BANGKOK — More than 10,000 students, teachers, governmental officials and media members among others toured the Royal Crematorium for the late King Bhumibol as the site opened to specific members of the public on Wednesday.
During an hour-long tour, visitors could see for the first time the interior of the grand three-tiered golden royal crematorium, with sculptures, murals and exhibitions featuring the life and works of King Bhumibol. The site opens to the public Thursday.
The three major exhibitions included displays of prominent royal projects initiated throughout the country by King Bhumibol, such as grass fields, water aerators and Maha Chanok mangoes.
Replicas of the late King’s belongings are among those exhibited objects, along with architectural and sculptural works behind the grand crematorium, structures and funeral procession.
While there is a strict regulation forbidding architectural hallmarks and artwork from being touched, one section was established specifically for people with visual impairment to listen to audio commentary, touch sculpted works and read Braille signs next to them.
Visitors are not allowed to livestream via Facebook while on the premises, and “inappropriate” selfies are forbidden. A voice could occasionally be heard from a loudspeaker with admonishments such as, “Visitors cannot take selfies posing with two fingers.”
The site will open to the public at 8am on Thursday after Princess Sirindhorn holds an official ceremony. To get onto the royal crematorium campus, visitors must pass through five checkpoints. They’re required to dress modestly and show their ID to authorities.
Foreign nationals can gain entry but should bring their passport.
The royal crematorium will remain open through the end of the month. Officials have yet to decide whether it will remain open longer.