Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
The Grand Palace, or formally Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang, had been the official residence of King Rama I to King Rama V. It has an area of more than 211,000 square meters combined together. The present function of the palace is a venue for royal ceremonies and receptions. According to the ancient Siamese royal tradition, a royal chapel must be established within the grounds of a royal palace. Therefore, Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, was built as the royal chapel at the Grand Palace. It enshrines the famous Emerald Buddha. Both the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew manifest the most exquisite architectural and artistic elements. Cultural heritage enthusiasts are elated by the mind-blowing details of the ordination hall, the Emerald Buddha, the mural paintings, the sculptures of mythical creatures according to the himavanta legend, the royal mausoleum called “Ho Phranak,” the auxiliary library “Ho Phra Monthien Tham”, and massive sculptures of yaksha or giant guardians. Wat Phra Kaew is undeniably one of the world’s most well-known tourist destinations.