The first place that we have visited in Bangkok was the Grand Palace, the offcial residence of the kings of Thailand (before - kings of Siam) since late eighteenth century. The king does no longer live there but some offical ceremonies (like coronations) still take place in the Grand Palace.
As I have learnt, the Grand Palace is more a common name for an area than for one building. In fact, it includes many different buildings and structures, surrounded by a beautiful garden. Let me take you on a really magical walk.
Feels like genuine Orient, doesn't it? Since we are in a royal residence, gold is omnipresent.
All the rooftops have sharp domes.
It applies even to buildings that do not really have walls. But in the end, winters in Bangkok are nothing but cold.
If you wonder how much gold it is possible to put into a building, my most honest answer will be - 100% of course. Though this particular one is no longer a royal residence but that of a divinity - it is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
And here comes the Emerald Buddha himself. He is supposed to be the main protector of the kingdom of Thailand.
As they say the Emerald Buddha is not really made out of emerald but it is still impressive, especially in its golden clothes. In fact, he has three sets of clothes that look as below (you can of course buy each of them in the souvenir shop).
My first thought in the view of the Grand Palace was "who could guard this much gold"? Then I realised that guardians are everywhere. They are in front of almost every door.
Pretty scary, aren't they?
Some others are on the rooftops, with a side mission to keep them in place.
Obviously even some of the guardians are made of gold themselves.
While others are made out of stone. But still very very ugly.
Obviously some human guards are present as well, do not worry. The Royal Guards are always present to serve and protect.
Alright, it is getting really warm now. Let's find some refreshments.
And now let's hide inside. I mean, let's check what treasures we can find there. The walls of the long (and shadowy) corridors are covered with huge paintings.
I was happy to discover that the artists did not forget that all kings, including the Thai ones, have since forever relied on horses!
It even seems that so did the emerald Buddha!
One last glimpse at the majestic buildings of the Grand Palace. I was really impressed by its style. Since it is not so easy to show you its full splendour on pictures alone, I strongly recommend you to take a virtual panoramic tour of the place.
Now I have found a little ride that will take us to the next attraction