Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

Post by Big Boy »

With my love of boats, this is a spectacle I'd love to see, but I'm just not sure it is possible to spectate/take photographs. I was going to go to the last one until they put a sort of spectator embargo around the entire event. Riverside hotels, etc. had to keep blinds down. Did anybody go? Were you able to see anything?

Maybe I should go to the dress rehearsal, where no such embargo exists. I guess there wouldn't be so many wanting to see that either. 52 royal barges on the river at the same time should make for quite a spectacle.


The restoration of 52 royal barges will be completed in time for a royal kathin ceremony in October as part of celebrations to mark the King's 72nd birthday on July 28, according to the Culture Ministry.

Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said on Friday that only minor details need to be added to complete the work, which is scheduled to be done by the end of this month.

The Fine Arts Department (FAD) has been instructed to prepare for a royal barge procession and kathin ceremony on Oct 27.

The barge procession will be the first such ceremony to be held during His Majesty the King's reign. Their Majesties, the King and Queen, will travel to Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan for the robe-offering ceremony.

A total of 52 royal barges will feature in the procession, creating a 1,200-metre-long and 90-metre-wide formation along the Chao Phraya River. About 2,200 oarsmen will be needed.

She said the restoration of the royal barges is supervised by the Conservation Science Division of the National Museum Office and the Office of Traditional Arts.

The government has allocated a central budget of 47.3 million baht for the work on the 52 royal barges. The FAD is working to conserve the royal barges to ensure safety and functionality and maintain the tradition of the barge procession, which is the highlight of this globally unique ceremony, according to Ms Sudawan.

"The restoration work is almost 100% done. The process will be finished within June 30," added the minister.

The move is also a response to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's wish to see this royal ceremony, which is eagerly awaited by both Thai and international visitors, showcase Thailand's rich cultural heritage.

The Culture Ministry will also work with the Tourism and Sports Ministry to promote the beauty of the royal barges after the procession ends.

The National Museum of Royal Barges in Bangkok's Bangkok Noi district has eight royal barges: the Suphannahong, Narayana Song Suban, Anantanagaraj, Anekajatbhujonga and four escort barges, including Ekachai Hoen Hao, Asura Wayu Phak, Khrut Hoen Het and Krabi Prap Muang Man.

She said the FAD will promote the royal procession and provide details of each barge on its virtual museum and will expand the operating hours from 4pm to 8pm in December as a New Year's gift to tourists and to promote the government's soft power policy.

According to the Royal Thai Navy, His Majesty the King has granted permission to anchor three royal barges -- Suphannahong, Narayana Song Suban and Anantanagaraj -- at Ratchaworadit Pier for an outdoor exhibition together with a show by oarsmen two times a day on July 28 and 29.

There will also be an exhibition in honour of His Majesty the King, said Capt Songchai Jitwang, Chief of Staff of the Administrative Department of the Royal Thai Navy.

There will also be a rehearsal of the royal barge procession before the royal kathin ceremony.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Royal Barges and Rowing Training Open to the Public for Viewing

The Royal Thai Navy invites the public to view the royal barges that will be used in the celebrations for the auspicious occasion of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn's sixth-cycle birthday anniversary. Three of the fifty-two royal barges—Suphannahong, Narai Song Suban HM Rama IX, and Anantanakkharat—will be displayed at Ratcha Woradit Pier in Bangkok, alongside with an exhibition in honor of His Majesty the King, from 27 to 29 July 2024. Additionally, four royal barges and four barges with animal figureheads will be showcased at the Royal Barges National Museum. The public can also observe rowing training at the Naval Transportation Department from now until 2 July, from 09.00 to 16.00 hr on official business days.

