The Grand Palace
Picking up where I left off, on the 7th we headed out to the Grand Palace to see the Emerald Buddha. According to an old friend from school who is Thai, if we don’t see the Emerald Buddha, we just haven’t seen Thailand! The Grand Palace was beautiful – it puts Buckingham Palace to shame. The guards were rubbish though; they kept scratching their noses and laughing. It was blisteringly hot that day, the sun was splitting the sky! I was glad to whap out my maxi dress for the Grand Palace, but Chris wore shorts – not allowed! You can borrow long pants for free, but the queue was massive, so we paid 20THB and a 100THB deposit to rent some from outside the palace. They had elephant patterns on them, Chris looked very dashing.
Thai guards – not quite as disciplined as what we British are used to
Emerald Buddha – no photos allowed in the temple, but you get the jist!
At the palace we nearly fell for one of the common scams, which we actually read about in the guidebooks. We approached the wrong entrance (we didn’t know that at the time), and a guy told us that the palace was shut for prayer. He said we could go on a boat tour instead, and he would get us a tuk tuk, and we could come back later, all for 900THB. I fully expect we would have got our boat tour, but we decided to explore on our own, found the right entrance to the Palace and realised what had just happened. It is quite a common thing, these people just want to direct your custom to them and their own, albeit at a high price. We didn’t feel unsafe and the guy was really polite and not pushy at all, which is why we almost considered it! But as far as scams go, some overcharging and encouraging you to see other sights isn’t too bad – everyone has to make a buck!
Walking around the temple of the Grand Palace