Or “hi” in thai! This time I am taking you to one of the largest cities in southeast Asia, Bangkok, capital city of Thailand, one of the cities I was more curious about in that side of the world. Bangkok is the most populous, and main financial, cultural and historic center of Thailand. One of the positive sides of that country is that us, Brazilians, don’t need to pay to get in or out of its borders. A few small details are enough for them to accept us in vacation there. A few other nationalities like the American, need to pay a fee to get in. At first moment they confused me as being american and sent me to the wrong line, soon I noticed that mistake and moved to the right one. It is in fact very confusing the process of immigration once you are there, so, pay attention! They are quite unorganized. This was quite a bit disappointing, because not many are the thai people, even in the capital city, able to speak proper english. The chaotic traffic and lots of air pollution, also did not made me any happier. For times I felt like I was in some areas of São Paulo, in Brazil. But let’s talk about what matters most, it is in the capital city of Thailand that the Grand Royal Palace is. Yes, they are still governed by a royal family. Everywhere you see the face of the King and the Queen in big outdoor and signs. As far as I could understand, the royal couple is loved by the majority of the population. From 1782 to 1925, the royal family used to live at the Grand Palace, this complex of buildings in the heart of Bangkok, but the current monarch, lives in the Chitralada Palace. The big palace though, still is used for official events. Many royal cerimonies and government events are hosted there every year. That palace is one of the main tourist attractions in Thailand. But be ready, there is a dressing code to get in there, I was not allowed to get in because I was wearing ripped jeans on my knees. So, I had to go back out, rent a part of pants not ripped and go back. It was worth every cent, walking past all those areas inside the almost 220.000 square meters built in a close to rectangular shape, and surrounded by high walls.
The construction of the Grand Royal Palace initiated in 1782 when the king Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I), the founder of the Chakri dynasty, moved the capital city from Thonburi to Bangkok. During the many successive reigns, many buildings and new structures were added to the complex. Mainly during the reign of the king Rama V. It is very interesting to notice that, different from many other countries where the palace is divided internally in just one building, the Grand Royal Palace in Thailand is divided in many other buildings, halls, gardens, plazas and patios. One of the most distinctive buildings is the Emerald Buda Temple, or Wat Phra Kaew. It consists in fact, of a Royal Chapel, inside the borders of the palace. This temple is surrounded the four sides by a series of walled cloisters, seven gates different one from another. Besides that temple, all the others are very much the pretentious Thai architectural style. I also visited many others temples and historic marks of that country, including the Big Budday more south of the country, in Phuket. With sensational views of the thai beaches, elephant rides, tiger kingdom, a lot of great beautiful food, extremely spicy though, cheap hotels but with high quality, very welcoming people and lots of great weather, what made this trip AMAZING was to be able to meet a friend from Thailand I shared house with eight years ago when I was living in the USA. Such an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life.