King of Bhutan to attend ceremony
The King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema will attend the royal cremation ceremony of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on Oct 26.
Their attendance is part of a three-day state visit that will start one day earlier, according to a spokesperson for Bhutan's palace office.
They are the second members of a royal family from a foreign country that have announced they will take part in the event.
Last week the Japanese government said Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko would be in attendance on Oct 26. The couple will return to Japan the following day.
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Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is preparing to cope with an influx of people expected in the capital for the ceremony.
Bangkok deputy governor Chakkaphan Phewngam said Tuesday a replica of the royal crematorium will be built at the Dusit Palace plaza while others will be constructed in four areas around Sanam Luang as well as one each in East, West, South and North Bangkok.
He said 16 large areas and 26 medium-sized spots will be set aside for the laying of dok mai chan (cremation flowers). Another 62 places will be designated in 50 city districts for the flower-laying, the deputy governor added.
Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan) in Din Daeng district will be turned into a temporary shelter for visitors who head to the city to attend the ceremony, Mr Chakkaphan said.
City Hall will announce details of the booking process and time period to stay at the facility by Sunday, he noted.
BMA-run schools will be used to accommodate visitors, he said.
An area around Rama VIII Bridge will be set aide as a cooking area organised by Wat Jedi Hoi.
Monk activist Luang Pu Buddha Isara will set up a similar cooking point at Mahakan Fort, according to the deputy governor.
Seventy mobile toilets and 150 mobile restrooms will be set up on avenues leading to Sanam Luang from Oct 24, Mr Chakkaphan said.
Also Tuesday, The cabinet green-lit the lifting of toll fees on two motorways for those travelling to Bangkok for the ceremonies from Oct 24-27.
They are Motorway No.7 between Bangkok and Pattaya and No.9 from Bang Pa-in district in Ayutthaya to Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan.
Meanwhile, 100 buses will offer free rides from the peripheries of Bangkok to inner areas close to Sanam Laung, said DLT director-general Sanith Phromwong.
He said officials will be on standby at bus terminals and airports to give information and attend to complaints about excessive taxi fares.