All photos taken on May 11, 1982.
Up early again this morning. Looking out of our hotel room window, we could see it would be another hot and hazy day. Pat was starting to react to the heat, strong sun and smog and did her best to cover up against the sun’s rays.
We wandered down for another breakfast in the lobby coffee shop, before heading out by bus for a tour of the Royal Grand Palace complex.
The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (later Thailand) since 1782. The king, his court, and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), resided at the Chitralada Royal Villa and his successor King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, both in the Dusit Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.
Construction of the palace began on 6 May 1782, at the order of King Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I), the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, when he moved the capital city from Thonburi to Bangkok. Throughout successive reigns, many new buildings and structures were added, especially during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). By 1925, the king, the Royal Family and the government were no longer permanently settled at the palace, and had moved to other residences. After the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, all government agencies completely moved out of the palace.
In shape, the palace complex is roughly rectangular and has a combined area of 218,400 square metres (2,351,000 sq ft), surrounded by four walls. It is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River at the heart of the Rattanakosin Island, today in the Phra Nakhon District. The Grand Palace is bordered by Sanam Luang and Na Phra Lan Road to the north, Maharaj Road to the west, Sanam Chai Road to the east and Thai Wang Road to the south.
Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning kings over 200 years of history. It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, with many public buildings; the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthien Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, but it remains a working palace, with several royal offices still situated inside.
Quite frankly, the Grand Palace had never looked better. In honour of the 200th anniversary of the Thai Royal family, the whole place had been refurbished and was positively gleaming.
Rather than group these photos into slide shows, I will label each one to show what is in the photo.
After the palace tour was completed, we visited the Rama Lapidary and Thai Silk Company in search of some final souvenirs. We arrived back at the hotel in time for another bakery lunch and swim in the hotel pool
Our last dinner in Bangkok was at the Tiara Supper Club and consisted of consommé, salad, roast beef with béarnaise sauce. Entertainment was by Jay and Bonnie Diamond. Honestly, I can`t recall the show, but they still have an online presence as a boy/girl duo, she with long hair and he with perm and mustache. Here is a link to a 1982 Youtube video (timely) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBmC56S-my4 Hey, it was the 80s. We were good.
Off to pack and hit the pit, ready for tomorrow’s travel to Singapore.