Map of Where to Watch the Royal Barge Procession

October 13, 2012

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.


View larger map

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.

14 Responses to Map of Where to Watch the Royal Barge Procession

  1. Jill Jansen on October 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    We will be at the hotel Millenium Hilton. Do you know if the procession would go by the hotel?

    • Richard Barrow on October 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

      No, you will be too far south.

      • Jill Jansen on October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        Thank you. Are there any nice hotels that would be in the area, with river views? I still need to make a reservation for our last night (which is the 9th), and had thought that a hotel with a view of the festival might avoid the crowds.

  2. David Tise on October 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Can you tell me what time the practice sessions run from and to?

    Thank you very much

    • Richard Barrow on October 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Starts at 3 p.m. from King Rama VIII Bridge. Takes about 20 minutes to pass you and 55 minutes to get to the end of the route at Wat Arun.

  3. Charles on November 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

    We booked a table at the Deck restaurant for midday…will we be too early then for the rehearsal on 2 November? Cheers, Charles

    • Richard Barrow on November 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Yes, but you should see them being towed upriver between 11am and 2pm

  4. Yum on November 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Where do you have a nice view of the barges with the Grand Palace background ? At Royal Thai Navy ? Is it at the place where we have to pay Baht 1,500 Baht ? Is it possible to buy last minute tickets on the premises ? Or is there any free spot where to get this view ? Thanks.

    • Richard Barrow on November 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Yes, the grandstand in the navy HQ has a similar view. I went a little further to the navy dockyard where they were bringing them out at 12:45pm. Not sure how restricted it is there but saw some school kids. I had a media pass. Frankly I don’t think the seats are worth 1,500B. See my map for these locations.

      • Yum on November 6, 2012 at 8:08 am

        Thanks a lot Richard for your tips. I really want to get nice pictures of barges with Grand Palace background but I do not want to pay 1,500 B at Royal Thai Navy grandstand. Last rehearsal, I went to Praya Palazzo as you advised, I paid 800 Baht with tea menu set, there were only 15-20 people over there and the spot was lovely. Did not regret the money we paid. For today, I will try to get free spot.

        • Richard Barrow on November 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

          Today I will try to get into the navy dockyard (marked on map) to get pictures of the barges leaving. If not there are some spots further north. I might also go back to Praya Palazzo for the procession at 3pm.

          • Yum on November 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

            The manager at Praya Palazzo told me there would be about 20 people there today, not sure if it includes the hotel guests as well. I loved the view of the barges with the fort background from Praya Palazzo and the boats passing so close from the hotel jetty. I will try to go to dockyard as well but not sure I can get inside if not open to public. Otherwise I will walk along the river to find free spots in front of Grand Palace.

          • Richard Barrow on November 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

            The problem about the Grand Palace side of the river is that the sun will be in your eyes. Also don’t forget, you cannot cross the river by boat after about 12pm

  5. Yum on November 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Oh I mean I don’t want to be at the Grand Palace side of the river. But on the other side of the river, with view over the Grand Palace across the river, I mean on Thonburi/Wat Arun side. So I think sun should be in my back or over my head, and not in my eyes. I will come by taxi, better than ferry boat. I cannot leave my home before 11AM anyway. Thanks Richard.

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