8 Jun 2010 – The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace/พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang is a complex of buildings and served as the official residence from the 18th century onwards. Construction of the Palace began in 1782, during the reign of King Rama I, when he moved the capital across the river from Thonburi to Bangkok. The Palace has been constantly expanded and many additional structures were added over time. In an area of 218,000sqm surrounded by 4 walls 1,900m in length, the grounds houses the royal residence, throne halls, government offices and the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

It was overwhelming to see so many ornate, gold and gold-plated objects within an afternoon. The irony of it all is that Buddha ran away from all these to live a simple life and now in his grave, where he has no control, he is dressed with materials of wealth and housed in all the glided grandeur! The other irony was that across from this grounds, there were some homeless people and one of them was using the water from the public fountain to wash himself. Does that answer as to why groups like the Red Shirt exist?

All that glisters is not gold
Often have you heard that told
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold
Gilded tombs do worms enfold – Shakespeare

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