Bangkok’s Grand Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the grandeur and architectural beauty of Thailand’s royal past. Since its establishment as the nation’s capital by King Rama I, the Grand Palace has been the symbol of the Thai Royal Family’s architectural achievements. Today, while the Royal Family resides at Chitralada Palace, the Grand Palace continues to serve as the ceremonial heart of the nation.
Located in the heart of Bangkok, the Grand Palace served as a residence for Kings Rama I to Rama V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Today, it is used for hosting royal ceremonies, welcoming guests of the king and state, and as a final resting place for members of the royal family before cremation. The Grand Palace is divided into two main areas: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the royal residence. The latter is further divided into three sections: the Outer Court, the Middle Court, and the Inner Court.
The Outer Court, which starts from Wiset Chai Si Gate to Phiman Chai Si Gate, is now the location of state offices such as the Bureau of the Royal Household, the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, and the Office of the Royal Institute. The Middle Court, which starts from Phiman Chai Si Gate to Sanam Ratchakit Gate, is where significant royal ceremonies are held, including the Royal Coronation and the Coronation Day ceremony. The area includes the Phra Maha Monthien Buildings, the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings, and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Inner Court, which starts from Sanam Ratchakit Gate to Thaew Teng, was once a female-only zone where the queens, consorts, consort mothers, and daughters of the king lived, along with ladies-in-waiting and servants. This area is no longer used as a residence today.
Visitors to the Grand Palace are asked to dress respectfully in black or white to show condolence for the late King Rama IX. Inside the Grand Palace, you can also visit the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins, which showcases Thai coins and regalia on display.
In conclusion, a visit to the Grand Palace is a must for anyone interested in Thai history and architecture. The complex’s rich cultural and historical heritage, combined with its stunning beauty, makes it one of Bangkok’s most important tourist attractions.