The Grand Palace is the most famous structure in all of Thailand.
Originally built for King Rama I in the late 18th century,
it has evolved into a vast, golden city,
a temple compound and a mecca for this country's predominantly
Wat Phra Kaew, the most important structure inside the walled compound,
houses the Emerald Buddha.
Carved from a single block of jade, this ancient, holy object
rests on a magnificent altar and is said to be a protector of
whoever possesses it.
Often the booty of war since its discovery in the 15th century,
the statue was last looted from Vientiane by King Rama I.
A few rules for visiting the Grand Palace:
no shorts or sleeveless shirts;
no photography inside the building that houses the Emerald Buddha;
women must not touch the monks!
Open daily, but occasionally closed for ceremonies and other occasions.
Don't save it for your last day
(most people want to see it more than once). 8:30 am-3:30 pm.
Admission: 125 baht.
Entrance is on Na Phra Lan Road,
phone 02-222-0094 or 02-222-6889.