Thousands fill the streets of Pattaya to pay last respects
A sea of black filled South Pattaya Road on October 26th, with people queuing from the early hours of the morning hoping to pay their last respects to the Late King of Thailand.
The main cremation ceremonies took place in Bangkok, although it was never going to be possible for every one in Thailand to make it.
To cater for the thousands, Pattaya held it’s own ceremony at Wat Chai, South Pattaya Road.
Roads were cleared and South Pattaya Road starting filling up with people from as early as 5am. All dressed in black, according to the rules set out by the temple, mourners arrived, not only in their hundreds, but thousands.
By around 9am, South Pattaya Road was no longer to be seen. Instead, a sea of black was all that could be seen from the 3rd road intersection, all the way down to the temple, just before you reach second road.
Slowly but surely the queue edged forward, but not without it’s problems. Heat was obviously a major factor, especially for the elderly.
Huge numbers of volunteers were on hand all day long providing free services such as free taxi rides, free refreshments including food and drinks, and most importantly, medical assistance.
By the time some people made it into the temple, they had been standing in the queue for 4-5 hours in the heat, but not one complaint was heard.
Pattaya officials had rearranged the road system for the event, and credit where credit is due, they did a really good job of keeping things organised.
The ceremonies went on until midnight and will most likely be a day that no one who attended will forget.
He may not be with us anymore, but the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be forever in the hearts of the Thai people.