Because we only had one real day in Bangkok we decided to spend it at the Grand Palace, which we’d been told not to miss. Luckily, our friend Mike warned us not to listen to anyone who tried to tell us the palace was closed. As if on cue, as soon as we got out of our rickshaw near the palace a man claiming to be an official tour guide (he showed us his ID tags and everything) tried to convince us the palace was closed until after 1 pm and we should go with him to see the Reclining Buddha in the meantime. Just as we were starting to believe him I remembered what Mike said and we quickly realized people were still streaming into the entrance. As we started to pay attention we heard an announcement on loudspeakers stating the hours of the palace on repeat. I guess people claiming the palace is closed is a serious problem there!
A few minutes later we noticed the same man talking to an older couple so I quickly went over to tell them not to listen to him and that the palace was open! It felt good to do my good deed for the day. You also have to be dressed conservatively (long pants and sleeves), but you can rent clothes inside the palace. Although wearing so much clothing in the sticky heat of Bangkok is no fun!
The Palace is indeed beautiful and we enjoyed wandering around the massive grounds and seeing so much gold! It was also very special to see the emerald Buddha (which you are not allowed to photograph!) inside the Wat Phra Kaew temple. It’s actually made from jade and is a beautiful deep green color.