Posted on Monday 9 October 2017 in Practical Thailand by Mike Thailandee.
As you may already know the cremation ceremonies for Thailand late King will take place on 25-29 October. Many people will come to attend the event and many roads in Bangkok will be closed for the occasion. This will have some consequences on transport, in Bangkok of course, but also on long distance buses to and from Bangkok.
If you plan to take a bus to or from Bangkok to another destination such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao islands, read this article carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Impact on public transport in Bangkok
Of course, there will be a lot of people in Bangkok public transport on those days. Most operators have announced free service at least on October 26, the day of King’s Cremation.
- Airport Rail Link, which connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok, will be free from 25 to 27 October.
- The BTS, Bangkok Skytrain, will be free on October 26th. And free on October 25 and 27 but only on the extensions of On Nut at Samrong station and Wongwian Yai at Bang Wa.
- The MRT, underground subway in Bangkok, will be free on 26 October. On 25 and 27 October, only the Purple Line will be free.
- The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will be free from 25 to 27 October on the Sathorn-Ratchaphruek road.
- The Bangkok Transportation Authority has planned more public buses and free shuttles to Sanam Luang, the venue for ceremonies, on 32 routes.
- There will be free shuttles from Suvarnabhumi airport to Nang Loeng 1 km from Sanam Luang from 19 th to 30 th October and free shuttles from Don Muang but from 23 to 31 October.
- Ferries across the Chao Phraya River from Phran Nok Pier to Tha Chang Pier will be free.
Phra Athit (Khao San), Tha Chang (Grand Palais) and Tha Rajinee will be closed from 25th to 27th of October, the boats of Chao Phraya Express will not stop there.
- On October 26, using the Chao Phraya Express boats will be free of charge from the Sathorn Pier (connection with BTS) to Phran Nok Pier and Phran Nok Pier to Nonthaburi Pier.
- On the 26th, the Klong Saen Saep boats will also be free.
- Buses S1 (from Suvarnabhumi) and A4 (from Don Muang) connecting Bangkok’s airports to Khao San Road will circulate but will stop at the Lanluang Intersection (near Wat Saket).
This is not part of the official information but with the crowd coming from all Thailand and many major roads closed (see list below), traffic in Bangkok will probably be a nightmare ! Especially on the 26th. Avoid taxis and prefer metros which should be very very busy too. Traveling to Bangkok and getting around the city will be long and difficult especially when you approach the Grand Palais.
Impact on long-distance transport to and from Bangkok
A large crowd in transports to Bangkok
One thing is for sure, there will be a lot of people in all the transports that lead to Bangkok, with many many people expected to come to Bangkok to attend the King’s funeral.
Trains and buses will probably be overcrowded. As I advised you before (now, I think it’s maybe a little late), if you plan to travel to or from Bangkok on October 24-30, book tickets online in advance to make sure you have a seat and to have updated information.
State Railay of Thailand and Transport Co Ltd, the government bus company, announced the addition of trains and buses.
No departure from Khao San Road
IMPORTANT: roads closed during ceremonies will prevent any departure of buses or vans from Khao San Road from 24 to 30 October.
- Giant Ibis has already announced by e-mail to its customers, the cancellation of its buses between Bangkok and Cambodia in both directions from 25 to 29 October. The government buses that leave from Mo Chit circulate as normal.
- From 24th to 29th October, Lomprayah bus + ferry packages to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao that depart and arrive normally in Khao San, will depart and arrive at Phuttamonthon 2 Lomprayah station (about 30 kilometers from Bangkok – GPS: 13.779423, 100.395042)
- From 23 to 29 October, the Songserm buses + ferry packages will leave them from Hua Lamphong train station
- On the same dates, it seems that Krungsiam Tour buses to the islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) and departing from Ratchadamnoen Avenue are canceled.
So if you had booked a transport departing from Khao San, contact the company or the booking website to find out if your trip is maintained and if so, to know from where it will leave.
There are probably other changes or cancellations. Here are the ones that I’m aware of at the moment. I will update this post…
Roads closed in Bangkok
Here is the list of roads and streets that will be closed during the ceremonies from October 25th to 29th. No details on the closing times for now.
More time to reach Bangkok airport
Traffic in and around Bangkok will be very dense with possible long trafic jams, so transfer times to and from the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports can be considerably longer.
Plan more time to reach Bangkok airports and bus terminals and favor the subways and especially the Airport Rail Link even if it will probably be very crowded too.
Again, I will update this article as soon as I have new information but to miss nothing, it is better to subscribe or to regularly check my Twitter account.
One thing is for sure, if you have the opportunity, it’s better to be away from Bangkok on those days. Getting around, leaving or reaching the capital will be complicated. And if you want to attend the ceremonies, you’ll be better in front of the television, you’ll see better and will be safer.