Grand Palace – One of Bangkok’s Tourist Attractions

The Grand Palace is one of the must-sees while you are in Bangkok. Many cultural events and different exhibits of national treasures and artifacts are hosted there, and it is right next to some other really excellent stuff.

Grand Palace - One of Bangkok's Tourist Attractions

In fact, it’s a double admission thing. The grounds of the grand palace also encompass the iconic Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is one of the most well traveled artifacts in the world.

So far as we know the statue started its journey in India, in Patna. From there it was taken to Sri Lanka where it remained until 457 when King Anuruth of Burma requested the statue along with Buddhist texts in order to promote Buddhism in his country.

His requests were granted, but the ship carrying these priceless treasures was lost in a storm and ended up in Cambodia. And there it would remain for nearly a thousand years until the Thai army took Angkor Wat in 1432 and took the statue back to Ayutthaya. It did a quick circuit of the north-west and was finally hidden by the ruler of Chiang Rai. And this is where the story gets juicy:

After a freak thunderstorm that damaged many things in the temple a plaster statue fell to the ground and was chipped. When the monks came to start putting things back together they noticed a hint of green where the plaster had chipped and the statue was rediscovered.

The legends and rituals surrounding this iconic statue abound; from the changing of its golden clothes 3 times each year, to the elephants who refused to haul it away.

This is only one small attraction at the expansive grounds of the Grand Palace and even it warrants even more explanation than I’ve given here. I guess my point is that this is one landmark where it pays to hire a really knowledgeable guide.

Going there? Check out our  Grand Palace Tour.

Note: This amazing picture was no. 9 winner of our WOWtastic Thailand photo contest. The picture is taken by Ceasar Correa Ramos.

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