The Grand Palace was the official residence of the kings of Siam and later, Thailand since 1782. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the complex is staggering in historical significance. It contains a compelling maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important being Wat Phra Kaeo, Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Within this temple, there is a relic which is said to be a piece of bone or hair from the Buddha himself. The walled-in complex is interspersed with green lawns, lavish gardens, and stately courtyards.