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The Grand Palace picture in Bangkok
phutthiseth thongtae / Getty Images

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  • Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.4
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  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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The Grand Palace will probably be on the itineraries of most first-time travelers to Bangkok. That's because the complex once served as the residence for multiple Thai kings, their royal courts, as well as multiple branches of government, including defense and treasury departments. Though royalty nor the government has resided here for hundreds of years, that hasn't stopped tourists from making a detour. Should you venture within the palace's walls, you'll find numerous ornate structures that feature an interesting mix of Thai and European-style architecture. But the most popular site in the palace by far is the Wat Phra Kaew temple, which houses a sacred emerald Buddha statue. 

Recent visitors say the palace is definitely something to behold, but strongly suggested planning before you go. The first thing you need to consider is your apparel. Travelers say the attraction adheres to a strict dress code.  Here, shoulders and knees must be completely covered, so be sure to bring pants or a long skirt with you. If you don't have the appropriate attire, you can purchase clothing on-site. The palace is also insanely crowded, to the point where some travelers didn't even enjoy their time there. If you can swing it, arrive as soon as the attraction opens. And if you want to really understand the history behind the palace (and there's a lot of it), many visitors suggested securing a tour guide while there, which you can find on-site. Those who did hire a tour guide appreciated the attraction a lot more and were happy not having to wander the complex around wondering which buildings held what significance. 

The Grand Palace is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, but if there are special events (royal and state events still occur here), the palace buildings will close to the public. Ask your hotel concierge to confirm that the palace is open before you visit. Admission costs 500 baht (about $15). You'll find the Grand Palace in the Old City right across the street from the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

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#1 Wat Arun Wat Arun, meaning "Temple of the Dawn," is named for the Hindu god Aruna, God of Dawn. And fittingly, this 270-foot temple is glorious to behold at dawn or sunset ... Read more » Anton Petrus / Getty Images

#2 Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, known as Wat Pho in Thai, is a Buddhist temple complex which is most known for its gold-plated "Reclining Buddha" sculpture. The Buddha measures ... Read more » OSTILL / Getty Images

#3 Chatuchak Weekend Market The Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the biggest street markets in the world. It sprawls more than 35 acres and contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 shops ... Read more » Suttipong Sutiratanachai / Getty Images

#4 Grand Palace The Grand Palace will probably be on the itineraries of most first-time travelers to Bangkok. That's because the complex once served as the residence for multiple Thai kings, their ... Read more » phutthiseth thongtae / Getty Images

Benjamin / Flickr

#6 Jim Thompson House Following World War II, American architect Jim Thompson decided to settle down in Thailand and during his time in the country, ended up resurrecting Thailand's struggling silk industry. The ... Read more » OSTILL / Getty Images

Wat Arun picture in Bangkok
Wat Pho picture in Bangkok
Chatuchak picture in Bangkok
The Grand Palace picture in Bangkok
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre picture in Bangkok
Jim Thompson House  picture in Bangkok
Wat Arun picture in Bangkok
Wat Pho picture in Bangkok
Chatuchak picture in Bangkok
The Grand Palace picture in Bangkok
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre picture in Bangkok
Jim Thompson House  picture in Bangkok

While you'll no doubt want to admire the beautiful mosaics that comprise Wat Arun during the day, make sure to come back at night to see the spectacular holy site lit up.  Anton Petrus / Getty Images

This Buddha has 16-foot feet and extends for 150 feet in a reclining position in an Old City temple known as Wat Pho OSTILL / Getty Images

Many travelers say the Chatuchak Market offers the ultimate bazaar shopping experience; its stalls cover more than 35 acres.  Suttipong Sutiratanachai / Getty Images

Visiting the Grand Palace is probably the most popular attraction in Bangkok. As such, travelers say you should arrive early to beat the site's notoriously massive crowds.  phutthiseth thongtae / Getty Images

Travelers say the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre is a nice break from visiting religious sites and shopping, not to mention the heat.  Benjamin / Flickr

Its beautiful architecture and intriguing history makes the Jim Thompson House a great place to spend an afternoon.  OSTILL / Getty Images

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