Your Guide to the Royal Barge Ceremony – October 24th

The Royal Barge

The government has made available 39,000 parking spaces in Bangkok for people wanting to watch the royal barge procession next month, according to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

People can park their vehicles and ride the mass transit system to where they plan to watch the October 24th royal barge procession featuring His Majesty the King. The procession is an extension of the King’s coronation ceremony in early May.

His Majesty will travel in a procession of 52 ceremonial boats to present monks with robes as part of a Royal Kathin Ceremony.

Soldiers and police will provide security along the 1.2-kilometre procession route. It has been reported that viewing from balconies or even through windows of high rise buildings along the route will be forbidden.

About 2,200 oarsmen will be involved in the elaborate procession, which will begin at Wasukri pier and end at Wat Arun Ratchawararam, better known as the Temple of Dawn.

General Prawit, who chairs the event committee, said that people can leave their vehicles on the day at carparks at Lat Phrao MRT station, the Attorney-General’s Office, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road and the Siam Commercial Bank headquarters.

These locations have a combined parking capacity for 8,550 vehicles.

Other parking spaces will be set aside at Muang Thong Thani, the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, the Thupatemee sports stadium, the Ikea stores in Bang Na and Bang Yai, Bitec Bang Na, Central department store on Rama 2, Central Westgate department store and MRT Purple Line station at Tha-it. The locations can handle 30,450 vehicles in total.

Shuttle buses provided by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority will be available free of charge between parking locations and train stations.

Kitchens will set up close to procession vantage points to provide food for spectators and medical units will be offering free check-ups.

The deputy prime minister said the Social Development and Human Security Ministry has been instructed to provide wheelchairs for the elderly.

He also said 16 security check-points will be established to screen people entering areas along the royal procession route.

“People will have a great opportunity to be close to His Majesty the King and view a time-honoured, one-of-a-kind tradition which is the royal barge procession,” General Prawit said.

The Royal Barge Procession, the final event of the Coronation of King Rama X, will be held on Thursday 24th October 2019. The procession will begin at the Wasukri pier at 4:00 p.m., when His Majesty the King will travel along the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) to present robes to Buddhist monks (Royal Kathin Ceremony).

About 2,200 oarsmen will row 52 barges arranged into five groupings, from the Wasukri pier to Wat Arun, with a total length of four kilometres. Rhythmic barge-rowing songs are part of this ceremonial water-borne procession, which is a rare spectacle, arranged on special occasions only.

After six minor rehearsals which have already taken place further rehearsals are planned as follows:
• The seventh minor rehearsal – Thursday 3rd October 2019
• The eighth minor rehearsal – Monday 7th October 2019
• First Full Dress Rehearsal – Thursday 17th October 2019 (some sources say 16th Oct.)
• Second Full Dress Rehearsal – Monday 21st October 2019

Credit: David Watson