The king, Buddha and gold

Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

Exploring the brilliant temples and statues inside the Grand Palace walls

Commisioned in 1782 by the first Thai monarch, Rama I, the colorful and ornate roofs and chedi (aka stupa) lure us into the walled complex of the Grand Palace. We visited the emerald Buddha, gawked at the towering ogres guarding the temple and followed the story of the Ramakien (the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana epic) on the 178 section mural bordering the compound. We also toured past the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall built by king Rama V as the royal residence.

Our visit to this historical wang (Thai for palace) lead to a discussion of the monarchy and goverment in Thailand:

  1. Who is the current king and what role does he play in the governing of Thailand?
  2. What other countries have a monarchy?
  3. How do you feel about religion being part of the government?
Giant yaksha guard the temple compound