THE GRAND PALACE, BANGKOK, THAILAND – One of the must see sights in Bangkok is the Grand Palace. Although this palace is no longer home to the royal family it is still used for special ceremonies. The palaces was begun in 1782 by King Rama I after he moved the capital of Thailand from Thonburi to Bangkok. Many different buildings and temples were added to the palace complex up until 1925, when all the government agencies were moved out of the complex. Rama IX was the last king to reside here and now he lives in a separate palace complex. The government of Bangkok is also now a constitutional monarchy.
The palace complex is divided into four parts, the outer court, middle court, the inner court and the Wat Phra Kaew. The most famous building within the palace complex is the Wat Phra Kaew. The Wat Phra Kaew is home to to the emerald buddha. A buddha statue that is carved entirely of emerald. The garments of the Buddha are changed with the season. Unfortunately photos are not allowed of the emerald buddha. This temple was build in 1783 and it is the private chapel of the king, but it is open for tours daily.
The Grand Palace complex opens at 8:30 and closes by 3:30. Your entrance ticket allows you to enter various parts of the palace complex. However, be sure you are wearing pants and close toed shoes or you will not be allowed in. There are military personal stationed at all the entrances and marching throughout the complex. If by chance you do not have pants, you can rent a pair from a vendor on the street. You pay them a deposit of $100 Bhat (approximately $3.33 USD). When you are finished your tour, you return the pants and they will give you 70 Bhat back (approximately $2.33).