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Royal Coronation ceremonies in the inner sanctum of the Grand Palace

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Royal Coronation ceremonies in the inner sanctum of the Grand Palace | The Thaiger

The historic Coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn this weekend will be based on long held traditions that were included in coronations of the preceding nine Kings of the Chakri Dynasty since 1782.

Three halls in the Phra Maha Monthira section of the Grand Palace will be used for the royal coronation.

Off limits to the public, the Phra Maha Monthira halls are located within the inner sanctum of the Emerald Buddha Temple and the Grand Palace.

These halls were built on the site where King Rama I first built a temporary palace upon assuming the throne and establishing the Chakri Dynasty in 1782.

The structure and pattern, including the interior of these halls, follow traditional design and convey the heavenly status of the king in line with the cosmological beliefs described in the Tribhumikatha scriptures written by Phra Maha Dhamma Raja I (Lithai) of the Sukhothai era. The exteriors are no less magnificent, with each set of the layered roofs boasting decorative rakes called Krieung Lam Yong, Chofah and Hang Hong. The roofs are lacquered and decorated with a mosaic of coloured glass in green, orange and yellow.

Royal Coronation ceremonies in the inner sanctum of the Grand Palace | News by The Thaiger

The Phra Maha Monthira group of royal halls  are marked with distinctive roofs, with tiers telescoping outwards, with decorated pediments featuring undulating Nagas on its gables, and chofa at the apex. 

Royal ceremonies during the reign of King Rama I initially took place in the Indra Bhisek Maha Prasad Throne Hall, but King Rama II later moved them to halls in the Phra Maha Monthira group, with his coronation being held in one of them. The Phra Maha Monthira comprises three connecting buildings: the Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence, the Baisal Daksin Throne Hall and the Amarindra Vinijaya Mahaisuraya Biman Throne Hall.

The coronations of King Rama II, King Rama IV and King Rama V as well as the first coronation of King Rama VI in 1910 were held in the Phra Maha Monthira halls. However, King Rama VI’s second coronation on the following year was held at the Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall, which was built separately.

The coronations of King Rama VII and King Rama IX were once again held in the Phra Maha Monthira group of halls.

The assumption of the Royal Residence is an important part of the coronation ceremony. It is customary for the newly crowned monarch to spend at least one night in hall, which is placed in the innermost part of the Grand Palace.

Royal Coronation ceremonies in the inner sanctum of the Grand Palace | News by The Thaiger

                   The king’s bedstead inside the Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence. 

The hall was built during the reign of King Rama I as the primary apartment and sleeping quarters of the monarch. According to tradition, only crowned kings can sleep within this hall. Divided by a golden screen, the northern part of the hall contains a canopied bed originally occupied by King Rama I, and above it hangs a ninetiered umbrella. The second part of the room contains a dressing and privy chamber, above which hangs another ninetiered umbrella. King Rama VI spent the last years of his life in this hall, and passed away in 1925.

King Rama VII and King Rama IX, however, spent  a few nights in this hall after their coronation.

During the coronation ceremony, royal accessories were traditionally placed in the Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence for the monarch’s assumption of the residence. Among them were the “cat” or Wila, mortar stone, auspicious seeds, green gourd, golden key and a gold blossom of the betel palm. More objects were later added such as the whisk, which was later made from the tail of a white elephant.

The middle chamber, a rectangular hall, is where most important religious and state ceremonies are held, including the coronation.

Royal Coronation ceremonies in the inner sanctum of the Grand Palace | News by The Thaiger

                 Inside the Baisal Daksin Throne Hall, where the Atha Disa Udumbara Raja Asana Throne is placed on the east and the Bhadrapitha Throne is on the west. 

The hall houses two thrones: the Atha Disa Udumbara Raja Asana Throne or the Octagonal Throne situated in the eastern part of the hall, and the Bhadrapitha Throne on the western side.  On the northern side of the hall is a solid wall comprising 11 door panels, and in the centre of this wall is a Chinesestyle altar housing Phra Siam Devadhiraj – a deity who is believed to protect the country. The deity was crafted on the instruction of King Rama IV.

After the newly crowned king takes possession of the Royal Residence, the next ritual is for Buddhist monks to present a sermon to the new king at the Amarindra Vinijaya Throne Hall. This ceremony does not involve holy chants, but instead the Supreme Patriarch and a group of Phra Racha Khana monks are invited to preach to the new monarch, while seated on a special pedestal with a nine-tiered umbrella.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The Nation

Bangkok

Bangkok’s ‘Backpacker Central’ gets a makeover

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Bangkok’s ‘Backpacker Central’ gets a makeover | The Thaiger

Khao San Road in Bangkok, which has become famous (and slightly infamous) over the years without much interference, is about to get fully-fledged make-over with the help of the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority.

Thai PBS reports that works are scheduled to begin in March next year with a budget of 48 millon baht set aside for the work.

Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sakonthee Patthiyakul says the renovation of Khao San Road will include granite repaving, raising of the road surface to the same level as the footpaths, landscaping and rezoning of approximately 240 pavement stalls.

