|Part of the 218,000 sq metre palace complex.|
Hence my surprise that I haven't covered it before.
Whoever coined the phrase the Grand Palace was sorely underselling it. (What is the opposite of hyperbole anyway?)
I mean if a Hyatt hotel can be Grand, then surely this is Awesome, Stupendous, fantasmagorical, or The Friggin Amazing Palace, to be more colloquial. Bigger than Ben Hur. More pulling power than Lady Gaga. You get the idea ...
Speaking of which, Lady Gaga found herself embroiled in a little controversy last week -- when she landed she tweeted 'I'm in Bankok honey and gonna go the the lady market and buy a fake Rolex'. Well that's just ridiculous, Lady! What kind of town do you think this is??? Lady market? Like you can just go anywhere and buy one of their bar girls from their stock. Huh. As if. Fake Rolex? Like you can just buy pirated goods here. Huh again. As if. What kind of outdated stereotypical perceptions of Amazing Thailand you have, Your Royal Gaganess.
|Buddha is in the details.|
Any downside to being the biggest tourist attraction in Bangkok if not the biggest attraction in Thailand?
Yes, it attracts scam merchants, snake oil salesmen, touts.
Ignore the gap- toothed clown at the taxi stand telling you that foreigners must buy tickets up at the top gate. No! They are available only officially at the main central gate entrance. 400 baht per head for the temple and palace. Also ignore him when he tells you it closes at 1.30. Bullshit -- you are good till 4 pm.
|My guide, Khun Tavee. Or maybe this is something from the Ramayana.|
Kuhn Tavee was a cheerful chap with plenty of dignity even if he didn't veer one word from his script. There again maybe he did ... when describing the 5 pillars of Buddhism. When he came to the last one, 'thou shalt not drink alcohol', he paused.
"Many Thais are bad Buddhists," he said, "because many of us drink. But 4 out of 5 is good enough ... "
He gave me a big grin and a conspiratorial wink. Indeed an ice cold Chang beer is exactly what I needed on that boiling summer's day. Oh, and maybe something from the lady market and a fake watch, too.