Theo Courant


Daily chronicles of cultural information, tips and tricks for travelers in South East Asia: Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.


Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok: all info

On October 24, 2019, the great Royal Barges procession will be held, an event that will conclude the coronation ceremony of King Rama X. In the meantime, several rehearsals will take place …

This Tuesday, September 10 (like August 22 and 29), Bangkok and especially the island of Rattanakosin, the historic center of Bangkok, will experience a general congestion of traffic. Indeed, there is a repetition of the procession of royal barges. The usual traffic on the Chao Phray has been totally stopped so that the royal barges can maneuver safely.

Memorial Bridge divides Chao Phraya in two. Upstream, all the usual boats on the river will be stopped. On the other side, the Chao Phraya reserved for military boats and royal barges.

A unique royal procession

The coronation ceremony will end on October 24 with this very symbolic procession. In 60 years, there are only 17 processions. They are rare and that of 24 October even more. This will be the first of the new king. He will sit in the barge Royale Suphannahong – the Royal Swan Barge.

For this historic ceremony, there will be 52 royal barges. They can usually be seen at the museum. There will be 2200 sailors in traditional costumes. They will sail on a course of 4 km. They will bring the monarch to Wat Arun. There, he will perform the Buddhist rite – the Kathin ceremony – to honor the monks by offering them robes and receiving their blessings in return.

Repetitions … but confused

To realize this ceremony, it is necessary that the assembly of the procession makes repetitions. There will be rehearsals. August 22 was the first and probably not the most remarkable. A lot of waiting, …. The boats come and go, no training, only specific exercises for each barge. It is certain, the next rehearsals will be more and more demonstrative. The sailors will have time to perfect themselves since they will have 8 repetitions and 2 additional rehearsals in costume.


Rehearsal days: There are no boats running on Chao Phraya. This causes big traffic problems for the whole city and a lot of people in public transport.

To get to the edge of Chao Phraya for rehearsals, the best way is to go through the MRT and 
stop at the new Sanam Chai - Siam Museum MRT station and walk to the jetty. from Tha Tien 
(opposite Wat Pho).

Important dates

Repetitions without suit August, 29, 2019September, 3, 2019

September, 10, 2019

September, 17, 2019

September, 23, 2019

September, 27, 2019

October, 3, 2019

October, 7, 2019

October, 10, 2019

Repetition with traditional costume October, 17, 2019October, 21, 2019
Official ceremony October, 24, 2019

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