Khao San Road is a 400 metre strip packed with bars, restaurants, guest houses offering cheap accommodation, hotels, souvenir shops and pavement stalls. It also had a reputation for offering a few fake items in the past, from brand name clothing to ‘passports’ and fake licenses.

Last year there was an ongoing battle between City Hall and roadside vendors as officials tried to ‘clean up’ the area but were castigated for not consulting the strip’s many traders. City Hall eventually caved in to the pressure and stepped back from their proposed changes.

City Hall plans to rezone and re-manage the 240 pavement stalls by grouping the stalls of similar type, such as clothing, souvenirs and food, together. The deputy governor said that the operating hours of the pavement stalls will be from 9am to 9pm and the contracts for the pavement traders will be renewed every two years, so that new traders will have a chance to do business in the popular tourist spot.

To prevent a monopolization of the pavement stalls, each trader will be allocated only one stall, by means of drawing lots, and the stall rental fees will be paid to City Hall. Push carts selling drinks, fruit or food will not be allowed into Khao San Road.

For the next step, Sakonthee said that the city administration will apply the Khao San model to the nearby Rambutri Road.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Co-working spaces in Bangkok are re-shaping small to medium business office options

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Co-working spaces in Bangkok are re-shaping small to medium business office options | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Great Room

Co-working spaces are opening up around Bangkok and providing a more flexible framework for businesses to grow. Advances in technology, a more mobile workforce, and unpredictable economic growth are reshaping the business environment.

In the Bangkok office market, a traditional three-year lease with options to renew and the tenant fitting out the space remains the typical way of leasing office premises for most occupiers. CBRE reports that multinational firms, with offices in different countries, are increasingly looking for flexible lease terms as real estate costs continue to be one of their major concerns.

Companies are also looking at agile working where staff no longer have allocated desks and, in some cases, it is easier to get third parties to design, build, and operate this space rather than companies doing it themselves.

Some of the current pricing being offered by co-working space operators is very competitive and the cost combined with flexibility is making leasing from third parties more attractive than companies leasing space, fitting them out, and managing their own premises.

In Bangkok, co-working space has continued to be an emerging source of office demand and CBRE has leased over 44,000 sqm, accounting for around 25% of CBRE’s total new office letting volume in the last 2 years, to co-working space operators.

International operators like JustCo, WeWork, Spaces, and The Great Room have opened multiple centres over the recent year and more are scheduled to open this year. The aim of these operators is to revolutionise the way occupiers source office accommodation. They want to provide office space as a service rather than a traditional lease.

CBRE believes that co-working space operators are not just targeting startups companies but also multinational firms especially those seeking to build more flexibility into their real estate portfolio. The use of co-working space can provide flexibility for companies to accommodate fluctuation in space requirements.

Accounting rules have changed and rent payable under leases must now go on the balance sheet, whereas it appears that sourcing office space as a service does not count as a lease and therefore need not be on the balance sheet.

This means occupiers do not need to commit to a traditional three-year lease term. Instead, they are paying their rental as a service fee on a per desk or membership basis rather than per square metre. Co-working space operators are also providing tailor-made solutions with companies enjoying exclusive use of the space and not sharing it with others, making this a viable alternative to a traditional lease for large local and multinational companies.

As millennials will become the largest generation within the workforce in the future, CBRE foresees that companies are forced to re-think their workplace quality to make it capable of encouraging collaboration and innovation as well as promoting employee wellbeing. More companies will transform their offices into agile workplaces either doing it themselves or relying on a coworking space operator to provide the solution.

SOURCE: CBRE

Co-working spaces in Bangkok are re-shaping small to medium business office options | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Soimilk

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15 baht flat fares for BTS Skytrain – Transport Minister

The Thaiger

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15 baht flat fares for BTS Skytrain – Transport Minister | The Thaiger

The government’s new Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has reiterated its intention to reign in the costs of the city’s Green Line trains, the BTS Skytrain, around Bangkok. They’re even mooting a capped flat fee of 15 baht per ride. The policy was proposed by the Democrats during the election campaign and accepted as party platform for the new coalition in deals done before the vote for the PM in Parliament in June.

But the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand governor say it can only happen if the government agrees to subsidises the remainder of the costs for the private operators of the rail routes. The governor, Pakapong Sirikantaramas, agreed it would be a bonus for commuters and bring down their public transport costs on the electric train systems around the city but needed to be budgeted as an ongoing cost for the new government.

He said they’re also looking at other alternatives to bring down the high costs of using the BTS Skytrain for commuters. He announced a committee has been set up to evaluate the ‘proper and fair’ fares for the city’s Green Line. The ‘Green Line’ services around the city have grown in popularity by more than 50% in the past decade.

In another policy proposal, legalising Grab Car (widely used but not officially legal as yet), would help relieve the city’s pressure on the train systems. The Bhumjaithai party’s secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob, now head of the transport ministry, has also foreshadowed rolling out policies like allowing students to complete some projects from home and not having to travel to school all the time to help reduce congestion.

Part of his party platform has also promised to oversee all transport projects are contracted out in a transparent and fair manner.

15 baht flat fares for BTS Skytrain - Transport Minister | News by The Thaiger

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