Bangkok – the city with a glorious past which still holds close to its heart the remnants of a bygone era and at the same time struggling hard with its ultra modern attitude is truly fascinating and will leave you amazed and somewhat stupefied.
Coming from an Asian background, Bangkok is no different than any other Asian cities, but as soon as you let yourself wandering in its meandering alleys, you will start feeling the differences. It is bizarre, vibrant and lively, multifaceted and for the people like us who loves to go local, it will just feel like a home.
It was hardly over 24 hours and I already started having the feeling that I can stay here for the rest of my life, yes, Bangkok has that magic and it will charmed you even before you knew it.
In broad sense, the city is divided into two parts – old and new, the one holding the glorious past and the other striving for modernism.
It will be divided into two parts – Part I and II
Part I will have only Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
Part II will have other Wats / temples and shopping, food etc.
1) Every touristy trail first start with Grand Palace, a must visit.
Grand palace complex is huge and you requires at least more than an hour to explore it, and on a crowded day specially during festivals and weekends, there will be a huge crowd and queue to the ticket counter.
This is an audience hall with a thorne of mother of pearl surmounted by nine tiered white canopy- a pure Siamese architecture.
An ornated library where sacred Buddhist scriptures are kept. Royal Pantheon where the statues of Chakri Kings are enshrined. This one is really spectacular with colorful frescoes and beautifully ornated,claimed as the best in Bangkok.
Beautifully ornated with intricate finesse- the Royal Mausoleum where the crematory relics of members of Royal family are kept.
With in the Grand Palace complex, there are many official buildings for diverse purposes, reflecting architectural designs of various reigns. The golden chedi in the picture is Wat Phra Kaew housing Emerald Buddha.
Phra Asada Maha Chedi or Khmer style Eight Prangs with eight different colors with beautiful ornations dedicating each prangs to Buddhist concepts.
Emerald Buddha one of the most sacred and object of national veneration sits high on altar of gold chariot designed to resemble the pushpak viman of Hindu mythology. Though this is known as Emerald Buddha but is carved out of a huge jade stone and not emerald. [photography is not allowed here …zoomed from a distance]
Grand Palace is worth visiting but the tickets are highly priced at 350 thb per person, there are many more buildings and museums, some of which were closed for renovation and if you are not hiring a tourist guide, then do not forget to pick up the maps and short guide given at the entrance. The ticket is valid for one day and also includes the entrance to Vimanmek mansion situated in other part of the city.
Hope you have enjoyed it, will be back shortly with more …
Have a Good day