The real experience of Bangkok's Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple

The Secrets of Bangkok’s Grand Palace

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.

bangkok grand palace
Majestic and grand at first sight.
Grand palace bangkok thailand
Serene and quiet place?

1. It’s crowded.

Bangkok grand palace
Here’s what you’re up against.

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.

selfie stick bangkok
A wild family of selfie sticks have appeared.

These images are a much better representation of what you’ll experience at the palace. Be prepared.

Grand palace bangkok
It is a great selfie spot, I’ll give them that.
Chinese tourists
Yes this is real, I can’t make this stuff up.

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.

Bangkok palace crowd
An innocent crowd about to be judged for their fashion choices.

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.

Emerald Buddha Bangkok
Sweet pants Matti!
Emerald Buddha Bangkok
I always bring my large scarf with me because I am always prepapred. 😉

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?

Temple of Emerald Buddha Bangkok Thailand
A more accurate view of what you’ll see at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

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.

Chinese tourist selfie stick
All gold err thang.

4. But it’s beautiful and sparkly.

Emerald Buddha Thailand
I’ll take a bunch of those lion eagle guys and a billion sparkly tiles please.

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.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The more gold statues the better!
Grand Palace Bangkok
Hi MTV and welcome to my crib.

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.

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