19th August 2012, Sunday. Sawadee Kap from Bangkok! My family and I arrived in the City of Angels in the Land of Smiles by bus via Penang-Hat Yai-Bangkok route on the early morning of Saturday and we’ll be here until first few days this week. Tina and I are currently savoring days off from work and Gabby from school on August 18th-26th, yay!!! Thanks to Malaysian holiday for Hari Raya celebration (end of Ramadhan season). Revisiting Bangkok felt like a homecoming; time flies so fast that it has been 8 years after our very first trip to this incredibly charming city back in January of 2004 for our honeymoon.
I opted to feature our family’s Bangkok adventure in this blog series randomly. The second day of our holiday started at almost 10AM in the grounds of the majestic Grand Palace. It was our very first time to experience its Anna-and-the-King-like-splendor; everything seemed like just in the movies!
As everyone knows, traffic in Bangkok can be very notorious but not last Sunday. We reserved taking the BTS and rode a taxi cab instead from our hotel in Pradipat Road in 10 minutes at 100 baht; affordable to me when compared to taxi fares in Penang and Manila. Reaching the Grand Palace was certainly hassle-free. We immediately enjoyed the necessary tourist thing called picture-taking! Few minutes after, we found ourselves at the ticket counter of this must-visit-Thailand attraction paying the admission rates of 400 baht each; quite expensive but our experience after proved it’s worth every cent!
A few months back, I asked my friend, Dyan to do an itinerary for this short break, the same way she did for our Singapore vacation last year. With her practical suggestions, I heeded almost all her words. I told Tina that Dyan reminded me that dress code in the Grand Palace is strictly observed. Ladies should flaunt no skin and must be in long skirts. My wife’s almost covered-everything-outfit even received a comment from the lady at the gate. “She should have sleeves.” Tina showed the sleeves of her cardigan that she wore over her dress; she was even ready with a shawl to cover every inch of her integumentary system, hehehe! The lady at the gate smiled and said, “Oh!” and allowed us in.
Men should not wear shorts and bermudas when visiting the Grand Palace. However for tourists who would come in inappropriate attires, the staff provides Thai-wrap-around skirts for female visitors in skimpy outfits and Thai-cotton-pants for males all for free but with refundable deposit.
The very first thing we witnessed inside the Grand Palace was a display of something spectacular. Faith of devotees was beyond amazing!
Here’s my lavish visual synopsis of grandeur, splendor and beauty of Grand Palace in Bangkok… Enjoy!
Hail to my prince and queen…
Everything’s a headturner. No detail left unnoticed. Every spot is picturesque! The photo-enthusiast in me was in a bliss!
Stunning is an understatement! My amateur photo skills didn’t do justice apparently. I did my best and enjoyed capturing the magnificence…
Despite the sun was so unforgiving, our visit to Grand Palace was another uniquely wonderful family experience! I’m glad Tina and Gabby enjoyed every minute!
One of my personal favorites are the volume of colored garuda! I love the contrast of the mirror mosaic gem-colored tiles against the gold! It’s a visual feast!
Doing the necessary : That tourist-thing!
More acts of devotion in front of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha…
We asked Gabby to mimic what the others were doing. He got a long stemmed lotus, dipped it in the brass bowl with water and sprinkle some to his head. Correct me if I’m wrong, it must be a sign of purification if not, a blessing.
Photography and taking videos aren’t allowed inside the Temple of Emerald Buddha for this is of course, a sacred ground. I respected not to snap a photo of the altar in spite of the fact that it’s so tempting. Visitors should also remember that hats must not be worn inside the temple and footwears should be removed and left on the racks at your own risk prior entering the temple. Another thing NOT to do is to point your foot toward the image of the Buddha; better sit on crossed legs instead.
Deep and vibrant colors of various gems and jewels are done in great details!
As Tina became busy with her very own videography done via her ipod touch, she noticed it’s nice to capture images mirrored on those colorful glass pillars. The effect is a kaleidoscope! Try to find me on the next photo!
We left the Grand Palace before high noon, crossed the road to Au Bon Pain for some croissant, soup in the bread bowl, cheesecake muffin and cups of smoothies (separate Bangkok food post, soon!). Refreshing! Following our light lunch, we headed to Wat Pho (to be featured on another separate post).
Indeed, a trip to Bangkok is definitely incomplete without a visit to Grand Palace! It’s an ultimate delightful experience!