We promised my Dad some culture once the Songkran festival was over so the last few days of their time in Bangkok were spent visiting some of the most iconic sites in the city. We started with the Grand Palace, somewhere that I hadn’t yet visited either. Dave was back at school so we got up with him and left early, taking the tourist boat down the Choaphraya river from Saphin Thaksin BTS stop, it’s 80p for a direct one way ticket to the palace and the guide points out interesting places along the way.
Now, I have heard from friends how busy the Grand Palace can be so was expecting the worse and needles to say it didn’t disappoint, it was bonkers! Despite arriving around 9.30am the crowds were already there; thousands of mainly Chinese tourists jostling with their umbrellas for a chance to take a selfie with something beautiful in the background whilst avoiding any possible rays of sunshine touching their skin. I have to say this tends to be a theme of most sightseeing I have done in Thailand but here it was on another level!
The people watching was fascinating!
Once you’d coughed up your 500 baht (£10) and covered up conservatively enough to get in (ignore what the ‘guides’ tell you at the gates, you are ok with flip flops and a pashmina providing you have trousers or a long skirt on), it was surprisingly calm and tranquil inside. The palace is a series of different buildings and temple complexes that combine to make the ‘Grand Palace’ and it is incredibly beautiful. The most noted thing here is the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo) which I managed to take a picture of through a window as you’re forbidden from taking pictures inside the temples.
You can just see him through the doorway but there is the Emerald Buddha. Once inside he does look much greener although I was surprised by how small he was!
This monk was taking pictures of the mural on his phone – I think this is my favourite picture I’ve taken in Thailand so far!Some of the incredible ceramic tiling that adorns a lot of the Grand Palace.
We spent a good few hours exploring the complex until the heat, humidity and crowds just got too much. We headed home via the river for a few hours cooling off in the pool!
That evening we headed to our nearby mall Mega Bangna for some food, I thought this would be a great idea as everyone could have what they fancied. But after spending quite a while wandering around the food court in awe and slightly overwhelmed maybe there was just too much choice! Dad finally plumped for a sizzling plate of something (that was actually really delicious), whilst Mum joined Dave and I in an Indian.