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The Grand Palace (Bangkok)

THAILAND | Friday, 1 July 2011 | Views [264]

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace

On the first day of our first ever pack-backing adventure, we decided to visit the Grand Palace with a guy called Midge who we had met in our hostel the night before. We lost Midge at the Grand Palace, never to be seen again. But I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for passing on some of his travel wisdom, as, if it were not for him, we might not have made it to the Palace.

Getting to the Grand Palace: this can only be described as a nightmare. The best way to do it is to get a ferry along the river. However you have to get a TukTuk to the right pier which can prove problematic to say the least. The ferry should only cost 14 baht (from Silom) but TukTuk drivers get commission for where they drop you off so they will take you round the houses, taking you to all the expensive piers where they want to charge you 1000 baht for an hour and a half boat ride (it should only take 10/15 mins on the ferry). So long story short, you have to know where you want to go and be very firm with your driver. 

Also, when you do eventually get to the palace, you will most likely come across TukTuk drivers telling you that it is closed today and offering to take you somewhere else. Do not pay any attention! Often it looks like the palace is actually closed because all the big gates are locked and you can’t get in - we spent a good hour walking round the walls trying to find our way in. But eventually we stumbled upon the right gate and went to explore. 

Inside the palace grounds you are required to wear respectable clothing. No vests, V-neck tops, trousers above the ankle, skin tight trousers or flip flops. But if you don’t want to walk around sweltering Bangkok in full length clothes, and trust me you don’t, then you can borrow some at the Palace. There is no charge but you have to leave a deposit. The down side to this is that many perspiring tourists have worn the clothes before you. My travel companion, Bex, had to borrow a shirt to cover up her arms which came complete with man sweat, in a very fetching mustard colour. 

Conclusion: the Palace itself is beautiful and well worth the trip. 

Tags: advice, backpacking, bangkok, grand palace, thailand, travel tips

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