OPERATORS of major malls in Bangkok and other main cities are providing free car parking and transport services today for mourners wishing to offer flowers in memory of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
“In order to allow all of our employees at our shopping centres to participate in the Royal Cremation, which is very important to people in the country, Central Pattana (CPN) will today close its shopping malls - comprising the CentralPlaza and CentralFestival shopping centres - nationwide from 3pm,” CPN said.
The exceptions, the company said, are its CentralWorld and CentralPlaza Rama 2 centres, which will be opened to help people pay their last respects to the much-loved monarch, as the properties have been made available for the offering of sandalwood flowers.
The company will open the parking areas of its shopping centres that are providing shuttle buses to Sanam Luang, including CentralPlaza Rama 2, CentralPlaza WestGate and CentralPlaza Salaya. Those branches will be opened for 24 hours to accommodate those who wish to participate in the Royal Cremation. All CPN’s shopping centres will be open tomorrow.
Every branch of The Mall shopping network, including the Blueport mall in Hua Hin, will provide free shuttle buses from 8am until midnight to allow people to attend the flower-laying sites for the Royal Cremation.
The company will also provide free parking at its centres today. It has established five free transport service stations in Bangkok and two upcountry. These are: from The Mall Ramkamhaeng to Indoor Stadium Huamark; from The Mall Bangkapi to Indoor Stadium Huamark; from The Mall Ngamwongwan to the Government Complex at Chaeng Watthana; from The Mall Thapra to Wat Verurachin in Thon Buri; and from The Mall Bangkae to Wat Boonyapradit. Outside the capital, the free transport services will be from The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima to Thao Suranaree Monument and from Blueport Hua Hin to Wat Huay Mongkol in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Free parking will be available at all branches of The Mall shopping network, including Blueport mall in Hua Hin, from 6am to midnight. The shopping centres will be closed from 3pm; they will reopen tomorrow.
The Mall Group will also provide vegetarian food in the open space in front of Indoor Stadium Huamark from 9am to 7 pm for people attending the funeral flower-laying ceremony. At least 50,000 people are expected to offer flowers for the Royal Cremation in the area.
The Siam Synergy Trade Association, led by Siam Piwat, MBK, and Siam Business Group, is also helping with the travel arrangements for mourners. It is providing free parking from 6am today until 6am tomorrow for those planning to attend the mourning ceremonies being hosted in nearby areas.
The venues for these services are Siam Paragon, Siam Car Park (behind Siam Center), MBK, Siamkit Building, Siam Square One, Wittayakit Building, and the car park at Siam Square.
Future Park, a large shopping mall in Rangsit, is likewise providing free parking for people taking part in the flower-laying ceremonies at the designated areas, and for the Royal Cremation of the beloved King at Sanam Luang. Bottled water and meals will be provided for free.
Outside the shopping mall sector, PTT is providing free drinking water at its service stations across the country along the route during the Royal Cremation Ceremony today. Workers at the service stations will take turns in offering sandalwood flowers at the designated sites in each area in remembrance of the late King’s service to the nation.
PTT will close some food and beverage outlets across the country during the Royal Cremation Ceremony from 2.30pm; these are Cafe Amazon, Jiffy, 7-Eleven, Texas Chicken, Hua Seng Hong and PTT FIT Auto in the service stations. Outlets in department stores will also be closed. But PTT’s retail shops at Udon Thani Airport will be open as usual today. All PTT retail shops will resume normal operations tomorrow.
The expected heavier demand during the Royal Cremation period has prompted the three private cellular operators - Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication and True Corp – to expand their network capacity at Sanam Luang and adjacent areas.
The operators have also boosted their network capacity in the areas that are hosting the Royal Crematorium replicas across the country.
They have also put special teams on standby 24 hours a day to closely monitor the demands on network capacity.
Additionally, AIS has provided a free Wi-Fi service for mourners at Sanam Luang and surrounding areas.