Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Grand Palace, No Misnomer!

The first time I went to Thailand, I got to Bangkok after dark. The month was December, so it wasn’t late, just dark. After a harrowing ride to our hotel (given that our taxi driver was trying to outrun all the vehicles on the road), we arrived at the Queen’s Hotel. The friend traveling with me would have been glad to have spent the rest of the evening relaxing over a nice dinner. But I had other plans. I was determined to go see the outside of The Grand Palace. I was able to insist on this for a simple reason: the important royal complex was close by. I knew that because I had rather purposefully chosen a hotel that was close to two major attractions, Wat Pho and the The Grand Palace itself.
So despite jet-lag, I dragged my poor friend out on the street so that we could walk past The Grand Palace as our grand introduction to Thailand. Even though we could only see some of the rooftops of the buildings inside the complex, I was still thrilled. The rooftops were orange with green and white tips, so they were particularly distinctive. We could also glimpse the tops of chedis, or ceremonial mounds. The high wall around the complex prevented us from seeing anything else, but we didn’t care. We took a long loop around the building just to get an idea what it would be like when we managed a full tour the next day. 

The Grand Palace complex was so rich in history, in decoration, in importance, that we should have gone back several times. We didn’t have that luxury, so we tried to take in the whole thing in a single afternoon (after spending an exhausting morning at Wat Pho!). We missed quite a few things (as we found when we went back a few years later), but no matter. We got a sense of the fine complex. We saw the outside of the royal quarters. We enjoyed the decorations with fanciful warriors. More significantly, even though he was very, very far away, we got a glimpse of the Emerald Buddha, which is one of the palace’s most cherished claims to fame.

We came away with a sense of the grandeur of Thailand and its world importance. We felt privileged to have seen its delicate fine architecture and its cheerful decorations. By the end of the day we were exhausted but excited to be anticipating three weeks in such a fascinating country. 

My recent novel THAI TWIST is a cultural romance about two sisters traveling in Thailand. Most of it is fiction. But it starts with one sister being dead tired after arriving in Bangkok and the other insisting on a walk to The Grand Palace. In this case, art definitely imitates life!

To find out more: 
Author website:
Novels website:


  1. Beautiful blog..This is one of my favorite blog!!! Thanks for such an interesting blog!!!!!!

  2. Thanks a lot, metrocaribbean! I will try to keep things interesting--and I'll be posting a new blog this Tues.


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