ON October 13, 2016, Thailand as a country and the Thai people suffered the greatest loss of their lifetime; the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as His Majesty King Rama IX.
At that time, it was impossible to find the words to describe the pain and sorrow shared by 68 million people, and still today, it is very difficult to express our feelings towards a King who was considered a hero by the nation.
Tomorrow, on October 26, 2017, will be held the Royal Cremation in Bangkok. However, major cities across Thailand will stage the event with replica of the crematorium in honor of His late Majesty the King.
This is also true of Phuket. If you happen to be in Phuket tomorrow, or if you are a long-time resident of the island, I would like to share below some information about the event that will be held in Sapan Hin, Phuket Town.
The ceremony will start at 9 am in Sapan Hin, one of Phuket’s largest parks, located on the seaside of Phuket Town. The area will be divided into three different zones: the inner area, which consists of the crematorium replica, or Phra Meru Mas in Thai, as well as the area to deposit the sandalwood flowers for His Majesty the late King, the seating area, a 4000-seat gymnasium to host the mourners where food and beverage will be served, while the outer circle will welcome the overflow of visitors.
You should plan to go there very early if you wish to pay your respects near the crematorium and to offer your sandalwood flower; only 4 mourners at a time can visit the receptacle where the flowers are located. As a heads up, people are already waiting in line to be the first one to access the cremation area.
It is expected for all visitors to wear a strict black dress code, covering arms and legs, with black shoes. No stripes or design element should be visible on the clothes. Please note that you will be denied access if you do not comply with the dress code, while at the same time not showing respect in these times of deep sorrow.
Parking will certainly be an issue, but the local Government organized pick-up/drop-off zones so that you can catch a van to access the venue. Some of these places include Big C and Super Cheap in Phuket Town.
Top and inset: The site of the Royal Cremation ceremony at Sapan Hin, Phuket Town. Photos: Sarapee Sithammarat
By Nattha Thepbamrung