Foreign tourists advised to avoid Bangkok during royal cremation

Thailand will cremate the body of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 26 Oct 2017 at the cremation site at Sanam Luang (next to the Grand Palace complex) during funeral rites lasting five days and coming more than a year after his death, the Thai government announced today.

The royal cremation and other rites will be part of a state funeral that promises to be as grand and elaborate as the life of the monarch who reigned for 70 years, with construction already under way in Bangkok for a massive pyre for the late king.

His funeral rites, starting 25 Oct 2017 will close out a year of national mourning which will officially end on 30 Oct 2017.

The king’s 64-year-old heir, his only son among four children, ascended to the throne on 1 December 2016, but has yet to be officially crowned. On 21 Apr 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreau-ngam, announced that the coronation of King Maka Vajiralongkorn would take place in Dec 2017, but a date has not been set.

The body of the late king is being kept at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, which lies next to the site where a funeral pyre complex featuring intricate art pieces is being built as the centerpiece for the state funeral, which is expected to draw dignitaries and other attendees from across the globe.

On 25 Oct, King Bhumibol’s body will be moved from the palace and placed on the pyre, where it will be cremated the next day. The king’s ashes will then be collected and placed in an urn housed in the Chakri Maha Prasart Throne Hall, and Buddhist monks will chant over them during a merit-making ceremony.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangul said that in order to avoid traffic congestion, foreign visitors are advised to stay outside of Bangkok during the cremation period.

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