A YEAR following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Thai capital is expecting to draw in close to 250,000 people for a grand cremation ceremony spanning four days from Oct 25 to Oct 29. The actual Royal Cremation will take place on Oct 26, and is declared a national holiday.
Some 70,000 security personnel will aid in controlling crowds during the period, the replicas of the funeral pyre will be placed in various locations around Bangkok to help disperse crowds.
At the moment, the King’s body has been lying in state in the Grand Palace where thousands of black-clad mourners have been queueing daily to visit.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has issued a travel advisory calling for visitors and tourists to be “respectful” and to behave appropriately during the period.
“We also ask tourists and visitors for their understanding and patience should they experience delays or some routes may be closed to traffic,” the TAT said.
“Also, we would like to ask visitors for their understanding that this is a sensitive time for Thailand, and they should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people.”
During the period, many locals and mourners will be dressed in black, and the advisory mentions that while tourists are not obligated to follow suit, they should be aware about dressing appropriately in public.
“Visitors to the kingdom at this time will get to see the great love and reverence that the Thai people have for their beloved King in the way they mourn and pay their respects,” the advisory added.
On top of that, all gambling permits will be revoked in the month of October out of respect for the King, and this effectively extends to a ban on Muay Thai matches.