Travel Features

Royal Barge Procession: Final Phase of the Coronation of King Rama X

Source: The Government Public Relations Department (PRD)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted that the Royal Thai Government has invited the public to attend an audience with Their Majesties the King and Queen and view the spectacular procession of royal barges along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok on Thursday, 12 December, 2019. This historic event to honour the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty King Rama X will be the first Royal Barge Procession in the present reign. 

The Royal Coronation Ceremony consists of three phases: the primary phase, royal coronation phase, and final phase. The Royal Barge Procession will be the final phase in the Coronation of His Majesty the King in 2019. On this occasion, the government invites the people to attend an audience with Their Majesties the King and Queen, who will travel in the Royal Barge Procession through the city along the Chao Phraya River, from the Wasukri Pier to the Ratchaworadit Pier. The event begins at 15.30 Hrs. on 12 December. 

The Royal Barge Procession comprises 52 barges, including four major royal barges; namely; the Suphannahong, or Golden Swan; the Anantanakkharat, or Multi-headed Naga; the Anekkachatphutchong, or Innumerable Naga Figures; and the Narai Song Suban King Rama IX. There will be 2,200 oarsmen to row the ceremonial barges. The trip will take about 45 minutes with a length of about 3.4 kilometres.

The government has prepared the Royal Barge Procession with the highest honours bestowed in accordance with royal traditions. Six locations have also been prepared to accommodate people for this occasion. They include Santichai Prakan Park, Thammasat University, Nagaraphirom Park, Siriraj Hospital, King Bhumibol’s 72nd Birthday Anniversary Park, and under the Rama VIII Bridge, Thon Buri. 

The public is invited to wear yellow shirts to offer good wishes and show their loyalty to Their Majesties the King and Queen on this auspicious occasion. They are suggested to arrive at the designated locations before 13.00 Hrs. Screening points will operate from 06.00 Hrs. onwards.

Screening units will be set up at the entrances to various designated sites along the two banks of the Chao Phraya River. The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) is also preparing locations for photographers to facilitate the coverage of this event by both Thai and international media. 

Six temples on both sides of the Chao Phraya River will hold a Buddhist chanting ceremony in honour of Their Majesties. Wat Rachathiwat Ratchaworawihan, Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawiharn, Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Bowon Mongkhon, Wat Karuhabodee, and Wat Rakhang Kositaram will each begin the chanting ceremony when the Royal Barge is approaching the waterfront of the temple and conclude when the procession has passed the temple.

“TThe Royal Barge Procession is a ceremonial water-borne procession reserved for the river journeys of kings in royal ceremonies since the Sukhothai period. It originated from the ancient naval battle flotilla, when the king led his forces to fight a war.

Apart from demonstrating the might of the monarch as the defender of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the kingdom, the procession would also be a manner of showing the glory of the monarch and displaying the loyalty and unity of the fighting forces and the people in general. When it did not have to follow the pattern of an ancient naval battle formation, it was also arranged for significant occasions of the king; such as, the Royal Kathin Ceremony, the King’s city tour as part of the Royal Coronation Ceremony, the royal procession to pay homage to the Holy Footprint in Saraburi and the reception of foreign envoys. 

The Royal Barge Procession exhibits the artistic and cultural heritage of the Thai nation. It is a rare spectacle, and many people wish for a chance to witness the visual feast at least once in their lifetime. The barges are lavishly decorated and involve superb Thai craftsmanship in many fields. There is no such tradition in other countries.”

The Royal Barge Procession will be televised for viewers in 177 countries worldwide through the satellite networks of the PRD. The Royal Barge Procession will be broadcast live in Thai and English through radio and television from 15.15 Hrs. until the end of the event.

Water traffic will be closed in the areas during the procession. Land traffic will be closed only at the Rama VIII Bridge and Phra Pinklao Bridge areas where the Royal Barge Procession passes.

Source: The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) 

For more articles related to this historic event, please visit: and

*All Photos: Royal Barge Rehearsal on 21 October, 2019

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