Bangkok’s Grand Palace has reopened its doors to tourists and visitors since November 1. The royal body of the late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is lying in state at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the palace.
As Thailand continues its official mourning period for the revered late king, what should visitors including tourists do when they visit to pay respects? Aside from wearing appropriate and respectable attire and bringing their passports when entering the gate, the Bureau of the Royal Household, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Transport’s Marine Department, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have some advice for tourists.
Entrance and exit
For tourists, the Grand Palace is open everyday from 8.30 am – 3.30 pm. Tourists and visitors are advised to enter and exit at the Wiset Chai Sri Gate only.
Drop-off and pick-up locations
For group tours
There are three drop-off and pick-up locations for tour companies taking foreign group visitors to visit the Grand Palace.
- Travel by car only: drop-off and pick-up at the Royal Rattanakosin Hotel.
- Travel by car and boat: arrival by car, drop-off at the Royal Rattanakosin Hotel; return by boarding the boat at the Tha Chang Pier.
- Travel by boat only: boarding the boat (maximum capacity: 400 passengers) both ways at Asiatique The Riverfront, and access via the Tha Maharaj Pier. However, there is an extra cost of 130 Baht per person.
Tour buses can park at the Rama VIII Bridge, the Old Southern Bus Terminal (about 1 km past Central Pinklao), Wat Dusidaram (at the foot of Phra Pinklao Bridge on the Thonburi side). For smaller tour vehicles or private cars, the drop-off and pick-up is at the Chang Rongsi Bridge.
- Travel by BTS Sky Train: get off at the Saphan Taksin Station and take a boat to the Tha Chang Pier or the Tha Maharaj Pier.
- Travel by MRT Bangkok Metro: get off at the Hua Lamphong Station (Bangkok Railway Station) and take a bus to the Grand Palace.
Tourist facilitation and assistance
The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Tourist Police has deployed special-task officers and volunteers as well as Tourist Police officers with the ability to communicate in foreign languages to facilitate tourists and provide assistance. The six officers and volunteers are stationed at the Tourist Assistance tent opposite the Wiset Chaisri Gate from 08.30-16.30 Hrs., or call +66 (0) 2642 2767 (Chinese language) and +66 (0) 84 651 5549.
The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has arranged to set up signage for the drop-off and pick-up locations in English and Chinese.
The Marine Department will deploy Tourist Assistance officers at three piers: Tha Chang, Tha Maharaj and Asiatique The Riverfront.
Tourists must show their passport at the checkpoints before entering the Grand Palace, and It is advised not to bring many belongings.