How to visit the Royal Crematorium
By Richard Barrow
Updated: 1st December 2017 – exhibition will open until the end of 2017
Referred to as Phra Merumas (Golden Crematorium), the Royal Crematorium is where the Royal Urn is placed on the pyre (Phra Chittakathan) for the cremation. Traditionally, it was built as a temporary construction in the middle of the city for cremating a deceased king or queen, or high-ranking royal, and is recorded for the first time in the Ayutthaya period.
The Royal Crematorium for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be open for viewing by the general public from 2nd to 30th November 2017. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening ceremony. There will also be an exhibition about His Majesty. Not many details have been released yet, but I will update below as and when information comes in.
- The exhibition will open daily
from 2-31 November 2017 until 31 December from 6.00 a.m. until 10.00 p.m.
- The public will be able to view the Royal Crematorium and supplementary structures and learn more about arts and culture regarding this ancient ceremony.
- You cannot climb up the steps to the top of the crematorium.
- You are allowed to use big DSLR cameras and take videos. Long lenses are allowed.
- You are not allowed to do selfies and Facebook Live.
- The exhibition is free and open to everyone
- Dress code is the same as for the Grand Palace. No shorts, singlets or sandals. No need to wear mourning clothes, but muted colors might be appreciated.
- Shoes are not that strict.
- Bring a photo ID such as a passport. They may not ask to see it, but this may change.
- A total of 5,500 people will be allowed to visit the royal crematorium per round
- Each round lasts for exactly one hour
- You are given a coloured visitor’s badge and so they can see which round you are in. But they are not strict if you are too slow.
- A bell will sound five minutes before the end of each round. It will be in Thai.
- 104,000 people will be allowed to visit the crematorium each day
In one day, the quota is 500 monks, 500 disabled people, 8,000 foreigners, 15,000 students and 80,000 general Thai public The news that there would be quotas per day isn’t true. There have been no signs of counting.
- There will be tents provided for people to sit and wait for their turn
- There will be five entrances to the site; three for the general Thai public, one for foreign visitors and one for persons with disabilities, monks, and elderly persons. However, a recent visit had Thais and foreigners in the same queue.
The gate for the foreigners is in the Southeast end of Sanam Luang near the Ministry of Defence (TBC). Everyone enters at the Northeast corner near the Royal Hotel.
- Officials will be on site to provide guidance and assistance to the general public, persons with disabilities, elderly persons, monks, and foreign visitors. However, all announcements are in Thai.
- It is possible that they might extend the exhibition, but that is not guaranteed
- After the exhibition, the Royal Crematorium and other components will be completely dismantled.
Our thanks and appreciation to Richard Barrows for sharing this very useful and timely information. You can read more of Richard’s blogs here: http://www.thaitravelblogs.com/
Drone photo of the Royal Crematorium by Sakka Assadodorn www.facebook.com/sakka.assadodorn