His Majesty the King will visit Ayutthaya province this week, for his first trip away from Siriraj Hospital for more than a few hours since he was admitted in 2009, Governor Witthaya Phewpong said yesterday.
Their Majesties the King and Queen will be in tambon Banmai in Ban Phraek district, which is home to the Thung Makamyong monkey-cheeks project and the memorial to Queen Sri Suriyothai.
The trip has tentatively been scheduled for between Thursday and Sunday, though the dates |will be confirmed later.
Speaking after chairing a meeting with concerned agencies to prepare for the royal visit, Witthaya said Ayutthaya residents were honoured that their province was the first destination for His Majesty since September 2009.
Apart from being the site for the monkey-cheeks project, Thung Makamyong is also famous because His Majesty harvested a paddy field there for the first time.
Witthaya said provincial authorities were planning to hold many shows in His Majesty’s honour, including a light-and-sound show.
He added that officials were also preparing for the thousands of people expected to flock to the province to welcome their King.
Ayutthaya Provincial Administrative Organisation employee Wongthip Charoensuk, 54, said she was delighted that Their Majesties would visit again following a visit in 1996, adding that she would invite her family members to come over and help with the preparations.
She said that she was grateful to His Majesty because the reservoir and monkey cheeks he had ordered built in 1995 had cut down on the flooding. She said she was grateful for |the King’s merit and that it was a great comfort to the people of Ayutthaya that he would be looking at water issues there again.
On Monday, Their Majesties watched a musical performance put on by the Royal Navy at Siriraj’s Conference Hall, while on Sunday His Majesty visited a palace-sponsored retail shop within the hospital compound. This branch was opened on |April 26.
The last time His Majesty left the Siriraj Hospital premises was on November 24, 2010, when he and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn travelled by boat to preside over the opening of Klong Lad Pho sluice gate project in Samut Prakan’s Phra Pradaeng district.