- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's Bangkok's 25 Best, 5th Edition
Grand Palace Review
This is Thailand's most revered spot and one of its most visited. King Rama I built this walled city in 1782, when he moved the capital across the river from Thonburi. The palace and adjoining structures only got more opulent as subsequent monarchs added their own touches. The grounds are open to visitors, but none of the buildings are—they're used only for state occasions and royal ceremonies. On rare occasions, rooms in the Chakri Maha Prasat palace—considered the official residence of the king, even though he actually lives at Chitlada Palace in north Bangkok—are sometimes open to visitors. The Dusit Maha Prasat is a classic example of palace architecture, and Amarin Vinichai Hall, the original audience hall, is now used for the presentation of ambassadors' credentials. If the door to the hall is open, you might glimpse the glittering gold throne inside.
Just east of the Grand Palace compound is the City Pillar Shrine, containing the foundation stone (Lak Muang) from which all distances in Thailand are measured. The stone is believed to be inhabited by a spirit that guards the well-being of Bangkok. Beware the ubiquitous local con men, often dressed in official-looking clothes, who will try to convince you that the palace is closed and that you need to buy tickets from them. It can be hard to tell who's legit, but don't pay attention to anyone until you're practically already in the palace, as this is where the real entrance is. Proper attire (no flip-flops, shorts, or bare shoulders or midriffs) is required, but if you forget, they loan unflattering but more demure shirts and shoes at the entrance.
- Address: Sana Chai Rd., Old City, Bangkok, 10200
- Phone: 02/224–1833
- Cost: B400, includes admission entrance to Wat Phra Kaew and Vimanmek Teak Mansion.
- Hours: Daily 8:30–4:30
- Metro Skytrain: Hua Lamphong.
- Location: The Old City
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Preparation and planning:
We had a wonderful 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, going to Bangkok/northern Thailand; Luang Prabang; and Siem Reap and taking the 2-day slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. Read more
· News & Features
Theme restaurants around the world are racing to one-up each other, in hopes of debuting something outlandish ... Read more
See the reclining Buddha, the Royal Palace, and the red light district.... Read more
Bangkok is set to overtake London as the most popular city destination for travelers in 2013.... Read more