The following entry is about the utmost famous two attractions here in Bangkok. It is about the Grand Palace and the lying Buddha located in Wat Pho. Both of the attractions are located near Khao San. Those two are the really must see locations in Bangkok, so be sure you manage to go there. They both are located next two each other, so it is suitable to do both in an one day trip.
When yo arrive at either Wat Pho or The Grand Palace, you will find yourself on a sideway full with local stands trying to sell you souvenirs. They are most likely way more expensive than anywhere else in Bangkok, so if you do not find anything that you haven’t encountered anywhere else so far, restrain yourself from buying there. When I was there I encountered one guy walking around with a big python, offering tourists to lay the snake on their shoulders and make photos with it. As I never had a snake around my neck and really like those animals, he somehow managed to lore me into making a snake-photo. 😀 For everybody who also never had a snake around their necks, it is great feeling having this 3 Meter long, heavy animal on your shoulders. You’ll feel every movement of the snake whilst touching its silk-like skin.
I then decided to start the day with the grand palace, as this has the shortest opening hours. So I walked there, on which way I was approached by several Thais, os of them probably Tuk-Tuk drivers, telling me that the Grand Palace is closed for the next 1 ½ hours as there is a big ceremony going on. Be aware, this is the typical scam. Those people try to make tourists believe that the palace is closed for now or even the day and offering them to take them elsewhere great. The place where you will be taken at is nothing else than some jewelry or carpet store, at which you won’t have much fun. Anyhow, don’t let them fool you, the Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 15:30. So you just ignore those scammers and walk into the door. There you will find a path which will lead you the ticket counter, so you can buy the ticket for the Grand Palace itself. The entrance fee is quite expensive though. It costs you 500 Baht (12.5€) to get into the area. You will find a walk-around with several monuments and statues fully golden and shiny decorated with gems. The several building, statues and monuments you see there are really, really impressive. Definitely worth a visit. After a while you will encounter a building in which the famous Emerald Buddha is located. The story behind that one is quite funny. Even though the Buddha itself is really old, people started to care about it just recently. This is why. When the Buddha was build, it was covered in gypsum so as to protect the emerald inside. Apparently, people were not aware that there was emerald hidden inside, so they were not impressed with a Buddha made out of gypsum. Therefore, people did not bother to go and look at it for very long time. Anyhow, after a while, the gypsum started to fall off from the emerald Buddha, revealing its true inside. This was when people started to admire the emerald Buddha, and going there in large groups. Anyhow, from what I have heard about it, I expected there to be a big, big emerald Buddha. Unfortunately, the emerald is just 65cm tall, so relatively small. Additionally it is located on top of a giant golden monument, decorated with lots of gems. Sadly, this causes to distract from the Buddha itself. When you are finished with the first set of buildings, monuments and statues in the so-called front-garden, you’ll follow a path which leads you towards the grand palace itself. In front of the palace you will find royal guards, like they are in London. Anyhow, I have to admit, they are moving much more than the original ones in London. 😀 But it still looks good! The Grand Palace itself is massive. It is a huge building with a typical Asian shaped roof, all in all a beautiful building. Unfortunately, one is not able to go inside the palace, which is what I really was hoping for. Anyhow, it was impressive to see all those attractions nevertheless. So this is definitely a recommendation from me.
The second attraction in the area is even more impressive in my opinion. It is called Wat Pho and is located next to the Grand Palace. You will pay about 150 Baht (4€) to get into this magnificent temple area. Wat Pho itself is a big temple area, full with lots of religious temples and monuments, that all look really impressive. Anyhow, the focus when going there is set on the huge lying Buddha. It is a 46m x 8m x 16m golden Buddha, on which you walk around. The feet of the Buddha are engraved with religious symbols. As this is, as I believe, the biggest Buddha worldwide, you should really pay that one a visit.