Pattaya’s monument to King Bhumibol sets sail for history

Photo courtesy of Pattaya Mail

To honour the cherished memory of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as King Rama IX, Pattaya City announced plans to erect a monumental tribute at the former site of the royal sailing club on Pattaya Beach.

Presided over by Deputy Mayor Kritsana Boonsawat, the city’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage took centre stage at a recent meeting.

The inspiration behind this grand endeavour harks back to a historic event decades ago, where King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, alongside the Royal Family, sailed in Pattaya Bay.

The significance of this event reverberates through history, with April 19, 1966, marking a particularly momentous occasion. At dawn, His Majesty the King embarked on a daring journey, sailing his own vessel, the Vega, across the Gulf of Thailand, conquering adverse weather and obstacles to reach Sattahip after a 17-hour voyage.

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Peter Cummins, in his book King Bhumibol Adulyadej: The Legendary Royal Sailor, recounts the king’s passion for sailing, a sport that brought together royalty and enthusiasts alike in South Pattaya during the 1950s and 1960s.

The forthcoming monument seeks to immortalise these memories, with the city administration collaborating closely with the Department of Fine Arts since 2019 to bring this vision to fruition. The recent meeting addressed design challenges and outlined steps for its realisation, with the Education Office contributing to the monument’s aesthetic and landscaping considerations.

A dedicated team of architects has meticulously crafted the monument’s design, ensuring it pays respectful homage to the late King’s legacy, reported Pattaya Mail.

Concurrently, the Strategic Planning and Budget Office is diligently overseeing the project’s progress, with a targeted completion date set for 2025.

In related news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin ignited a national fervour, urging Thai citizens to pay homage to His Majesty the King’s 72nd birthday. Addressing the nation post-Cabinet summit, the 62 year old Thai PM, clad in golden hues, disclosed plans for a weekly ritual.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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