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The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok Most Iconic Temple

The Grand Palace of Bangkok, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Phra Kaew (or Wat Pra Kaew) are, without a doubt, the most famous landmarks in Bangkok, often seen in many movies. Despite being such a touristic icon, this is still the number one place to see while in Bangkok, a marvel of delicate and intricate craftwork, architecture, carving and painting. Wat Phra Kaew is described at length on many websites; we will not get too much into details, just a few facts and many photos.

Wat Phra Kaew Video

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The official name of the temple is Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. Still, many call it ‘The Temple of the Emerald Buddha’, and it is on the Grand Palace’s ground, another historical monument that used to be the Royal Residence.

Wat Phra Kaew - Grand Palace Bangkok

When entering the temple grounds, you’ll first see the black stone statue of the ‘Hermit Doctor’, considered a patron of medicine, which is believed to have healing powers. Each day, relatives of the sick and infirm pay respects and offer incense sticks, fruit, lotus flowers, and candles.

Bangkok Wat Phra Kaew

Among the many Wat Phra Kaew buildings, the most photographed is probably the massive shiny golden Chedi called Phra Si Ratana, a 19th-century stupa built in Sri Lankan style, enshrining the ashes of the Buddha.

The Emerald Buddha

The second most visited is the large ‘Ubosoth’, the ordination hall, where you can admire, but not take photos, the famous Emerald Buddha, whose official name is ‘Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon’.

The Emerald Buddha inside The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

The Emerald Buddha is made of Jade, not emerald, and is carved in a yogic position known as Virasana. Originating from India in the 15th century AD, its history is long and troubled… after being transported to Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Ayutthaya, and Chiang Mai, it was then kept in a shrine near the famous Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) until the capital of Thailand shifted from one side of the river to the other. The Emerald Buddha was finally enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew. The emerald Buddha in brilliant green is 66 centimetres (26 in) in height with a lap width of 48.3 centimetres (19.0 in).


The temple grounds cover 94.5 hectares (234 acres) and feature over a hundred buildings. Wat Phra Kaew gate is guarded by two Yakshis statues, mythical giants measuring 5 metres (16 ft) high. Don’t miss the beautiful mural painting gallery surrounding the entire grounds of the temple.

Inside Wat Phra Kaew

The temple complex also has a famous Angkor Wat model, started by King Mongkut and completed by King Rama III.

angkor wat at wat phra kaew bangkok

Is there a dress code at the Grand Palace?

The dress code is strict, as you can see in the photo. If you forgot to wear the proper attire, you must buy one of those cotton elephant pants for 200 baht. Alternatively, you can rent one outside the temple for 50 baht or less if you are good at bargaining.

prohibited outfit at wat phra kaew

How to get to the Grand Palace of Bangkok?

The best way to reach Bangkok Grand Palace is by taxi or tuk-tuk, as there are no BTS around this area. You also can try it by boat with the Chao Phraya River Express (disembark at Tha Chang pier).

bangkok grand palace 1 1

Wat Phra Kaew Photos

Grand Palace Photos

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

The Grand Palace Info

Location: Bangkok Old Town
: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200
Closest MRT Station
: MRT Sanam Chai: 750 m
: 02 623 5500
: 8.30 am – 3.30 pm
Price: 500 baht (Free for Thai)
Guides: available from 10 am to 2 pm, but you can borrow an Audio Guide
Year built: 1782
Dress Code: No short skirts or short pants

Map of The Grand Palace

Other Temples in Bangkok

FAQs about The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

  1. Q: What are the opening hours of the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

    A:The Grand Palace in Bangkok is open every day from 8:30am to 3:30pm.

  2. Q: How much does it cost to enter the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

    A: The entrance fee to the Grand Palace in Bangkok is 500 THB for foreigners.

  3. Q: What is the dress code for visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

    A: Visitors to the Grand Palace in Bangkok are required to dress modestly, with shoulders and legs covered. No shorts, short skirts, or revealing tops are allowed.

  4. Q: What are the main attractions at the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

    A: The main attractions at the Grand Palace in Bangkok include Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Phra Maha Monthien Buildings, Phra Maha Prasat Halls, Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, and the Dusit Hall.

  5. Q: Is the Grand Palace in Bangkok open on public holidays?

    A: Yes, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is open on public holidays but the schedule might be different. It is recommended to check the official website or call ahead for the schedule on a specific holiday.

  6. Q: Is the emerald Buddha inside Wat Phra Kaew made of emerald or jade?

    A: The emerald Buddha inside Wat Phra Kaew is made of Jade, not emerald.

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Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early until I settled in Phuket in 1994. For the past 30 years, my passion for photography and my curiosity have taken me to every corner of Phuket, Bangkok and everywhere I could go in Thailand. My goal is to share my discoveries, photos and tips to help travellers plan their holidays by making Phuket 101 as easy as possible to use for everyone!