Bangkok crews practice for the Royal Barge Procession in October, a rare event

The Royal Thai Navy has just finished rehearsing the royal barge procession, which is the final part of the Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua (Rama X) this year. Whilst His Majesty’s coronation was held in and around the Grand Palace between May 2-4 this year, the royal barge procession caps off the celebrations.

The royal barge procession will be on October 24, 2019. It will start at the Wasukri Landing, near the National Library, and proceed to Ratchaworadit Pier.

The royal barges are usually stored in a floating museum on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river and can visited anytime by tourists. One the opposite side of the Chao Phraya River is the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang Park.

The building they are housed in is affectionately called The Barge Garage by expats that have visited the museum.

Back before the Skytrain and a substantial road system around Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries were the most important link and method of getting in and out of the city’s canals. At the Royal Barge Museum you can get up close to eight of the country’s most unique and stunning vessels.

These boats are reserved for auspicious ceremonies and state occasions and have only made an appearance on the river 16 times in the last 65 years. Each is carved from huge pieces of teak, their prows engraved with mythical creatures, gilded in gold and intricately decorated with tiny shimmering pieces of glass. Rowed by up to 50 specially trained oarsmen, the boats leave their dry dock at festival times and important state occasions for spectacular processions along the river.

SOURCE: PR Thai Government

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Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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