The Royal Barge Procession is one of the most spectacular events in the world. It is performed occasionally during the Tod Kathin Buddhist Festival when H.M. The King delivers new robes to the monks at Wat Arun. It was also seen by millions of viewers around the world when it was specially staged for the 2003 APEC Conference in Bangkok and broadcast live to the participating countries. These ornately decorated Boats are maintained by the Royal Thai Navy and docked at The Royal Barge National Museum on Bangkok Noi Canal on the Thonburi side.
The most impressive and important boat is the Kings personal barge, Suphanahong which was built in 1911. It is 46 metres in length hewn from a single tree and covered with intricate gilt carvings and colourful pieces of glass. The design is representative of a mythical swan. The crew consists of 54 oarsmen who paddle in time to the rhythmic beat of a drummer.
The Royal Barge fleet consists of 52 vessels. Each is a masterpiece of marine and traditional craftsmanship. They feature a variety of figureheads on their bows, including a sacred Garuda, Hanuman and the seven heads of Naga. Information the fleet travels in rows five abreast and more than one kilometer from the leading barge to those at the rear. These are propelled by 2,082 specially trained naval personnel. A visit to The Royal Barge National Museum will give you an insight into the colourful Culture of Thailand.
One of the most beautiful ceremony you will ever see floating in the river is The Royal Barge Procession which amazing royal barges glide along Chao Phraya river. Each barge is taken care of very carefully by the Fine Arts Department under supervision of the Bureau of the Royal Household and royal navy. In normal days, the royal barges are kept in National museum of Royal Barges. The National Museum of Royal Barges in Bangkok is a former royal cradle for royal barges. The Fine Arts department registered every barge as national heritage and appointed the cradle to National Museum of Royal Barges Bangkok in 1974.
Antiques in the National Museum of Royal Barges;
1. The Suphannahong Royal Barge. The barge figurehead was crafted to swan shape. This is a supreme barge where the king sits during the procession. The Suphannahong Royal Barge was built in King Chulalongkorn and finished in the reign of King Rama 6.
2. The Narai Song Suban HM Rama 9 Royal Barge. The Fine Arts department in collaboration with The Royal Navy and the Bureau of the Royal Household built this barge especially for King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
3. The Anantanakkharat Royal Barge. The barge figurehead was crafted to naga-shape with 7-heads. This is also the supreme barge which was built in the reign of Rama VI for carrying important Bhuddha images or robes for presentation to the monks at the end of Buddhist Lent in The Royal Barge Procession.
4. The Anekchat Puchong Royal Barge. The figurehead was crafted to small many naga-shape. This barge is a reserved barge which was built in the reign of King Rama V.
5. The Asurawayupak Royal Barge. The figurehead is a monster with a body of indigo bird.
6. The Karbi Prab Maung Marn Royal Barge. The figurehead was crafted to a swordsman shape.
7. The Krut Hern Hej Royal Barge. The figurehead was crafted to garuda-shape.
8. Akkachai Hern Haw Royal Barge. The figurehead was decorated with crocodile paintings.
1. By Boat-Take a tourist boat provided by boat services or local boats for rent
2. By land-Use a road near Arun Amarin bridge or Phra Pinklao bridge on Thonburi side of Chaophraya river, close to Dusitaram temple to the destination By public transport There are any bus lines that go the museum such as 79, 503, 507, 509, 511 from Bangkok side. The buses will cross Phra Pinklao bridge. Get off the bus at the first station opposite Pata mall right after crossing the bridge to walk to the museum.
Operating days: Monday-Sunday Operating hours: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Royal Barges National Museum
Location: 80 Moo 1 Arun Amarin Rd, Arun Amarin, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700 Thailand