Home Visit Bangkok The Grand Palace (Royal Palace) and the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

The Grand Palace (Royal Palace) and the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

by Pierre To
10 minutes to read
Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Grand Palace (Royal Palace) and the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok are a must when visiting the Thai capital.

The Royal Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang)

The Royal Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I on the left (eastern) bank of the Chao Phraya.

It houses not only the royal residence and throne room, but also a large number of government offices and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaeo).

the Grand Palais

the Grand Palais

It covers an area of 21.8 hectares and is surrounded by four walls 1,900 m long.

History of the Grand Palais

The first capital of Siam was Sukhothai from the beginning of the 13th to the middle of the 14th century.

It was then Ayutthaya who fulfilled this function, but in 1569 the Burmese kingdom, an age-old enemy, inflicted a crushing defeat on Siam by ravaging Ayutthaya and massacring the population.

In the following decades the Siamese recaptured Ayutthaya but in 1767 the Burmese sacked it again.

After once again driving the invaders out of Siam, King Taksin moved the capital to Thonburi in 1770.

A decade later the next king, Rama I, founder of the Chakri dynasty (which still reigns today), chose to settle across the Chao Praya River in the village called Bangkok.

In 1782 he built a palace in a meander of the river (which was the official residence of the kings of Siam until 1946) and a temple called Wat Phra Keo to house the statuette of the Emerald Buddha.

Over the course of time, many other royal buildings were added and it is this collection of buildings, each more sumptuous than the last, spread out over an immense enclosure of 218 hectares that is known as the Grand Palais.

The guard of the Grand Palais
The guard of the Grand Palais
Phra Sri Ratana Chedi
Phra Sri Ratana Chedi

The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha is a jadeite statue revered throughout the ThailandIt is located in the Royal Chapel of the Grand Palace (Wat Phra Si Ratana Satsadaram).

The Emerald Buddha is the religious and symbolic emblem of the Chakri dynasty, the palladium of the country.

Emerald Buddha

History of the Emerald Buddha

Its origin is surrounded by legend.

It first appeared in 1434 in Chiang Raiin the far north of the country (see : Wat Phra Kaeo in Chiang Rai).

It is said to have been discovered in a chedi gutted by lightning, and was presented as a golden stucco statue.

Later, the stucco cracked and the translucent green stone appeared.

The Statue is called " the Emerald Buddha "but in fact it is jadeite and was named Phra Keo Morakot.

The King of Chiang Mai after hearing about the statue, wanted to get it back and sent an elephant convoy to bring it back.

But on the way back, the elephant carrying the Buddha took a wrong turn and the statue arrived at Lampangwhere the king, not wanting to upset the divine signs, left her.

She stayed there for 32 years.

In 1468 the new king of Chiang Mai Tilokaraj recovered the statue.

In 1551 the kingdom of Chiang Mai came under the rule of the king of Lan Xang (now Laos) and the Buddha left for Luang Prabang, where he remained until 1564, when the capital of Laos was transferred to Vientiane.

In 1778 General Chakri, the future Rama I, took over the city and brought the statue back to Thonburi.

It was placed in Wat Arun and then finally found its place in the palace chapel of the new capital in 1784.

The Emerald Buddha and its veneration

The jadeite block is 75 cm high and 45 cm wide, the statue itself is only 60 cm high, with 15 cm of the uncut base hidden in the pedestal.

According to its style, the Emerald Buddha belongs to the Northern school, or Chiang Saen. It was probably cut in the 15th century. It is assumed that jadeite comes from Burma.

The statue is presented on a gold pedestal, on an 11-metre high altar, in a glass cage and under a nine-tiered golden parasol that symbolises universal royalty.

The Buddha is at the centre of royal and popular devotion. He has 3 precious stone costumes which are solemnly changed by the king himself, according to the seasons during great ceremonies.

All around the Buddha, at the foot of the altar, are piled up the royal gifts and those offered by the people.

Video of a visit to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha

Practical information

Beware of scams!
Professional Thai and Western scammers have a habit of using this very popular place to find prey to scam, so beware if you are told the temple is closed, go and check for yourself and don't be lured by a tuk tuk for a free ride to a fake ruby dealer (a very common scam).
See : Scams in Thailand.

Address and contact

Na Phra Lan Road, Grand Palace, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200

Email : [email protected]

Website : royalgrandpalace.th

Dress code

To visit the great palace and the temple of Wat Phra Kaeo, proper attire is required (trousers, covered shoulders, closed shoes; flip-flops are not allowed).

Dress code for temples

Dress code for temples

Opening hours and days

The site is open from : 8.30am to 3.30pm, seven days a week (except on ceremonial days).

Entrance fee

It is advisable to book your ticket in advance to avoid a long wait at the ticket office.

Entrance ticket : 500 baht

You can book here.

Getting to the Grand Palais

The Grand Palace is located near the Chao Praya River, next to Wat Pho (Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha in Bangkok).

There is no metro station in the area.
To get to the Royal Palace you have to take a taxi, a public boat or a bus.

By taxi : tell your driver that you want to go to the Wat Phra Kaeo (Wat Pra Keo straw in Thai), some taxi drivers in Bangkok do not know the term "Grand Palace.

By boat: Take the Silom line of the BTS Skytrain and get off at Saphan Taksin station.

Then take exit number 2 and the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Chang Station (Station 9).

After that, it's a 5-minute walk to the main entrance of the Grand Palais.

By bus: if you are resourceful, this is the cheapest but most complicated way (if you don't speak Thai) to get there.

Most of the city buses in Bangkok have stops near the Grand Palais.
The bus lines that stop at the Palais Royal are :

Bus 1, 3, 9, 15, 25, 30, 32, 33, 39, 43, 44, 47, 53, 64, 80, 82, 91, 201, 203, 501, 503, 508 and 512.

Maps of the Royal Palace

Site map

Map of the Grand Palais

Location of the Grand Palace on the map of Bangkok

See also :

What to do in Bangkok: the top 10 must-sees!

What to see in Thailand, where to go, what to visit?

Source: http://fr.wikipedia.org ; Photos : The Grand Palais: Mda ; Grand Palace: Gisling; Phra Sri Ratana Chedi: Michael Janich; Geant Grand Palais: Sim100 ; Emuraude Buddha: Gakuro ; Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram: Aimaimyi; Temple of the Emerald Buddha: Sodacan

Was this article useful to you?

Click on the stars to rate it!

Average score 4.3 / 5. Counting of votes : 32

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful....

Share it on social media 😉

We're sorry this post wasn't useful to you!

Let's improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

You may also like