By The Nation
The ethnic mountain people from the villages of Doi Pui and Khun Chang Khien joined a crowd estimated to eventually number 100,000 at the International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Attendance was expected to swell in the afternoon when people began arriving from 24 outlying districts.
Deputy Governor Phuttiphong Sirimat said 50,000 citizens and volunteers had already assembled through the morning.
Passenger trucks chartered to pick up people at 15 locations around municipal Chiang Mai had been arriving since 6am, he said.
The convention centre was fitted with large LED TV screens carrying the live broadcast of the cremation ceremony taking place in Bangkok.
Mourners waited in 128 tents for their turn to lay ceremonial flowers before the replica. In other tents, meals, first aid and wheelchairs with attendants were available.
Ching Mai authorities prepared one million funeral flowers for distribution at the replica crematorium and other designated locations, and 100,000 volunteers were mustered to help where needed.