Some Things to See and Do: National Palace

We had only a short time in Bangkok so this list is far from comprehensive. We didn't, for example, get to the zoo or the science museum, both of which can traditionally be great and educational or creepy and dull. Check it out for us, and then write in with your thoughts please.

Thai National Palace

This will be tough for younger kids, as it involves looking at things you cannot touch. There is a dress code for everyone of long pants or demure skirts, and shirts with sleeves (short sleeves OK, but no tube tops or tank tops, no bare bellies). People not suitably dressed will be turned away or asked to rent groddy old clothes left behind by others that are hot and not so clean. Admission in 2004 was 200 baht a person (about US$5).

bangkok photo

Inside you can walk amongst a number of styles of Thai temples and royal architecture, some quite striking. A well-done pamphlet explains it all and for kids who can read and who are interested in history, is worth spending some time with. The key attraction is a small jade Buddha figure, kept on a high altar and only touchable by the Thai King himself on special days. Strict standards of decorum are maintained by very serious guards, and young and restless children will be neither welcomed nor impressed. One must remove shoes and hats before entering the Buddha hall area.

You can buy bottled water only at the ticket area, though there was an ice cream vender inside as well. We found restrooms where we needed them, all quite clean with soap and hand dryers. You had to have 2 baht coins for toilet paper.

Kids a little older will enjoy the small sword and spear museum also on the grounds, and posing for photos with the royal guards. Unlike those in London, these guards smile and chat a bit, and seemed overall amused by the attention. This contrasts with the soldiers throughout the grounds dressed in combat fatigues carrying automatic weapons, who are very serious and should not be disturbed.

User Feedback

Related Bangkok Articles