What to expect in Thailand for the Royal funeral and cremation

24 october 2017

October 26 marks the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and will be observed as a national holiday.

Bangkok will be the center of the funeral activities, with foreign dignitaries arriving from around the world to pay their respects alongside thousand of Thai people and local residents. Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace will be the focal point for the funeral observations.

Read more about the details of the funeral week in the IVL article published earlier this month.

IVL wishes to answer questions recently asked by villa guests regarding the funeral and cremation of an important figure for Thai people.

What can I expect in Bangkok during the Funeral Week and Royal Cremation Day?

Royal cremation of King Bhumibol

  • Public transport services extended to allow people to pay their respects
  • Electric train services in Bangkok mostly free from October 25-27
  • Movie theatres closed on October 26
  • Thai based airlines are adding additional flights and offering discount flights to encourage people to travel to Bangkok to pay their respects

What is happening on Koh Samui during the Funeral Week and Royal Cremation Day?

  • most business will close on October 26
  • all 7-11 convenience stores will close from mid-afternoon
  • Makro department stores to close early
  • alcohol sales will be limited and excessive revelry is frowned upon during the funeral week, especially on the day of the cremation
  • wearing dark colored, non-revealing clothes is recommended

Cremation services to be held at Wat Plai Laem

Starting at 9:00 a.m. at Wat Plai Laem an event will be held to honour the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Villa guests are welcome to attend but must take note of the expected funeral protocol; wear black or dark colored modest clothing and pay attention to how Thai people behave and follow suit.

To confirm, yes, these will be somber times for Thai people but visiting Thailand is not discouraged. The respect shown to the late King and the Royal family is humbling to see and will remind you of the spirit of the Thai people.

R.I.P. His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Facts, figures and quotes from Bangkok Post