Grand Visit to the Grand Palace (Part 1): From the River to the Palace Gate

There are two places in Bangkok that tourists should never miss. The first one is the Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, and the second one is the Grand Palace. I already visited Wat Arun with my friend Foong, so, only the Grand Palace remained in my Bangkok bucket list.

The Grand Palace is just across the Chao Phraya River and just beside Wat Pho, which is another popular Buddhist temple that houses the gigantic statue of Reclining Buddha.

Cruising down the Chao Phraya River is the best way to reach the Grand Palace. Good thing that I already experienced riding the Chao Phraya River boats during my Bangkok tour with Foong. So, my trip to the Grand Palace was easy peasy.

Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

I enjoyed the view as we went upriver. I once again saw my favorite building along Chao Phraya, which is this church.

Santa Cruz Church in Bangkok
Santa Cruz Church along the Chao Phraya River.

Too bad that I didn’t get the chance to visit that church. Maybe next time when I return to Bangkok (I hope!).

No tourist should miss cruising the Chao Phraya River because of the unique view that it provides. I saw the mix of modern Bangkok with its tall skycrapers…

Tall towers along Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

…and of old Bangkok with its temples.

A boat cruising down Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Riding the river boat is an adventure especially for those who came from First World countries.  Chao Phraya Express Boats (especially the one with the orange flag where I rode) seems to be overloaded with passengers. Just one wrong move and you might be sending another passenger to bottom of the river.

If you’re a tourist who is planning to cruise the Chao Phraya River, I suggest that you read my detailed post about my ride on the express boats. I assure you that it will answer important questions like, “what boats have the cheapest fare?”

Tha Chang Pier along Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

I disembarked at Tha Chang Pier, which is the nearest pier to the Grand Palace.

Exiting Tha Chang Pier, Bangkok

I immediately know that I am at a very popular tourist spot because Tha Chang Pier is connected to souvenir shops. Even the street outside of pier station is filled traps..err…shops.

Street Shops near Grand Palace, Bangkok

Good thing that the place is not as crowded as Divisoria so after a short walk I finally reach the Grand Palace.

Asian tourists to the Grand Palace, Bangkok

Actually, it was just the outer wall.

The Grand Palace is truly the most popular tourist spot in Bangkok. The busloads of tourists that came to this place every minute is a proof of that. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that the Grand Palace will not be overcrowded.

Old builiding near Grand Palace, Bangkok

The vicinity of the Grand Palace is a busy place. Tourism brought in shops that sell food, souvenirs, gems, and anything that catch tourists’ fancy. Of course, the hordes of tourists also brought in the horde of tuktuk.

A line of tuktuk outside of the Grand Palace, Bangkok

I confess that I didn’t ride a tuktuk during my 6-month stay in Thailand because riding it is just like riding the tricycle in my country. I already rode plenty of tricycles during my lifetime and that is enough.

The area outside of the palace walls is not for vendors and tuktuk drivers but also for the less fortunate Thais like this musician and his kid:

Musician-beaggar outside the walls of Grand Palace, Bangkok

There is only one door open for tourists visiting the Grand Palace.
Door to the Grand Palace, Bangkok

A few steps more and I will finally see the grand in Grand Palace.

Grand Palace from afar

Story of my adventure inside the palace grounds will be in the next post. Abangan!

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  1. The poor musician and the kid, even more so, having to hold the umbrella the whole time like that. What a pitiful sight!

    1. Yes. This is sad and scenes like this will continue as long as inequalities continue, as long as people continue to be greedy.


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