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Where to view the Royal Barge Ceremony
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  1. #1
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    Where to view the Royal Barge Ceremony

    Got a view of the royal barges?
    The grandest spectacle of this grand year will sail right past you if you don't plan ahead

    Vipasai Niyamabha
    The Nation, 20th May 2006

    The Royal Barge procession commemorating His Majesty the Kings six decades on the throne will enthral more than two dozen visiting foreign heads of state and many thousands gathered on the banks of the Chao Phya River.

    The barges in full flow are always a breathtaking sight, but this year is much more special, so interest is keener than ever. Getting a glimpse could be difficult or, if you plan too late, impossible.

    The Royal Thai Navy is arranging this particularly auspicious viewing of the venerable barges, set for June 12 at 7.30pm from Wasukri Pier to the Temple of Dawn.
    His Majesty and his honoured guests from overseas will watch from the Royal Thai Navy Institute.

    There will be evening rehearsals on May 23 and 30, followed by dress rehearsals on June 2 and 6 and a full dress rehearsal on June 9.

    Tickets to viewing areas arranged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand for June 2, 6 and 9 are fully booked. These sites are at the Bank of Thailand, Bangkok Noi Railway Station, Royal Navy Club, Naval Hydrographic Department and Thammasat University.


    Also sold out, via Thaiticketmas-ter.com, is seating for the June rehearsals at a viewing stand at the RiverSide Boat cruise docks.

    Whats left for the spectacle of the year?
    Try and catch the rehearsals from any vacant area on either side of the river, including the public parks. The embankment walkway at Santi Chaiprakarn Park might be a good place.
    If youre planning to squeeze in somewhere, keep in mind that standing atop Pinklao Bridge and thus above the procession is forbidden.

    Underneath the bridge is fine, and beneath the Rama VIII Bridge too. Viewing could also be good at Siriraj Hospital, Wat Rakang and its school, Wat Kalaya and Wat Arun itself. Expect to be barred from entering if you arrive late, and if you get in, youll be standing through most of the show.

    Photographers are advised to pick a place on the Thonburi side of the river because thats where the spotlights illuminating the procession will be. Youll get fine colour detail of the vessels from that bank, while the other one is best if youre into silhouettes.

    There will be crowds everywhere you go thats a given. If you want to avoid the mob, youll need a friend with a house or an office close to the riverbank or a reservation at one of the many riverside restaurants, and good luck with that too.

    Many of the waterside eateries are already booked up, including on the later rehearsal days, but theres likely some room left for May 23 and 30.

    Seating is going fast, for example, at Supatra River House (02 411 0305), despite the cost of the dinner buffet Bt2,500 on June 2 and 6. Those lucky enough to have reservations
    there on June 9 and 12 will be paying Bt4,000.

    Rakhangthong Kitchen (02 848 9597) has tables for up to 12 people on both of its balconies renting for Bt40,000. That includes a free bottle of wine or liqueur of your choice.

    Owner Palit Kieanthong said on Wednesday there were still tables available for June 2, 6 and 9. The high price, he added, is designed to limit the number of diners and make sure theyre serious about watching such a dignified event.

    S&Ps only riverside branch, at Maharaj Pier (02 222 7026-7), is booked up for June, but you might squeeze in on May 23 or 30.

    At the same pier, the long-closed Lan Te restaurant (01 839 8335) is actually reopening temporarily for the June barge rehearsals and the main event.

    For a view of the procession and a snack box, you pay between Bt400 and Bt1,000 on rehearsal days and Bt500 to Bt1,200 on June 12.

    Fifty-two barges will be used in this grand procession, including the four major vessels Subanahongsa (Golden Swan), Anatanagaraj (Multi-headed Naga), Anekajatibhujonga (Innumerable Nagas) and Narai Song Suban King Rama IX.

    More than 2,000 oarsmen recruited from various units of the Navy have been practising for months to ensure perfect synchronicity.

    The barges will align in a formation 1,200 metres long and 90 metres wide. From their 7.30 start near the Rama IX Bridge, theyre expected to reach Wat Arun at about 9pm.
    For more details about the Royal Barge procession, visit www.navy.mi.th.

    The government is hosting a royal exhibition at Impact Arena in Muang Thong Thani from May 26 to June 4. See www.60thcelebrations.com/en.

  2. #2
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    ... I hope it will be broadcast on tv ....

  3. #3
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    Got my tickets (see other thread) mind you I have been planning past 12 months to watch this event

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