The Royal Palace of His Highness, Bangkok

Trip Start Dec 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 27, 2008

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Where I stayed
Green House Guesthouse

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, May 26, 2008

The Grand Palace is actually a pretty sizable complex of buildings in the center of Bangkok.  It was the official residence of the King from the 18th century to the mid-20th century.  I visited the entire palace grounds in one morning, easily done no need for the two day pass. 
This Palace is definitely befitting royalty, it's got so much bling if you come here without sunglasses you'll probably need a doctors visit afterwards.  Let's just say it's not understated.  The Royal Temple is probably the coolest and most decorated building on the grounds, as you would expect.  I think of all the palaces I've visited the place of worship is always the one that'll warrant the bulk of my memory card. 
Wat Phra Kaew, as the temple is called, houses the great Emerald Buddha, which has a long and sorted past.  I totally recommend clicking this link and reading a couple of paragraphs on the history of this statue.  It's not a story you've ever heard before.  No pics are allowed inside the temple, but I managed a few shots of it through the window of the temple.
Photos don't do this building justice.  This temple on the palace grounds reminded me a little of the Vatican in Rome.  Both national religious buildings that everyone makes a pilgrimage to, so I suppose both justified in this kind of grandeur.  There was no square centimeter of this building that was not ornately decorated in minute detail.  The walls and columns and ceilings all sparkle like the stuff of 7 year old girls fantasies.  It's like a wonderland of dazzling sparkliness everywhere you look; rubies, emeralds, gold, dangling little bells chiming from every building in the wind, the sun reflecting off a million shiny surfaces everywhere making your eyes dot and dance.  The entire palace grounds is one dizzying fantasy of decadence.  I swear I didn't smoke anything before I came here...
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