1. Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace complex [top]
The Royal Palace
If you’re only in Bangkok for one day, this is the place not to miss.
The Grand Palace complex, which includes the ornate Wat Phra Kaew, is a walled enclosure approximately 500 x 300 meters.
Although the King no longer resides there, it is still used for formal occasions.
You cannot go inside of the palace itself, but the exteriors of the buildings are beautiful, and several of the other buildings are open.
Don’t miss the Abhorn Phimok Prasad Pavilion, the Dusit Maha Prasat, and the Temple Museum.
Dress code strictly enforced! As with all other royal and sacred properties, shorts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed.
Royal Palace Goddess
Wat Phra Kaew, which is the home of the famed Emerald Buddha, encompasses more than 100 buildings.
It is a rich architectural gem, with orange and green roofs, stunning facades, and splendid statuary.
To get to the complex, take the Chao Phraya river taxi to the Ta Chang pier, and walk east.
Cross the intersection at Thanon Maharat, and enter the complex on the southern side of Thanon Na Phra Lan.
Open 8:30 am – 11:30 am, and 1 pm – 3:30 pm.
Your entry ticket to the Grand Palace Complex is also good for the remarkable Vimanmek teak mansion, and the Atana Samakorn Throne Hall, located 4 km to the northwest of the Palace, adjacent to the nearby zoo.
Vimanmek, a beautiful three-story mansion, is considered the largest golden teak building in the world, with some 80-odd rooms. It houses a magnificent collection of royal artifacts and furniture.
Vimanmek is open from 9:30 am – 4 pm.
A few hundred meters south of Vimanmek is the Throne Hall, boasting ornate Victorian-Moorish architecture, and housing an exhibition of regional crafts. Open 10 am – 4 pm.