(Clockwise from the top: Head of the Reclining Buddha, Temple Towers, Phra Si Rattana, A mythological creature)
There is more than just eating grasshoppers in Bangkok, as a matter of fact, you have not been to Bangkok if you did not go to see “The Grand Palace”, as they say. It is the city’s famous landmark around the world. There are several temples similar to the palace (which has several temples inside too) in Bangkok especially at the backpacker‘s area Khao San Road, although nothing beats the The Grand Palace.
(The Golden Reclining Buddha)
It is just a walking distance to go to the palace and if you’re a backpacker, you won’t mind walking few blocks to the temple. However, if you feel like experiencing the ‘Tuk-tuk’ ride then it would be cool to ride one to the palace but make sure you know how to bargain for the price. I would not pay more than 50 baht from Khao San Road to the palace, it is so close that you can even walk to it.
Dress Code in The Palace
In the palace, people are required to dress appropriately. No sleeveless, no plunging necklines, no tight fitting clothes, no mini-skirts, no shorts, but for those who doesn’t want to go back and wanted to see the palace the same day, there’s a counter there that rents out second hand clothes or new clothes that you can buy to get in.
(Clockwise from the top: Golden Buddhas, The foot of the Reclining Buddha made from Mother of Pearl, tourists too busy to put coins in the monk’s bowls, Bumisparsha Mudra Buddha)
Upon securing your proper attire to the palace, you can proceed to the ticket booth and pay for the entrance fee of 300 Baht per person, prices varies from Thai visitors to Foreigners, locals are charged cheaper (which obviously makes sense). The reclining buddha is open until 4pm, make sure to go there early in the morning to finish seeing all the temples and exhibits inside the palace compound too. The palace is so big that accommodates several temples, exhibit building, and the huge reclining Golden Buddha. There is a long corridor of golden buddhas too.
Buddha Hand Gestures Means Something
For your additional information, there are different Buddha hand gestures that stands for different meanings that they call “Buddha Mudras”. My favorite happens to be the Abaya Mudra (see image at the left), Abaya means “fearless” in Sanskrit which I believe one should keep inside their house to keep it harmonious and safe.
Several Buddhas are displayed everywhere in the palace compound in different mudras. Yet, the most popular is still the Reclining Buddha building. No footwear are allowed inside, you have to leave them on the shoe rack provided outside.
If you get there in the morning, then the better your chances to get a good photo with the reclining buddha with only few people at the back (or at the side waiting for their photo shoot turn) than going there in the afternoon when its too busy and settle for the buddhas feet shot! The feet are cool though, they are creatively handcrafted with Mother of Pearls.
At the end of the tour in that building, there are several monk’s bowls lined up from one side to the other that if you wish, you could put one baht on each and make a wish. I do not know if the wish will come true or how it really works but it looks cool and sounds great watching people do it.