BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Hundreds of people across Indochina have crossed into Thailand to take part in the "Bike for Mom" rides being held across the country on Sunday, in which tens of thousands of cyclists will participate in rides all around Thailand to honour Thailand's Queen.
Groups of more than 500 visitors from Vietnam and Cambodia yesterday crossed the border from Poipet to Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaew province.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel Benjapol Rodsawat, deputy commander of Sa Kaew Immigration Police, said the tourists told him they wanted to see the "historic day" for themselves.
Also, a team of 24 bikers from Cambodia cycling from Phnom Penh crossed the border into Trat yesterday to join the Bike for Mom event in the eastern province.
Cambodian Danai Komkai, 40, a leader of the group, said that he lived in a refugee camp in Thailand at the age of three.
He later studied in Thailand and his further study in the United States was funded by Her Majesty the Queen.
The event's organisers in provinces throughout the country expressed readiness yesterday for the historic cycling event today.
Some provinces also planned to host attempts to break a cycling record in which the most people cycle together at the same time, for mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
In Bangkok, some 8,000 police and military officers, as well as officials from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will be stationed along the bike route today, deputy national police chief Prawut Thavornsiri said.
He said explosive device experts would be deployed to examine the route in the morning.
Ten thousand copies of a special edition of a government newsletter will be distributed to people gathering along the route to welcome Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, deputy spokesman Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
Its cover features a photo of the Crown Prince cycling.
The spokesman explained that the newsletter would be a souvenir for those who missed the opportunity to take part in the biking event.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha assigned the Public Relations Department to undertake the publishing.
General Prayut, in his weekly address |on Friday night, encouraged people to submit photographs of the Bike for Mom event for a chance to win trophies from the Crown Prince.
He said the Ministry of Interior and the Guinness World Records were joining hands to publicise the event in which people come together to demonstrate love for their mothers.
The Premier admitted the big ride would inevitably inconvenience motorists due to road closures.
However, he pleaded for understanding and cooperation, asking people to refrain from going near event venues.