienced great cultural influence of Great Britain. The building is a quaint mixture of Victorian style and Thai architectural traditions.
Drawings and sculptures
Once in the Great Royal Palace, be sure toyou need to see a wall painting depicting scenes from the Ramayana - the famous ancient Indian epic. For this you need to get into the inner courtyard of the royal residence. Throughout the complex you can see a lot of figures of lions, guards, mythical animals. Do not miss a copy of the Cambodian temple Ankhor Wat, made very accurately, with the slightest details. One of the walls of the gallery in the palace is painted with scenes from the life of the founder of the royal ruling dynasty of Rama the First.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Wat Phrake - one of the most important shrines is notonly the Great Palace, and all of Thailand. This is the name of the temple built by Rama the First, because it contains a statue of the Buddha sixty six centimeters high, made of a single piece of jadeite (emerald). As shown by research, the sculpture was carved out in the 15th century. According to legend, it was previously hidden inside the clay statue of Buddha. The sculpture was found in Chiang Rai in 1431. Later she was taken to Bangkok on the orders of Rama the First, who built a worthy residence for the shrine. Three times a year the King of Thailand, along with the ministers of the temple, is changed to a statue of clothing. Wat Phrakeu is surrounded on all sides by gilded figures of garud (semi-human half-birds), naga (mystic serpent), guards. Inside the temple is the tomb of all eight dynasty kings with their life-size statues.