The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Khew
Within the palace complex are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha),which contains the small, very famous and greatly revered Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century.
The robes on the Buddha are changed with the seasons by HM The King of Thailand, and forms an important ritual in the Buddhist calendar. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace around the turn of the twentieth century, but the palace complex is still used to mark all kinds of other ceremonial and auspicious happenings.
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.
A strict dress code applies.Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple.Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops. If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.)Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly (a deposit is required – you do get your money back provided you hand back the clothes after using them).
After exiting the Grand Palace you can walk around 10-15 minutes down the road to find the pier for the river crossing.
I went on a boat trip across the river from the Wat Pho pier (3 baht) to see the impressive Wat Arun complex.
There is a 50 Baht entrance fee. The temple is very different from anything in the Grand Palace, and provides some amazing photograph opportunities. At first glance the climb appears very steep and daunting on the way up and down but its worth it as you get a great view of the river when you reach the top.
I got back on the boat again (3 baht) to visit Wat Pho to see the reclining buddha.
It is the largest reclining Buddha, the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand and the country’s earliest centre for public education.
Almost too big for its shelter, the Reclining Buddha , 46m long and 15m high, illustrates the passing of the Buddha into nirvana (ie the Buddha’s death). The figure is modelled out of plaster around a brick core and finished in gold leaf. Mother-of-pearl inlay ornaments the feet, displaying 108 different auspicious lák·sà·nà (characteristics of a Buddha). Read more at: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/bangkok/sights/religious/wat-pho#ixzz2uk5aEe3P