Thailand's royal crematorium open to the public from Thursday

Thailand's royal crematorium open to the public from Thursday

crematorium opening
Students visiting the royal crematorium during its soft opening on Wednesday (Nov 1). (Photo: Kittiphum Sringammuang) 

BANGKOK: The royal crematorium that was used for the cremation ceremony of King Bhumibol Adulyadej last week will be open to the public from Thursday (Nov 2) until the end of the month.

Visitors can enter the compound between 7am and 10pm and up to 140,000 visitors are expected daily.

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Pavilions around the crematorium are used for exhibitions. (Photo: Kittiphum Sringammuang)

Pavilions around the crematorium will hold an exhibition where visitors can learn about King Bhumibol’s life and his milestones as king.

Additionally, the exhibition will showcase the story behind the funeral as well as some of King Bhumibol’s personal items.

crematorium opening
King Bhumibol's personal items that he used in his early years as king. (Photo: Kittiphum Sringammuang) 

The recent funeral was the most extravagant state event in Thai history, costing around US$90 million. But for many Thais, this was a small price to pay.

Wichian Supsakul, a 45-year-old man from Chiang Mai who traveled to Bangkok once a month over the last 6 months to pay respects to the king, said that it was a funeral fit for the monarch.

“I think that His Majesty was, and still is, the best king in Thai history. Our loss was incomparable so I don’t care how much money the government spent,” he said.

“It’s the (final tribute) that Thais could do for His Majesty for the last time. A great king deserves a proper funeral that reflects (his honorable qualities),” Supsakul said.

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The royal crematorium was built based on the concept of heaven which is influenced by Thai and Hindu culture. (Photo: Kittiphum Sringammuang)

After November, the royal crematorium will be deconstructed and most of its parts will be donated to temples and stored in museums throughout Thailand.

The funeral for King Bhumibol officially ended last Sunday (Oct 29) but the passing on of Thailand’s most revered figure is still fresh in the memory of many Thais. 

Over 19 million Thais - more than a quarter of the 69 million population - participated in ceremonies by presenting symbolic sandalwood flowers to be burned at temples and crematorium replicas across the country.  

Source: CNA/am