The funeral of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be held from 23rd to 31st October 2017, with the cremation on 26th October 2017, the Thai government has announced. This is an incredibly sad occasion and marks the end of a year of mourning in Thailand.
While visitors to Thailand are still very much welcome, some attractions may be closed around the time of the funeral and some festivals and events may be postponed, toned down or cancelled. Many people will be travelling to Bangkok from all over the country at this time, so huge crowds and heavy traffic are expected.
What is open, what is not
- The official cremation site is in Sanam Luang Park, in front of the Grand Palace. The whole area will be utterly gridlocked throughout the ceremony.
- The Grand Palace will be closed from 5th to 29th October. It will open again on 30th October.
- Airports, hotels, shopping malls and markets will remain open as usual.
- Government-run museums will be closed on the newly announced public holidays: 13th, 23rd and 26th October.
- All other temples and attractions will be open as usual.
- Major cinemas across Thailand will be closed on 26th October.
- Soi Cowboy entertainment street in central Bangkok will be closed from 25th to 27th October.
- All 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand will be closed from 14:00-24:00 on 26th October.
- Expect a lot of traffic and large crowds on public transport during the dates of the funeral.
- The BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway will be free all day on 26th October.
- The BRT bus services will be free from the 25th-27th October.
- The Airport Rail Link will be free on 25th-26th October.
- There will be free but restricted boat services along parts of the Chao Phraya River on 25th-26th October.
- The roads around the funeral site will be closed from 23rd October.
- From 25th October, there will be many road closures and diversions around Old City Bangkok.
- If you are staying in Bangkok's Old City during this time, please be aware that travel times will likely be greatly increased. Consider moving to a hotel in a different area of the city.
- At the time of writing, there has been no official announcement of a ban on the sale of alcohol during the funeral, so nightlife venues will remain open at this time.
- It is widely believed that such an announcement will probably be made. If so, we will update this information.
What to Wear?
- Those who would like to attend the funeral in Bangkok or one of the ceremonies around the country should wear black or grey clothing.
- If you are not attending a ceremony, you don’t need to wear black (though doing so as a mark of respect would be appreciated).
- In Phuket, the famous Vegetarian Festival is going to be a much smaller, quieter event this year, with only one parade (on 28th October) and significantly fewer facial piercings.
- On Koh Phangan, the Full Moon Party on 6th October has now been cancelled.
For the most up-to-date information, go to www.thaitravelblogs.com
We will update this page regularly with the latest news that impacts visitors coming to Bangkok and Thailand.