Thailand Bangkok - touring Bangkok Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo and Wat Arun - with photos.
The various locations mentioned below can be reached in a variety of ways - depending on whereabouts you are staying whilst on holiday in Bangkok. Generally the locations within the City mentioned below are situated close to the Chao Phraya River so we have indicated the nearest local ferry station.
Entrance and other prices shown are for guidance and apply to when we visited Bangkok just over a year ago - so will probably increase as time goes by as is the way these days. Apart from the world famous beautiful Wat Arun there are several other temples which are
easy to get too whilst in Bangkok - incidentally as far as Thailand is concerned a Wat means a Temple, Monastery or other religious centre i.e. not necessarily a Buddhist establishment.
Touring Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Prakeo - including a few descriptive photos.
(Wat Prakeo means The Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The nearest express ferry pier to the Grand Palace is Tha Chang - the complex is open daily 0830-1530 although it's closed during official ceremonies. The ticket office is located along Na Phra Lan Road
- if you arrive by ferry go straight ahead through the market, cross the road and the entrance is just along on the right.
The entrance fee for foreign visitors is an excessive 350 Baht however the ticket does include some other
minor sites. There is a strict rule about what can be worn inside the grounds (for both men and women) for instance no shorts, mini-skirts or sleeveless strappy tops are permitted - however it's possible to get suitable clothing just inside the entrance gate.
The main Bot houses the Emerald Buddha - the area is always very busy and no photographs are allowed inside. The Buddha sits high above the golden altar and is carved from a single piece of jade - it is 26 inches tall and has a lap span of 19 inches.
Around the outside of the Bot are 112 garudas (mystical beasts - half man / half bird) which are shown holding nagas (serpents) and are typical of the Wat's garishly bright detail.
The Story of The Ramakien.
Rama, who was the heir to the throne of Ayodhya, is sent into exile (by his step-mother) accompanied by his wife Sita and brother Laksman. The Demon King Tosakan of Longka (Sri Lanka) abducts Sita. With the help of the white monkey god Hanuman, the two monkey
kings Sikrip and Chompupan, together with their armies the brothers pursue Tosakan. On reaching the coast the monkeys build a stone bridge across the sea to Longka and after many victorious battles Rama fights Tosakan and kills him.
Subsequently Toskan's brother Piphek is crowned King of Longka and Rama returns with his wife Sita to reign over Ayodhya. Since then the Chakri Kings have taken Rama as one of their names and the old capitol Ayutthaya was named after Ayodhya.
Visiting Wat Arun (Wat Arun Ratchawararam or The Temple of Dawn) in Bangkok - with photos.
This lovely Wat is open daily 0700 to 1700 with an entrance fee of 50 Baht for foreigners. Situated on the river bank, the main ferry stop is Tha Rachini and then you need to get the local ferry across the river (3 Baht). Wat Arun is
named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn - this Buddhist Temple is one of Bangkok's most visually striking landmarks especially when viewed from the river. Similarly the views of the river
from the temple's second tier of the central Prang are excellent.
The Prang (Khmer style tower) is built in the Ayutthayan style and like the temples at Angkor Thom in Cambodia
represent Mount Meru (home of the devas -gods- in Hindu mythology). You can climb part of the way up the Prang but the steps are very steep and quite
shallow in depth so you do need take care and not have a problem with vertigo - the steps represent the difficulties in reaching higher levels of existence...
The main Prang is encircled by four small Prang all of which are most beautifully covered in small colourful pieces of broken porcelain, ceramic and small bowls formed into flower shapes.
Our other Topics related to visiting, sightseeing and looking around in Bangkok.
- Bangkok Holiday, Touring and Travel Guide
- Bangkok holiday, travel guide, attractions - ferries, tuk-tuks, taxis, restaurants, hotels, getting around.
- Things to do in Bangkok - river trips, Lumphini Park, visit Wats
- Bangkok touring - visiting Wat Prakeo, Wat Rakhang, Wat Pho, Lumphini Park and a ride on the Chao Phraya River.
- Thailand Touring, Travel and Sightseeing Guide and Photos
- Our Thailand Home Page which contains links to our topics about touring in Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi.
More destinations for which we have travel and holiday guides are for Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Cyprus, lots of Greek Islands, The Algarve and several Canary Islands.
Also many Topics about England - Wild Flowers, National Trail Walks, Churches plus quite a few canals including The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Regents Canal - also two rivers and about walking The Thames Path.
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