The Grand Palace is the number one attraction in Bangkok, and the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom. Many foreign visitors to Thailand brave the heat and the crowd, in order to see The Grand Palace and to know more about Thai culture and history.
The Grand Palace is part of a great historical complex and was once the seat of royals. This spectacular palace is located on the banks of Chao Phraya river in the old part of Bangkok and was built in 1782.
The main reason for the construction of the palace was that King Rama I was intent on moving his capital from Thonburi (on the west side of Chao Phraya river) to a new place. This new place is now in the old part of Bangkok and is known as Rattanakosin. So the history of The Grand Palace is actually the history of Bangkok as the capital of Thailand.
After the construction of The Grand Palace, Thai kings lived there and it was also the main center for government activities. This palace has obvious similarities to the royal buildings in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, and even some materials were brought from there in order to construct the palace.
Another amazing structure which you can visit alongside The Grand Palace is The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple is very unique, because a very famous and respected emerald Buddha is kept there which dates back to the 14th century. Many Thai people consider this temple as the most important Buddhist temple in the country, exactly because the ancient Buddha which is carved from jade is kept there. Rumor has it that this Buddha was made in India two thousand years ago and was kept in different temples in the past.
A very important thing while visiting The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is that there is a dress code. If you do not respect it, you will not be allowed on the premises. In order to avoid any inconvenience, cover shoulders and legs. Do not wear revealing or tight clothes, and refrain from wearing sandals and flip flops. Also, remember that there is an entry fee (500 Baht) for foreign visitors to the whole complex that should be payed.
You are now set to go! The Grand Palace is waiting.