A visit to the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha tops every “10 things to do while visiting Bangkok” list. You have probably seen pictures and have a image of a large majestic, ornately decorated palace. Armed with an iPhone, everyone believes they will capture the palace in a way that’ll land them the position as the next greatest NatGeo photographer. But here is the reality of a visit to the palace.
1. It’s crowded.
I think just saying that is an understatement. People watching might be just as interesting as admiring the temple itself. The crowds mostly consist of hoards of Chinese tourists and families of selfie sticks.
These images are a much better representation of what you’ll experience at the palace. Be prepared.
2. There is a strict dress code.
Even before reaching the main entrance, the security staff will rudely point out your inappropriate attire and funnel you into rent a new outfit.
By now we have learned to cover our shoulders and knees when visiting temples. But still they deemed matti’s shorts too short, so we was required to rent long pants and leave a deposit of 200 THB ($7.40 CAD). Just avoid that long, slow line all together and dress appropriately.
3. It’s expensive.
When we got to the entrance we debated whether it was even worth the visit on our backpacker budget. We have seen many temples already, it’s just another one, isn’t it? Did I mentioned how crowded it was?
It would be costing us 500 THB (~$18 CAD) per person. We sat on a ledge for about 15 minutes weighing the pros and cons and eventually decided that we made it the whole way there, so we might as well see what it is all about.
4. But it’s beautiful and sparkly.
All the hate and negativity aside, the palace and temple are breathtakingly impressive in their craftsmanship and decor. It is an incredibly photogenic place and there is no wonder why it tops all the lists of Bangkok attractions.
What was your experience visiting the Grand Palace and Emarld Buddha Temple? Was it just as crowded? Seriously how to do take good selfies with so many people in the way? These are the real things travelers need to learn.