Our third day in Bangkok was our photography trip. Our plans initially started by going to the famous Wat Arun Rajwararam (Temple of the Dawn). After early breakfast, we quickly caught a taxi in order to get there early to see how the temple shines during dawn. We had a little trouble telling the taxi where our destination was. We tried to get the taxi to take us there by meter, but he refused and insisted on an overpriced fare of THB150. As time was running late, I couldn't care more but to get on the taxi as soon as possible in order to not run behind schedule.
We thought the taxi understood where we wanted to go. As the taxi slowed down, I started to see so many structures that look so magnificant and majestic. I right away knew, something was amiss. The taxi has dropped us at the wrong spot, but this accident turned out to be a great mistake. We have landed ourselves at the doorsteps of the beautiful Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is situtated right in the center of Bangkok. This place is called Ratanakosin Island. 'Ko' is the Thai word for island. This is a large and ancient area and is the site of the Grand Palace and Bangkok's City Pillar Shrine, among other places of historical significance.
Well, it was actually the army changing shift for their duties at the Grand Palace. (We heard this from one of the tour guides). We were really lucky to see this shift changing drill as they performed in front of us. It was worth the early wake and misunderstanding of the taxi driver. It was an eye opener for me to see such a wonderful exercise that shows how patriotic the Thai people are.
As 8:30am struck, everyone is allowed to enter the gates and roam around the outer compound of the Grand Palace. From one side, you can see all the beautiful structures of the Grand Palace's compound. I was fascinated by the astonishing and impressive view. We were lucky that the weather was great on that day. It wasn't too hot and there was a little bit of wind.
There is one great structure called The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Where it houses one of Thailand's most significant and sacred relic. The Buddha statue is entirely carved out from a huge block of Jade, but the monk who discovered it mistakenly thought that it was made from emerald, hence it's name.
It's very touching to see how strong the Thai people's belief is and how much they respect Buddha and their own heritage. You can also see not only old people but young and even successful people who come here and bow and pray to Buddha.
Oddly, there's also structures that has a fusion of Western and Thai style elements in their architecture as well. Most notably the most majestic of all, Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall. The neatly maintained lawn and planted trees of weird shapes makes it the most beautiful of all. It is also the most recognizable building in the entire Grand Palace. The architectural style is definitely the most significant description with a blend of Thai and Italian Renaissance style.
Lastly, we have finally ended our photography trip to the Grand Palace, and there are more that is waiting for us ahead. Our next destination is the Dusit Park, where the famous Vinmanmek Mansion is situated. But I'll cover that in another post. So, don't forget to keep on to your Grand Palace tickets, because it too includes a free admission to the Vinmanmek Mansion, which is a taxi drive away.