By PHATARAWADEE PHATARANAWIK
Eight roads linked to Sanam Luang will be closed from tomorrow as 100,000 people are expected to visit the exhibition each day. The security will be as strict as that during the Royal Cremation.
Visitors must bring ID cards or passports, and will have to go through one of five screening points. There are four screening points for ordinary people at the Territorial Defence Command, Tha Chang, the Earth Goddess Statue and Thammasat University, which will also provide for the disabled, while monks and foreign visitors are invited to check in at the Defence Ministry screening point.
Visitors should wear polite clothing.
At Saman Luang, tents will be provided for people to wait before entering at one of two entrances. One is near the Earth Goddess statue and another is close to Thammasat University, where wheelchairs will be provided.
Visitors will be provided pamphlets there about the Royal Crematorium and, before leaving the exhibition, postcards, which will come in nine versions. Three million each of the pamphlets and postcards will be available. There will be English-language pamphlets for foreign|visitors.
The one-way tour will take about an hour to complete, with 5,000 visitors at a time being able to view its three zones. In the first zone, visitors will see exhibits related to Royal projects such as demonstration rice fields, “Monkey Cheek” water-retention systems and Chaipattana water mills. Visitors will be able to stay 15 minutes and take photographs.
Guides will then lead visitors to see the grand architecture of the Royal Crematorium, featuring the centrepiece Principal Pavilion (Busabok) with the fire screen surround by the Monks’ Pavilions and Dismantling Halls. Visitors will be restricted to the first level of the Royal Crematorium.
The tour will end at the Songtham Pavilion, where three murals depict the late monarch during his 70-year-reign. The exhibition will also highlight his biography in five sections.
Special guides will be set up for the disabled, including an audio commentary and touchable exhibits. At Tab Kaset Hall, next to the Dismantling Hall, blind people will be able to imagine the grandeur of the Royal Crematorium by touching a replica and listening to audio.
From 8am to 5pm, a pipat – traditional Thai ensemble – from the Culture Ministry’s Musical Department will perform and, in the evening until 10pm closing time, there will be public performances by some of the thousands of artists who performed at the Royal Cremation. Khon masked dance will be performed on the weekend.
The Culture Ministry expects 3 million visitors to view the exhibition, which will end on November 30.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority will provide 60 free buses a day on six routes from 4am to 11pm. The routes to Saman Luang will depart Victory Monument, Hua Lampong Station, Mo Chit, Ekkamai, Southern Bus Station and Rattanakosin Island in Dusit district. Free ferries will be provided daily from 6am to 10.30pm from Rachanavik Sapha Pier at Thonburi’s Royal Navy Auditorium to Nivej Woradit Pier in Dusit near the Grand Palace.