BANGKOK, 10 October 2017: The Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for 25 to 29 October.
Thursday, 26 October, is the Royal Cremation Day, and it has been declared a public holiday in Thailand by the Royal Thai Government to allow people to take part in paying a final tribute to the late King.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has issued the following recommendations to visitors to Thailand during this historic period.
TAT reiterates earlier messages that visitors are welcome during this historic period, however, they should note the nation is mourning an unprecedented loss and bear this in mind when in public places.
Visitors to the kingdom at this time will get to witness the great love and reverence that the Thai people have for their beloved King in the way they mourn and pay their tribute.
Tourist attractions and public places should all be open as usual. All transport, banks, shopping areas, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual.
Some famous temples will be closed in the area around the Royal Cremation site.
Bangkok’s Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be closed until 29 October. Other iconic temples are open such as Wat Po and Wat Arun. (However, commutes to these sites might be difficult, due the vast crowds that will congregate around Sanam Luang.)
Other sites closed:
Arts of the Kingdom Museum closed for renovations to the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall of Dusit Palace.
The Arts of the Kingdom exhibition will be moved for temporary display from February 2018 to the SUPPORT Centre at Ko Kerd, Ayutthaya.
The Sanam Chandra Palace in Nakhon Pathom is also closed for renovations.
All Tesco Lotus outlets nationwide will be closed for half a day, from 1400, 26 October, and will reopen on 27 October.
All Major Cineplex Group’s cinemas nationwide will be closed for one day, 26 October, and will reopen on 27 October
Siam Niramit in Bangkok and Phuket will be closed 26 October.
Both Dream World and Safari World theme parks in Bangkok will be closed 26 October.
In Chonburi, tourist attractions will close for one da, 26 October, 2017.
They include: Burapha University’s Eastern Center of Art and Culture; Alcazar Carbaret, Tiffany’s and KAAN Shows; Tuxedo Illusion Hall; Space Inspirium; Flight of the Gibbon and Lazgam.
Many Thai people will be dressed in black as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors.
However, visitors should be mindful and refrain from wearing clothing the could be viewed as disrespectful.
Some of the traditional festivals may be taking place as usual although celebrations may be omitted or subdued as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Entertainment venues may be closed and certain entertainment events and activities may be cancelled, omitted, or subdued as as a mark of respect. It is understood that bars and entertainment establishments have the right to remain open, but it very likely that most establishments will close as staff will be attending ceremonies or viewing them on TV.
It is very likely that bars will close voluntarily without an order from the authorities out of respect. The on day of the Royal Cremation out of respect for Thai people and the Royal Family, visitors should be mindful and act appropriately in public places and dress in a conservative manner.
Visitors are advised to check local media regularly for announcements and updates.
TAT adds: “This is a sensitive time for Thailand, and visitors should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people.
“We also ask visitors to recognise that the solemnity of the Royal Cremation and its ceremonies and refrain from inappropriate or behaviour that could be interpreted as disrespectful.”
In order to facilitate the travel of people who wish to attend the Royal Cremation, many public transport operators including city trains, buses and boats, provincial buses and trains, will be offering free services 25 to 27 October:
Airport Rail Link offers free services 25- 27 October;
BTS SkyTrain free services 26 October.
MRT Subway offers free services 26 October.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) offers free services 25 to 27 October on the Sathon-Ratchaphruek route.
On 26 October, the Chao Phraya Express Boat offers free boat services from Sathon Pier to Phran Nok Pier, and from Phran Nok Pier to Nonthaburi Pier. From 25 to 27 October, the express boat will not stop at Tha Phra Athit, Tha Chang, and Tha Rajinee Piers.
(Source:Tourism Authority of Thailand.)
(Editor’s note: TTR Weekly uses only official government sources for information with regards the Royal Cremation.)