Bangkok’s Grand Palace: A Detailed Tour Guide 2023

The Grand Palace

It was in 1782 when the Grand Palace of Bangkok, also known as Phra Borom Maharatchawang, was indicted as the official residence of the Thai monarchy. Even though it is primarily used for ceremonies, it is still the city’s biggest draw and a pilgrimage site for devoted Buddhists.

Located inside a larger complex that also includes the sacred Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), these 94.5-hectare grounds are home to more than 100 structures that span 200 years of royal history and architectural experimentation.

Ratanakosin is the name of most of the city’s royal and religious buildings (old-Bangkok style). The grounds of the Grand Palace and the four remaining buildings are open to the public.

It will consume two to three hours to see everything or an extra hour with a guide. Apply for a Thailand tourist visa or regular Thailand visa for your travel requirements.


The Grand Palace Highlights

With its three soaring wings, Chakri Maha Prasat is the largest public area of Bangkok’s Grand Palace (Grand Palace Hall). It was finished in 1882 after a design by British architect John Clunish, who was stationed in Singapore, and it features an unusual fusion of Italian Renaissance and traditional Thai architecture.

As mondp tops each wing, this look is sometimes called faràng sài chá-dah (Westerner wearing a Thai classical dancer’s headdress) (a layered, heavily ornamented spire). It is claimed that a dome was initially intended for the palace’s top, but Rama V (King Chulalongkorn; r 1868-1910) was convinced to go with a Thai-style roof instead. An underhanded middle finger to the foreign colonialists occupying Asia at the time has been read into that choice. By topping his Western-inspired palace hall with a Thai-style roof, many people feel the king symbolically demonstrated Thai superiority over European culture.

The ashes of the monarchs of the Chakri dynasty are housed in the tallest of the mondp in the center, while those of the many Chakri princes who were denied the throne are kept in the mondp on each side. Dusit Hall, the last structure to the west, was built in the Ratanakosin architecture and was used for royal audiences and afterward as the royal burial hall.
Borombhiman Hall, a French-style building at the palace’s eastern end, was Rama VI’s official residence (King Vajiravudh; r 1910–25). These days, the only way to see it is through barred gates. To the west, you’ll find Amarindra Hall, which was once a courthouse but is now only used for coronations.

Until Rama VI decreed that one wife was enough for any man, even a monarch, Thai kings kept their massive harems in the inner palace area (not available to the public), guarded by combat-trained female sentries. The fictionalized epic Four Reigns by Kukrit Pramoj chronicles the life of a girl named Phloi as she develops in the Royal City, and its pages are a testament to the intrigue and rituals that took place there. The background makes it one of the interesting places to visit in Thailand.


The Grand Palace of Bangkok History

When King Rama I took the throne in 1782, he ordered the construction of the grand palace complex that bears his name. People think he relocated the royal court from Thonburi, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, to Bangkok, on the east bank, for security reasons. The river could then serve as a moat along the city’s northern, southern, and western borders. Still, the muddy delta surrounding the city’s eastern boundary made it impossible for invaders to sneak around undetected or unimpeded.

During King Vajiravudh’s reign, the royal mansions were relocated away from the Grand Palace, allowing Chakri Mahaprasat (Grand Palace Hall) to fall into disrepair. Rama VII (King Prajadhipok; r 1925–1935) ordered a massive refurbishment of the hall in 1932, but the project went bankrupt, and the rear of the structure had to be dismantled.

Rama VIII (King Ananda Mahidol; r. 1935–1946) was mysteriously assassinated at the Grand Palace. He had been struck by a headshot and was discovered dead in bed.

In April 1981, the palace served as the headquarters for a failed coup led by General San Chitpatima against Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanond. A successful coup was not achieved.

Perhaps one of the most extravagant historical burials occurred in the Grand Palace complex and nearby Sanam Luang in October 2017. An almost 50-meter-tall gilded pyre was built for the ceremony, which took a year to organize and cost a total of US$90 million. Tens of thousands of mourners wore black to the event.

In 2019, the massive Amarindra Hall hosted the coronation of the current monarch, Rama X. After the ritual, the monarch rode the royal palanquin Budtan Thong from the throne room in the hall to the Wat Phra Kaew.

Is there a specific attire requirement to enter the Grand Palace?

specific attire requirement to enter the Grand Palace

Like many other Bangkok attractions, the Grand Palace requires visitors to dress respectfully. This entails having sufficient insurance. All guests are asked to dress modestly, covering their shoulders, knees, and chests at a minimum.
Shorts and skirts/pants shorter than three-quarters of the way down the thigh are neither allowed nor sleeveless shirts, vests, or see-through tops. Travelers who show up in cycle shorts, miniskirts or pants that are too tight or too tight across the thighs will also be turned away.

Those who do not appear to be dressed suitably at the door should expect to be directed to a dressing room and given a sarong to wear before being admitted.

Shoe removal is required at some palace entrances; otherwise, you are free to wear whatever you like.

The Ticket and Other Administrative Matters

The Grand Palace Wat Phra Kaew

Grand palace Bangkok’s opening hours are between 8:30 and 3:30; visitors can enjoy the Grand Palace. The third gate, easily identifiable from the pier along the river, is the entrance to the Grand Palace complex. The Grand Palace entrance fee costs 500 Thai Baht and may be purchased at the complex’s ticket booths. They allow you to enter the complex, which includes Wat Phra Kaew and the Queen Sirikit Museum. Entry is free for Thai nationals.

The Royal Grand Palace website also sells tickets in advance of the event. You can pay 200 Bhat at the ticket booth to hire a guide and rent an audio tour to learn more about the site’s history.

There are accessible restrooms and wheelchair access to the grounds and gardens.

Tossing Dice at the Grand Palace

 The Grand Palace

Get there first thing in the dawn to take advantage of the lower temperatures and to beat the crowds.

Ignore strangers near the entrance who say the attractions are closed.

Remember to bring water. The lone cafeteria in the building was closed during our visit, and the empty courtyard quickly became unbearably hot.

Hotels in the area

One of the best things about holidaying is the range of luxurious hotels in Thailand. Feung Nakorn Balcony is housed in a converted school and features 42 spacious, well-lit, bright rooms. The picturesque hotel is set in a peaceful, isolated area, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Asadang is a stunning antique shophouse in Chinatown, and its nine rooms will transport you back a century. The rooms may not be enormous, but they make up for it in ambiance, with a mix of antique and modern furnishings.

Arom D is a stylish hostel in the middle of trendy Tien village, with rooms that share a familiar, adorable aesthetic, a rooftop deck, shared computers, and a cozy cafe on the first floor.

Locations of Nearby Eateries

The Royal Navy Association operates the restaurant Navy Club, which boasts one of the few prime riverfront positions along Chao Phraya. Locals frequent this eatery for its views and reasonably priced, high-quality seafood fare rather than its cafeteria vibe.

Ming Lee is a quaint, traditional Thai restaurant conveniently positioned right across the street from the Grand Palace’s main gate, making it the perfect place to refuel before continuing to the palace’s many attractions. You may also stop by Err for a cocktail and some spicy bar snacks with a Thai twist. There are innumerable Thai food dishes that you can gorge during your holiday.


Bangkok’s Grand Palace is one of the must-see places in Thailand. Its captivating history, gilded architecture and idyllic location all make it a mandatory addition to your itinerary.

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