I was hugely taken with Bangkok's Grand Palace on my first visit, two days after my arrival in Bangkok. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to do it justice then, so I returned to see it again. I was interested to realize that I was going two days before my departure, giving my Grand Palace visits an odd symmetry, book-ends around my southeast Asia journey. I had a glorious sunny (and exceedingly hot) day this time, and I'm so happy with the photos that I'm going to post five of them in two blog entries. Technically these shots are all on the grounds of Wat Phra Kaeo (rather than the palace itself), which is enclosed within the Grand Palace grounds. These are perhaps my favourite feature of the entire place. They enclose and "support" two big chedis on the grounds. You can see another one in this previous post. They were all upgraded and/or restored in 1982 - some of their predecessors are on display in a museum on the grounds. They had lost not only much of their mirror tile, but in some cases were reduced to the rebar form that supported the concrete. The surviving mirror tile was generally reduced to black.