Temple of Emerald Buddha
I have been to this place twice before and twice of those times I had a lovely pleasant visit. The first time I went there was with my younger sister in my younger days. The second time I went there was with my hubby before babies days. Both dates were on a weekday so to avoid any ram tourists during the weekend. On the second date, we hired a private tour guide for 500 Baht (£10) and he was great. Well money spent there I thought. Temple of Emerald Buddha & The Grand Palace probably is the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand.
This time round though it was rather on the opposite vibe. We attempted to go there three times. The first time was in the late afternoon around 2pm – forgetting that it was on a Sunday. They place was ram with Chinese Tourists. We only got inside for only about 10 minutes in and we just gave up. We didn’t get any further than the ticketing point and we gave up. It was just to hot and too many people.
So we went back the next day, hoping it would be a little more quieter at 1pm. We did went inside but we didn’t get to see much as it just felt the same – too hot with too many Tourists. So we decided to come back the next day but very early.
By Tuesday, on our third attempt – third time lucky as they said. (Not!) When we got there it was already 9:30am and the queue was already elongated with Chinese Tourists. We all had to go through the security check point. Where the was a lot of pushing and shoving. It was really ram and the Chinese Tourists just rude and unkind to the littles. Ethan nearly fell over because of this. I was not a very happy women and told them off! Of course, they pretended not to understand any English!
Then after the ticketing office – luckily the kids and I were able to get in as a Thai citizen for free as Thai citizen (wish I had known this yesterday!), but hubby has to paid 500 Baht (£10) for the entrance as foreigner price. Okay – so not all bad I thought.
But then come the second security check point, I was stopped for not wearing appropriate clothing! I was wearing sleeveless dress. Apparently, it is regarded as not respectful if a lady wears short skirt, short sleeves, sleeveless shirt, or a short dress. I have to go all the way to the front entrance and get myself an overall shirt. Are you kidding me?! But I did anyway as it is most likely will be a very long time I will be visiting this place again! You can hire a rope skirt or an overall for 500 Baht which you will get back at the end when you return with your hired hired ticket. No ticket – no deposit back. I saw some heated argument flying between a Thai visitor and the Thai Ticketing Officer there. It wasn’t very pretty to say the least.
So I got my overall and put it on and away we go into Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of Emerald Buddha. Never mind seeing the Emerald Buddha up close, it was ram with people you wouldn’t get the chance anyway – so we decided to skirt around the outer temple where there is less people and in the shade. I just didn’t fancied being push and shove around in a crowded area in the hot heat of up to 40°C during April anyway. Anyhow, Ethan and Evelyn really enjoyed waking and looking at the mural on the inside of outer walls. I tried to explained to them the story behind the paintings as best as I could as some of the painting are a little too graphic with blood and all, and we quickly skipped those parts.
The Story of the Mural Inside ubosoth of Wat Phra Kaew
On the eastern, or front wall, were painted in the reign of’ King Rama I is the Enlightenment of the Buddha – the assembly of celestial beings who came to worship the main Buddha image in the ubosoth, a feature typical of the late Ayudhya and early Bangkok painting styles.
The walls between the window’s were decorated with scenes from the Life of the Buddha. King Rama ll had the lateral walls repainted, depicting scenes from the Life of the Buddha scenes from the jataka (previous lives of the Buddha) were shown. On the depicted and the southern side shows a riverine procession.
On the western wall behind the Emerald Buddha, there is the scene of the Buddhist cosmology (the Three `Worlds of Desire, Form and Non-Form). King Rama II had the superstructure of the galleries around the temple changed and the whole story of the Ramakien (the Thai version of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana) repainted.
So that’s the story.
It didn’t take long for the heat to really gets to my crew! lol!
When the heats got the best out of them all! lol! . . If you like our photography stories. You can also follow us on www.ethannevelyn.com . . #ExplorerKids #Trips100 #travel1k #travel #tourist #Thailand #Bankgkok #GrandPalace #traveler #travelphotography #inspired #adventure #instapassport #passionpassport #suitcasemag #beautifuldestinations #jetsetter #travelblogger #wat #watprakaew #travelgram #totsphoto #letkidsbekids #livebeautifully #myhappycapture #IG_motherhood #clickinmoms #humansofjoy #worldoflittles
Regardless, we have had plenty supply of water with us and there is a free water fountain inside the temple which we filled up with our bottles but it all seem to go very quickly when we circled around.
The Grand Palace
Upon entering into The Grand Palace court after circling around the temple, we made another stopped and bought some refreshments which was on sale at a small trailer. Ethan and Evelyn really enjoyed pomegranate juice.
The Grand Palace construction began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, the founder of Chakri Dynasty, who become a royal residence, and has served as a significant royal residence until 1925. It is now used for ceremonial purposes only. Source
Again – even though it is as beautiful as it is – we felt very exhausted, hungry and tired, we decided not to go into the inside of the Main Grand Palace, but instead we visited inside one of the smaller part of the Grand Palace where there is less people. Beside that you are not allow to take any photos whilst visiting.
So we took a tuk tuk experience down to the market just down the road, and had our lunch at one of the local air condition restaurant.
Overall, I think there was just too many visitors during April. Perhaps, in the low season it would be much more visitable? Although, we didn’t get the chance to see the Emerald Buddha and the main part of the Grand Palace itself – I am kind of glad I did took the kids there as Ethan was really into seeing and listening to the stories on the mural. We could have spent the whole day there just talking about it! Perhaps, when they are a little bit more older – we will return… in the low season of-course.
And if you see any giants – here is my explanations… My Sunday Photo: Yak (Giant) at the Grand Palace | Thailand Please do check it out.
Things you need to know
Bring plenty of water!
Getting there: We drove there and parked our car in the car park nearby for 60 Baht for the whole day. But you can also take the BTS skytrain to Saphan Taksin station, located atop Sathorn “Central” Pier. From here, take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Chang Pier, and then it’s a short walk to the Grand Palace’s main entrance. I’ve heard that it is quite pleasurable way of travelling.
Opening hours: Open daily from 8:30am to 3:30pm except during special royal ceremonies.
Entrance fee: 500 Baht, inclusive of access to Wat Phra Kaeo, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion and Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile, which are located within the Grand Palace compound, and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road. Additional 100 Baht for a rental personal audio guide in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese or Mandarin. 500 Baht deposit for rental overall shirt and/or skirt – which you will get back at the end.
Dress code: Visitors are required to dress appropriately. These following clothes are strictly not allowed as outer garments for both ladies and gentlemen:
1. Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, tight fitting trousers, and tights
2. See-through shirts and blouses, as well as culottes or quarter length trousers
3. Sleeveless shirts or vests
4. Sandals (without ankle or heel straps) – Although I did go in with my fancied flip flop.
5. Rolled-up-sleeved shirts
6. Sweatshirts and sweatpants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers
Contact: 0 2623 5500 ext.3100, 0 2224 3273
Nearby attractions: Chang Pier , Wat Pho, Wat Arun, National Museum
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