It’s been little over a year since the passing of King Bhumibol, Thailand’s most loved King in recent memory. His passing has not been without sadness and sorrow, with many Thai’s have been paying their last respects for the past year. The main symbol to show this is by wearing black, something many Thai’s are still doing so one year on.
After one year of mourning, on the 26th of October the official funeral ceremony will take place in Bangkok. Due to this, there will be several disruptions across the whole of Thailand and especially in Bangkok. It’s important as travellers that despite this being a trip of a lifetime roaming Thailand and Southeast Asia that the utmost respect is kept during these tearful times.
Due to the King’s passing, there will be a new public holiday every year from the 13th October. Also the mourning period has been extended until the 29th October 2017. Here are some more important dates to remember:
Important Notice & Dates:
1ST – 29TH OCTOBER – The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha are CLOSED. The 30th October is the reopening date.
1ST – 31ST OCTOBER – There will be no Muay Thai fights at Rajadamnern Stadium throughout October. The Paruskawan Palace and The Police Museum will be closed throughout too.
20TH – 28TH OCTOBER – Phuket Vegetarian Festival will go ahead, however parades will be postponed until the last day.
21ST OCTOBER – There have been rehearsals for the royal procession; the last one takes place at Sanam Luang.
23RD OCTOBER – There will be no steam train trip on this date.
26TH OCTOBER – BTS skytrain will be free, as well the MRT Subway.
25TH – 29TH OCTOBER – The Royal Funeral will take place near the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
26TH OCTOBER – A public holiday so people can attend the King’s cremation ceremony, the final tribute and farewell. The farewell performances will be from 6:00pm – 6:00am the next day.
26TH OCTOBER – Some stores, cinemas and shops will be closed. Expecting the main shopping malls like Siam Paragon may close early. Local run shops and markets will probably be closed from 25th to 27th October.
26TH OCTOBER – 7 Eleven will be closed from 2:30pm until midnight, morning of of 27th October.
26TH OCTOBER – Khao San Road is expected to be deserted at this time, however completely 100% remains to be seen.
26TH OCTOBER – Dream World, Safari World, Siam Park and Siam Niramit will be closed.
2ND – 30TH NOVEMBER – The Royal Crematorium on Sanam Luang will be open to the public fro 7am to 10pm.
3RD NOVEMBER – Is the next date for the Full Moon Party. Octobers FMP was originally scheduled for 06th October but was cancelled. All other parties on Koh Phangan have been cancelled for October as far as we know.
Public transport will still be open during these periods, but expect them to be busy between 25th – 27th. This includes airplanes, buses and trains.
Roads are still open from airports so do not expect any closures or cancellations.
However, from 25th October through 28th October , 18 roads will be closed. They include Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Lak Muang, Kalayana Maitri, Charoen Krung, Phra Pipit, Thaiwang, Maha Rat, Phra Chan, Setthakan, Chetupon, Phraya Petch, Na Phra Lan, Na Phra That, Rajini, Phra Athit and Saranrom roads.
BTS Train is free on the 26th October.
MRT Subway is free on 26th October.
Airport Rail Link and Purple Line will be free on 25th – 26th October.
Chao Phraya Express and Saen Saeb canal boats will be free 26th 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.
During October, expect restrictions on boat movement on the Chao Phraya River from Krung Thon Bridge to King Taksin Bridge. From midday until most of the night on 25th, pretty much all day on 26th, and from until early afternoon on 27th.
The Chao Phraya Express Boat will not stop at Tha Chang, Tha Phra Arthit and Tha Rajinee piers temporarily, but stop at Thewes pier in the northern part of the river and Talad Yodpimarn in the south instead.
Pinklao pier will be used for the Bangkok side of the river for ferries coming from phra Chan Nuea, Maharaj and Tha Chang piers.
Rajinee pier will be used instead for ferries that normally go from Tha Tian pier.
Tourist boats will use both Pinklao and Rajinee piers.
What To Expect:
Dress respectively by covering your skin and not to wear bright colours, especially near important sites and religious attractions. Many locals will be dressed in black, if you can do the same.
You will not allowed to take photos of the royal family or funeral. Drones have been banned until after the 29th October within a 19km radius from the Grand Palace, covering much of Bangkok.
At the moment there is no ban on the sale of alcohol but expect one on 26th October.
Expect heavier traffic than normal in Bangkok, especially around the Grand Palace and Royal Plaza.
Khao San Road maybe quiet during the funeral days, with the 26th being most affected.
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