Barge.jpg
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Information for this spectacle are becoming more well known, with practice dates being announced:

1st session: 1st August 2024
2nd session: 8th August 2024
3rd session: 15th August 2024
4th session: 22nd August 2024
5th session: 3rd September 2024
6th session: 12th September 2024
7th session: 19th September 2024
8th session: 26th September 2024
9th session: 1st October 2024
10th session: 10th October 2024

Following these, there will be two major rehearsals on 15th and 22nd October 2024. Spectators are invited to witness the beauty and grandeur of this unique Royal Barge Procession from both sides of the Chao Phraya River, spanning from the Rama VIII Bridge to Wat Arun Ratchawararam (Temple of Dawn).

I'm not bothered on seeing the actual event i.e. I'll be happy with either of the major rehearsals.

Not being a big fan of Bangkok, I'm hoping one of you Bangkok regulars can direct me to a decent vantage point e.g. a shady restaurant with a good view of the river. A raised vantage point, looking down on the river would be better.

Can anybody help please?
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Just bumping this in case we have a Bangkok regular that can help.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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That part of the river both sides is nothing but Royal, Thai Navy and Government buildings from what I can see. All of the fancy hotels with good river viewing from their outdoor restaurants are further south.

Punch "Rama VIII Bridge to Wat Arun Ratchawararam": into Google and you're seeing what I am on the map.

I'm sure there are small sois and places where people will gather and watch, but they really aren't evident/advertised where from what I can find.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Your findings do more or less agree with my own. There is a half decent hotel with a good viewing platform, but it is a very decent price also. I was hoping for somewhere more sensible. The hotel is Riva Arun, or not so suitable Arum the River Place.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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There appears to be some small cafes/restaurants mainly at the southern end of the route, near Wat Arun. I didn't look them up though to see their size or exact address. The Riverside Cafe seems to be the best bet to me?

Screenshot 2024-07-06 at 14.13.53.png
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Note: I found that map with Google for "riverside restaurants Bangkok".
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I looked at your map, and sorry, and I thought he's looking in the wrong direction. Then I thought, have I got it wrong? I checked again, Tha Waksuri Pier to Wat Arun is a different direction to where I'd been looking. I'd been up and down the Chao Phraya River so many times whilst looking, I'd somehow turned my map upside down and was looking in the wrong direction.

I've been looking at last year's river cruise video and looking for likely places - I'd discounted some of the places on your map, but they were not in the right place. Now I'm no longer standing on my head I need to start again. Your map has been more helpful than you can imagine.

I'm off to the lake now - will look again when I get back.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

Post by Nereus »

The National Museum on the east side of the river, just north of Thammasat University, is right opposite the inlet where the Royal Barges are kept.
That in itself is also a Museum, and the barges will be leaving from and returning to there.
I can't remember, but I am pretty sure that the grounds of the National Museum are open to the river.

https://www.google.co.th/maps/@13.76048 ... ?entry=ttu

Tha Mararaj shopping centre is also just south of the university.

ps: no barges on the Lake (not yet anyway!)
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Nereus wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 3:30 pm ps: no barges on the Lake (not yet anyway!)
HaHa, you're not normally wrong, but you are this time:

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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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Tha Mararaj is looking good - thank you. When I viewed it on my river cruise video I thought it looked perfect, but when I looked at it on the map, I thought it was off the route. I think I will explore it as a definite possibility.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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I've just seen this video of the RTN training for the event. I'm so looking forward to it.

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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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I looked at video footage of the last Royal Barge ceremony. The riverside was jam packed about 20 people deep with spectators. I could not subject Mrs BB to that, so it had to be a room with a view.

I've booked my riverside hotel for the final dress rehearsal. I'm not too bothered about the main event - I just want to see the 52 barges doing their thing. I'll leave the main event for Thais.

Mind you, when I finally got around to booking, all river view rooms were gone (even for the rehearsals), I managed to book the last city view room in a riverside hotel. However, my hotel does have a 5th floor riverside facing bar, which should be perfect.
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Re: Royal barge fleet ready in time for 'kathin' ceremony

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:banghead: Sods Law - they've now added a further rehearsal date of 24 Oct, and there are river view rooms available.

Never mind - they cost twice as much - the bar will be fine :cheers:
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