BANGKOK, 5 July 2012 – When His Majesty the King travels by the river from Siriraj Hospital’s pier to Nonthaburi Province on Saturday, 7 July, people living on both banks of the Chao Phraya River are expected to come out in full force to greet their beloved king.
Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Tongthong Chandransu said His Majesty the King is scheduled to travel on the Angsana royal boat on Saturday, to officiate at the opening ceremony of five irrigation projects built under royal initiatives. The boat ride will take about two hours starting from 4.30 p.m., during which His Majesty will take his time observing life of local people while the boat cruises into short-cut as well as detour canals around Ko Kret islet in Nonthaburi. The royal boat will then stop at a pier in front of the Royal Irrigation Department in Tambon Samsen, Dusit District, Bangkok, at about 6.45 p.m., and His Majesty will perform the opening ceremony of the five irrigation projects from the royal boat, by pressing an electric knob to unveil the projects.
Mr. Tongthong said the government deemed it appropriate to encourage people living along the river to pay respect to HM the King on this occasion in a traditional way by putting up altar tables on their riverfront balconies on which pictures of His Majesty the King, flags depicting the royal initials and floral offerings can be placed.
In the old days, Mr. Tongthong said it was a popular tradition for local communities to arrange entertainment programs in honor of the king upon royal visits as people who gathered around could also enjoy the shows. On Saturday, he added, Buddhist monks at various monasteries along the river will gather in front their respective monasteries to chant the holy stanzas to bless His Majesty with happiness.