A spectacular procession of royal barges will be seen along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok on the 9th November 2012 as part of the celebration to mark the end of the three month long Buddhist Lent. The Crown Prince will be on one of the barges and will travel from Rama VIII Bridge to The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). A total of 2,082 oarsmen will row 52 barges for the 45 minute journey along the river. At Wat Arun, the Crown Prince will present robes to monks at the temple as part of the Royal Kathin Ceremony.
During October and early November 2012 there will be a series of rehearsals. The next ones are on Friday 19th October, Thursday 25th October and Monday 29th October. There will then be two full dress rehearsals on Friday 2nd November and Tuesday 6th November. The actual event will then be on Friday 9th November. All dates are of course subject to change. You can watch the procession on any of the dates though on the last day there will be countless thousands of people lining the banks all day.
At the weekend I was out scouting various places where you could watch the Royal Barge Procession. I have marked these places on the map above. Some of them need to be confirmed and so if you can help, then please post in the comments your own tips. The river will close to boat traffic from about 11 a.m. This is a full four hours before the event is due to start at 3 p.m. at the Rama VIII Bridge. Please alos note that they will also close all public piers so you won’t be able to watch from these. On the final day, the bridges will be closed too.
I took all of these pictures from Praya Palazzo which is directly opposite Phra Sumen Fort. I will be attending at least two more of the rehearsals with the intention to update the map. Follow me on Twitter @RichardBarrow for updates on this event.