We’d hummed and ahhed for most of the day whether or not we’d do this mini outing and in the end we decided yes. Only thing was we didn’t decide until 2 ish and The Grand Palace closes at 3:30 pm. Just want to point out in our defence it wasn’t so much that we were being lazy, or indecisive for that matter, but we’d all been up until the wee hours the night before.
Maddi had arrived at 2 am and everyone was excited and pumped by her arrival. It was well past 4 am when Tony and I said good night and according to the girls 6 am by the time they closed their eyes – no wonder we were slow-moving!
Tony took a pass on the Palace in favour of an afternoon nap so the girls and I ordered a uber and sat waiting patiently in the hotel lobby. Despite it being well past 2 pm our plan was solid except for…we hadn’t factored in Saturday afternoon traffic in Bangkok – Cra-Cra.
We waited an inordinate amount of time for the uber and then spent an inordinate amount of time waiting in traffic. In the end the traffic was so bad that the driver dropped us off a block away from The Grand Palace entrance with minutes to spare – it was 3:25pm.
We were going to give up but luckily a kind tuk-tuk driver, who could obviously tell where we were going, all donned in our ‘temple clothes’ and walking in a terribly hurried state, told us that as long as we bought the tickets before 3:30 pm we could still get in and we’d still have 40 – 45 minutes to walk around. That’s when we picked up the pace and sprinted. It was sweet because other tuk-tuk drivers along the way also encouraged us, and we made it with a minute to spare – another ‘Amazing Race’ moment.
One might think going to visit a sight as it is about to close is rather silly but let me tell you – it was worth every Baht and every minute. Just as we’d been told, once we had the ticket in our hot little hands we were free to roam around the grounds at quite a leisurely pace.
It was perfect on so many levels. To start with it was much cooler than it had been at noon when the temperatures had soared close to 40 degrees and though there were still small crowds, it was nowhere near what it would have been earlier in the day.
There are essentially two parts to this incredible site. On one side there is The Grand Palace and on the other is Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of The Emerald Buddha).
We started on the Wat Phra Kaew side. The Emerald Buddha (emerald in Thai meaning green-coloured) is a buddha sitting in a yoga posture, made of semi-precious green stone and clothed in gold. The buddha sits in the Temple that shares the grounds of The Garand Palace. The grounds all around the temple are absolutely beautiful – all sparkly and shiny in the brilliant afternoon sun.
It is quite breath-taking and we certainly took our time meandering through all the glitter. Further along the grounds, just across the way is The Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings in the heart of Bangkok. The Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782. The King of Thailand passed away a little under 6 months ago in October 2016. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world’s longest reigning monarch. He died after 70 years as head of state and was widely revered and much-loved.
The Thai people are still in mourning and continue to show their unwavering reverence and respect to their King. We felt honoured to be able to stand before his resting place, a white building inllaid with gold.
We felt so blessed when we finished our tour. We had certainly had at least 45 minutes and hadn’t felt rushed or like we hadn’t seen all we’d wanted to. Like I said well worth every moment 🙂
all shines in late afternoon sun