Located within the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, is considered the holiest Buddhist site in Thailand. King Yodfa Chulaloke commissioned it to be built in 1782. Today, the Pagoda attracts the most visitors in Bangkok and is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Wat Phra Kaew Pagoda covers an area of about 95 hectares and is home to more than 100 artefacts representing 200 years of history. It is completely gilded and inlaid with precious stones and adorned with artistic statues. The largest tower Phra Si Rattana Chedi covered with millions of gold leaves imported from Italy.
The Jade Buddha is seated on an 11 m high pedestal in the main tower. The statue is 66cm high, and carved from a jade monolith. It is dressed in magnificent robes that are changed each season (hot, rainy and cold season). The dressing ceremony used to be personally conducted by the king, but in recent years, the prince has taken over this responsibility.
The Royal Palace and the Emerald Buddha Pagoda are sacred places for the people of Thailand and visitors coming here should dress smartly, not wear short shorts, transparent shirts or crop-tops. The Royal Palace is located in the historical Phra Nakhon area of Bangkok, which can be reached by tuk tuk, taxi or motorbike. It is open for visitors from 8:30 to 15:30. Be weary of drivers who tell you the palace is closed and invite you on a city tour instead. Admission fee for foreign visitors is 500baht 14USD). The ticket is valid for a visit to the museum in the palace and the Vimanmek summer palace located in Ratchathiwi street.
Tourists to Bangkok get to enjoy impressive delicacies like Tom Yum, Pad Thai, seafood hot pot, sticky rice with mango and much much more. If you have any free time, visit the markets, the food streets like Chinatown or Ratchawat market, and taste delicious dishes served right on the sidewalk. Hotels in Bangkok offer relatively low prices, choose a hotel located along the sky train for easy access to the city’s sites, or book a room at the Oriental Residence or InterContinental (two TripAdvisor award winners) for a more up-market experience.