Information about the rehearsals for the royal funeral processions

UPDATED: 14th October: There will be rehearsals for the royal processions at Sanam Luang on 7th, 15th and 21st October 2017. The last two will be full dress rehearsals. In addition, there will be a rehearsal on 22nd October to take the Royal Ashes to Wat Ratchabophit and Wat Bowen Niwet. As these routes are longer, you might find it easier to watch.

PLEASE NOTE: HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is due to attend the rehearsal on 21st October. There might be stricter conditions for attending and taking photos.

In advance of the rehearsals, eighteen roads around Sanam Luang will be closed to all traffic. Click here for the full list. It has been very difficult in getting accurate information. But, I am starting to build up a picture now of the rehearsals. I will be updating this page as and when I get more information. Click here for a full list of blog posts I have written so far about the royal funeral.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • You are allowed to go and watch the rehearsal for the royal cremation processions.
  • Roads around Sanam Luang will be closed from 10:00 pm the night before
  • People will be allowed into the Sanam Luang area from 5:00 am
  • You should wear black clothes and carry photo identification.
  • There are three entry points: Shrine of Mae Thorani (พระแม่ธรณีบีบมวยผม) at the Northeastern corner of Sanam Luang, Tha Chang (ท่าช้าง) near Thammasat University and Tha Thian (ท่าเตียน) near Wat Pho
  • The rehearsal is due to start at about 7:00 am and finish at about 1:00 pm.
  • You will be able to watch from two locations: Maharat Road (Western side of the Grand Palace) from Tha Thian (near Wat Pho) to Tha Chang (near Grand Palace), and from Ratchadamnoen Nai Road (Eastern side of Sanam Luang)
  • They are estimating that only 10,000-15,000 people will be allowed to watch
  • I am presuming you will be allowed to take pictures of this procession, but I cannot confirm that yet.

PROCESSIONS IN THE ROYAL CREMATION CEREMONY:

During the actual funeral, there will be six processions. The following information will give you some idea of what to expect during the rehearsals.

FIRST PROCESSION: 7:00 am on Thursday 26th October
ROUTE: Maha Rajam Dai Wang, and Sanam Chai Roads.
LENGTH: 817 meters
DURATION: 30 minutes

During the first procession, the Royal Urn will be transferred upon the Golden Palanquin from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in the Grand Palace to the Great Victory Chariot in front of Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha Temple). 965 soldiers will take part in this procession.

SECOND PROCESSION: Thursday 26th October
ROUTE: Wat Pho, Sanam Chai, Ratchadamnoen Nai, and to Sanam Luang
LENGTH: 890 meters
DURATION: Two hours

During the second procession, the Royal Urn is transferred upon the Great Victory Chariot from Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha Temple) to the Royal Crematorium on Sanam Luang. 2,406 soldiers will take part in this procession.

THIRD PROCESSION: Thursday 26th October
ROUTE: Around the Royal Crematorium on Sanam Luang
LENGTH: 260 meters per round
DURATION: 30 minutes

For the third procession, the Royal Urn is transferred onto the Royal Gun-carriage and taken three time, anti-clockwise, around the crematorium site. Finally it is taken up into the Royal Crematorium. 781 soldiers will take part in this procession.

FOURTH PROCESSION: 8:00 am on Friday 27th October
ROUTE: Sanam Luang, Ratchadamnoen Nai, Na Phra Lan, and into the Grand Palace.
LENGTH: 1,074 meters
DURATION: 30 minutes

During the fourth procession, the Royal Relics and the Royal Ashes are taken from the Royal Crematorium to the Grand Palace. 834 soldiers will take part in this procession.

FIFTH PROCESSION: 10:30 am on Sunday 29th October
ROUTE: Inside the Grand Palace.
LENGTH: 63 meters
DURATION: 10 minutes

During the fifth procession, the Royal Relics will be taken from the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to Chakri Maha Throne Hall. Both of these are with the Grand Palace complex. 550 soldiers will take part in this procession.

SIXTH PROCESSION: 10:30 am on Sunday 29th October
ROUTE 1: Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Na Phra Lan Road, Sanam Chai Road, and to Wat Ratchabopit
ROUTE 2: Wat Rajabopidh, Atsadang, Sanam Chai, Ratchadamnoen Klang, Phra Meru, and to Wat Bowon Niwet.

During the sixth and final procession, the Royal Ashes will be taken from the Phra Sri Rattana Chedi in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to two different temples; Wat Ratchabopit (Map) and Wat Bowon Niwet (Map).

Top photo credit: ThaiPBS

8 thoughts on “Information about the rehearsals for the royal funeral processions

  • October 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks Richard for all the detailed info…

    But still confused… Is tha Chang and tha thian the only ferry entry points as well?

    Any advise on arriving by ferry and walking in to watch on Maharat road?

    Reply
    • October 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm
      Permalink

      From what I understand, the whole area is sealed off and you can only enter through metal detectors and security checkpoints at these three locations. So, I presume you don’t have to arrive by ferry. But, that is where the security checkpoints are.

      Reply
  • October 6, 2017 at 8:17 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for prompt reply. Will make attempt to view…. See if the caos doesn’t keep me Away.

    So further to above, you are saying you can’t walk up to Sanam luang to view funeral pyre?

    Reply
    • October 6, 2017 at 8:20 pm
      Permalink

      The second viewing area is the road to the East of the crematorium site. It is doubtful you will be able to get anywhere near, but you should be able to see it over the trees.

      Reply
  • October 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm
    Permalink

    Had great day trip in the end. Missed early morning due to rain. Headed out mid morning hitting ground at tha tian. Walked all the way around to Thammmasat university to view ceremonies still going on. Went to national gallery for well deserved air conditioned break and while in the grounds, low and behold the great victory royal chariot get hauled in by 200 men to be housed on museum grounds. This was about noonish. Continued to walk around sangam luang to the north to great good view of crematorium from behind. Great privilege to be able to view.

    Fought off meter taxis wanting 400b to get me out of there… 90b home.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Richard, do you know something about the rehearsals on October 15th? Are we allowed to go to the area? Bangkok Post today said only people with permit will be allowed to enter the area

    Reply
    • October 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm
      Permalink

      Not sure yet if they meant cars banned or people banned. Other newspapers were vague.

      Reply

Leave a Reply