Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Royal Barge Procession (now with videos! see link at the bottom of the post!)

Friday, November 2nd, I went with The British Club of Bangkok to watch the final dress rehearsal for the Royal Barge Procession on the Jaobraya River, Bangkok's main waterway. The real procession was to be held the following Monday in celebration of King Bhumibol's (pronounced closer to Boom-ee-bon) 80th Birthday. The British Club rented an open air , dockside restaurant, and so I had a great view.

The event was quite a spectacle, to say the least. 52 boats and over 2,000 oarsmen take part in the procession, and on Monday tens (or hundreds?) of thousands of people gathered up and down the Jaobraya to watch the real thing. Unfortunately the light made it extremely difficult to take good pictures, but the few here in this post (and the videos below) should give you the idea.

The day to day novelty of living in Bangkok has long since worn off for me, but seeing something like this reminds me of just how different and interesting a city I live in.

For more, see Wikipedia's excellent article here, and please see my youtube videos Video 1 Video 2