Shortly after the cremation, the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King Bhumibol's successor and only son, is expected to take place. No date has been announced. Observers say the coronation will signal the resumption of political activities, with the general election expected to be called late next year to replace the junta with a new government.
Since February, construction workers have been toiling under the scorching sun to erect the seven-tiered roof and spire of the funeral pyre, surrounded by eight smaller pavilions representing the mountains around Mount Meru, a sacred place in Buddhist cosmology.
It is believed that the divine spirits of kings return to Meru after they die.
Work on the entire complex, which stretches 80m across the northern side of the traditional cremation grounds, is expected to be finished by September. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chairs the royal cremation coordination committee, while Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapagorn heads the committee overseeing the construction of the royal crematorium.
The design of the funeral pyre was based on traditional pyres constructed since the beginning of the Rattanakosin era (1782 to 1932) and will feature elements to reflect the late King's reign.
It will have re-creations of ponds, dams, rice fields, reservoirs and watermills to symbolise the late King's contribution to rural development.
There will also be sculptures depicting magical creatures and deities from Hindu mythology.
Mr Surathkij Peeraphonsil, 54, of the Fine Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture, says there will be a total of 200 sculptures, including 40 gods, 20 garuda and more than 100 animals, that will be positioned across the complex.
There are two special sculptures that will be placed at the centre of the pyre: replicas of the King's dogs Tongdaeng and Cao Cao. Thais know Tongdaeng, which they refer to with the honorific "khun" but not many are familiar with Cao Cao, the King's pet when he was a young boy.
Inside the temporary workshops set up on the ceremonial grounds, there is a palpable sense of calm and solemnnity as artists and craftsmen work on statues, paintings and woodworks.
Respect for the monarchy is deeply ingrained among Thais and during his lifetime, King Bhumibol was treated like a living deity.
"It's an honour to be part of this," says Mr Wichien, who works in the Fine Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture. He is in charge of painting the sculptures of two cows and a god. There are 10 other artists in his team, and they work with volunteers who were selected from about 400 who applied.
Each life-sized sculpture takes two months to complete and 15 days for the finishing touches to be applied.
It is not known how many workers there are for the complex in all, but there are three teams working on the sculptures. Each team has 15 fibreglass workers, 10 sculptors, 10 artists and 60 volunteers helping the artists.
Mr Wichien says words are not enough to express his gratitude for the many good things that the late King had done, a sentiment shared by his teammates.
Ms Naphat Rojanarangsiman, 50, a freelance interior designer, turned down other jobs for five months so that she could volunteer her service.
"I wanted to have a chance to return my gratitude to the late King," she says.
Like many other workers interviewed by The Straits Times, Ms Charong Payungchan, 49, gets teary-eyed whenever she talks about the late King.
"I will miss the King," she says wistfully as she glances at the 50m- tall main cremation tower.
The odd-job worker wakes up at 5am to make an hour-long commute from her home in Taling Chan, 12km from the capital.
Preparations for the King's last rites are not confined to Sanam Luang in Bangkok's old quarters.
There are 101 booths, manned by volunteers, spread all round the capital to make traditional wood flowers that will be distributed to mourners before the royal cremation.
The artificial flowers come in 36 patterns, including roses, orchids, water lilies and daffodils. They are made from locally sourced natural materials like dried banana leaves and trunks, and dried water hyacinths.
According to Thai tradition, wood flowers are placed in front of a deceased person's coffin or urn as a last tribute before cremation.
The royal coffin, which is made of sandalwood, has been completed, while royal carriages to be used in the ceremony are undergoing maintenance.
No budget for the five-day event has been revealed, but it will be the most elaborate cremation ceremony in Thailand's history.
The last one held for a monarch was 67 years ago for King Bhumibol's older brother, Ananda.
Over the years, there have been similar ceremonies for other members of the royal family, but none as grand as this.
Now Thais are on the final stretch of preparations before they bid their final goodbyes to their beloved King Bhumibol.
"I don't want this ceremony to happen," says Mr Surathkij, knowing that the ceremony will mark the end of an era.