The Royal Thai Government has scheduled the Royal Cremation Ceremony for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on 13 October last year, to be held on 25-29 October 2017, at Sanam Luang Ceremonial Ground in Bangkok.
The actual Royal Cremation will take place on 26 October 2017, which has been declared a national public holiday to allow the public to take part in the important event. This is a temporary holiday for this year only.
The Government also announced that an exhibition will be held during the month after the cremation, from 1 to 30 November 2017, between 07.00 and 22.00 hr daily.
During the Royal Cremation, tourist attractions across Thailand will be open as usual – with the exception of Bangkok’s Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which will be closed from 1 to 29 October 2017, as they will be the venues of the Royal Cremation.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, announced that the world is welcome to Thailand during this historic period. Visitors to the Kingdom at this time will get to see the great love and reverence that the Thai people have for their beloved late King, in the way they mourn and pay their respects. TAT also noted that many Thai people will be wearing black clothing as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors, but if possible, visitors should wear respectful clothing when in public. Because of the solemnity and gravity of the Royal Cremation, visitors should refrain from engaging in any inappropriate or disrespectful behavior.
Public Transport Services
To help accommodate the large number of people expected to pay their respects to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the Royal Cremation Ceremony from 25 to 29 October 2017, the Transport Ministry announced that public transport services in Thailand will be increased during this time:
1. Bus services will be increased by 35%, with more trips from the provinces to Bangkok already approved. There will also be free rides on public buses and third-class trains between now and the end of October.
2. Train services will be increased during the five days of ceremonies, with 244 trips per day scheduled.
3. Thai Airways announced it will add 20 flights a day. Thai Smile Air will operate an additional 42 flights a day, which can accommodate 72,384 passengers.
4. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is stepping up its service during the Royal Cremation Ceremony, with shuttle buses on 32 routes to Sanam Luang planned. In addition to this, all non-air conditioned buses that travel to Wat Phra Kaeo, Sanam Luang, and nearby areas will be giving rides free of charge.
5. The BTS Skytrain will be free all day on 26 October. On 25 and 27 October, only the extensions from On Nut to Samrong, and Wongwian Yai to Bang Wa will be free.
6. The MRT subway will be free all day on 26 October.
7. The BRT bus service from Sathorn to Ratchapreuk will be free from 25 to 27 October.
8. The Airport Rail Link and the Purple Line will be free on 25-26 October.
9. There will be free boat services between 09.00 and 16.00 hr on 25 and 26 October, and between 10.00 and 15.00 hr on 27 October. The boat services will go from the Commerce Ministry pier, the Nonthaburi pier, and the Rama VIII Bridge pier in the north, and from Sathorn pier and Tha Pimarn pier in the south.
1. There will be restrictions on boat movement on the Chao Phraya River from Krung Thon Bridge to King Taksin Bridge. The main periods of restricted travel are from 12.00 to 21.00 hr on 25 October, from 06.00 to 23.00 on 26 October, and from 08.00 to 14.00 on 27 October.
2. The Chao Phraya Express Boat will not stop at Tha Chang, Tha Phra Arthit, or Tha Rajinee piers temporarily, but will stop at Thewes pier in the northern part of the river and Talad Yodpimarn in the south instead.
3. Ferries operating from Phra Chan Nuea, Maharaj, and Tha Chang piers will use Pinklao pier on the Bangkok side of the river, while ferries which operate from Tha Tian pier will use Rajinee pier instead.
4. Tourist boats will use Pinklao pier on the Bangkok side of the river, as well as Rajinee pier.
1. Members of the public will be able to go to the Grand Palace to pay their last respects until 5 October.
2. There will be rehearsals for the royal procession at Sanam Luang Ceremonial Ground in Bangkok on 7, 15, and 21 October.
3. There will be traditional performances to pay a final tribute and farewell to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and to mark the ending of the official mourning period; the public performances will include the khon masked drama, puppet shows, and orchestras. The performances will start at 18.00 hr on the Royal Cremation Day, 26 October, and run through 06.00 hr on the following day (27 October).
4. The one-year mourning period has been extended by 15 days until 27 October.
5. Flags are to be flown at half-mast from 13 to 27 October.
6. The flying of drones is banned over much of Bangkok from 25 to 29 October.
7. The public is asked not to organize any festivities during the month of October.