We wish to share with you some important information related with the Royal Funeral of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, during the period 25th to 29th October 2017. Please note that the following information has been taken from some media article and therefore, we encourage you to cross check everything from your end as well.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
The royal funeral will take place from 25th to 29th October 2017.
The actual cremation ceremony will take place on Thursday 26th October.
13th October is a new public holiday marking the death of King Bhumibol. This will take place every year from now onwards. (UPDATED)
26th October has been declared a public holiday so that people can attend the funeral. This is a temporary holiday for this year only (UPDATED)
People can go to the Grand Palace to pay last respects until 5th October. The palace will be open 24 hours a day. (UPDATED)
There will be rehearsals for the royal procession at SanamLuang on 7th, 15th and 21st October. It is not confirmed, but you should be able to take photos of this. But please dress respectfully (UPDATED)
The royal crematorium on SanamLuang will be open to the public from 1st to 30th November, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS and ACTIVITIES:
The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be CLOSED to the public, including tourists, from 1st to 29th October 2017. It will re-open on 30th October.
There will be no Muay Thai fights during October at Rajadamnern Stadium
TK Park at Central World will close on 26 October
Ananta Samakom Throne Hall and Vimanamek Teak Mansion are closed until further notice
Paruskawan Palace and The Police Museum are closed from 1st to 31st October.
There will be no steam train trip on 23rd October 2017
As far as I know, everything else in Bangkok is open as normal during October. This includes Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha) and Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple). Shopping malls and weekend markets will be open too, but there will be no outdoor entertainment. Come back for updates.
UPDATE: This is not a tourist attraction, but Tesco Lotus, a big supermarket chain, has just announced they will close all 1,900 stores at 2pm on 26th October in order to allow their 63,000 employees to pay last respects to the late King Bhumibol. This is potentially huge as other businesses will surely follow. Will this include shopping malls and tourist attractions?
All buses, trains and airplanes are expected to be running as normal. But in the days leading up to the funeral, expect many people to converge on Bangkok and the area around SanamLuang. They are putting on extra buses, trains and planes, but expect congestion.
The BTS skytrain will be free all day on 26th October. On the 25th and 27th October, only the extensions from On Nut to Samrong, and WongwianYai to Bang Wa will be free.
The BRT bus service from Sathon to Ratchapreuk will be free from 25th to 27th October
The MRT subway will be free all day on 26th October
The Airport Rail Link and the Purple Line will be free on 25th-26th October
The Chao Phraya Express boats and Saen Saeb canal boats will be free on 26 October.
There will be free shuttle boat services from 9am to 4pm on 25th-26th October, and from 10am to 3pm on 27th October. The boat service 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.
There will be restrictions on boat movement on the Chao Phraya River from Krung Thon Bridge to King Taksin Bridge. The main periods of time are from noon to 9pm on 25th October, from 6am to 11pm on 26th October, and from 8am to 2pm on 27th October.
The Chao Phraya Express Boat will not stop at Tha Chang, ThaPhraArthit and ThaRajinee piers temporarily, but stop at Thewes pier in the northern part of the river and Talad Yodpimarn in the south instead. 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. Tourist boats will use Pinklao pier on the Bangkok side of the river as well as Rajinee pier.
TIMELINE OF FUNERAL:
25th October: A royal merit-making rite will be held to mark the start of the royal cremation ceremonies in the Dusit MahaPrasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace. This will start at 5:30pm and will be broadcast live on all TV channels.
26th October: The body of the late King will be moved from the throne hall to the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang where the royal cremation will be held. This will take place at 7am. The cremation ceremony will be from 5:30pm and 10pm. The actual cremation will take place at 10pm.
27th October: Following the cremation, a royal ceremony will be held to collect the royal relics of the late King at the royal crematorium from 8am.
28th October: A royal merit-making rite for the royal relics will be held in the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall at 5:30pm.
29th October: A royal ceremony will be held to enshrine the royal relics at the Chakri MahaPrasat Throne Hall at 10:30 a.m., and the ashes of the late King will be enshrined at Wat Rajabopit and Wat Bowon Niwet at 5:30pm.