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hirondelle

HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej

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HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passed away a year ago today.  Actually @icewlfwas on his way to visit us and was in the air as the news broke so he landed to find a country deep in mourning.  For many people this would ruin their holiday (the people were subdued, the country was working out how to mourn, alcohol and nightlife suddenly became a bit of a hot topic) but as @icewlf is a lover of high Thai culture rather than the low kind I think it enriched his experience, and he felt honoured to be part of a country grieving the loss of their father recognising it for the once in a lifetime experience it was.

To say King Bhumibol Adulyadej is revered is almost an understatement. He is considered a god here in Thailand, and although I cannot put my hand on my heart and say any human deserves such reverence - if anyone did it would be him.  Views on royalty and privilege aside, he dedicated his life to his people and loved them with every fiber of his being.  He also behaved impeccably throughout his life on the throne and was what I would call a modern day Renaissance Man.

He has been mourned for a full year.  Now exactly a year since his death his final journey begins and that journey will terminate in his public cremation in the heart of Bangkok's Royal district at 10pm on October 26th.  I thought I would document these final few days, and collect relevant links in one place, for myself as much as anything.

Feel free to comment and ask questions.

Here is an old history channel documentary about HM if you are interested in him but have never heard of him.  It is dated and very much a superficial introduction but a good place to start.

 

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I very much wish I could be there for the cremation to see the mourning cycle find closure.   I was concerned at the impact it would have on my vacation, and I did have to change some plans, but, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a side of Thai culture that most westerners will never experience.  I felt uncomfortable wearing bright colors, until I found a vendor that gave me a mourning ribbon.  I still have 2 in my room.   Was hard traveling on the sky train, and walking the malls, because you could feel the somberness coming off the Thai people, and you could see the tears barely held in, but I did truly feel honored to be able to witness it.  I also felt the appreciation so many of them had for the farang who did their best to honor the king, and share in the mourning.  I can't imagine the loss so many of them feel, but I did get a glimpse of it, and shared in the mourning.

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Thanks @icewlf I remember I think it was your first full day... walking round Central World, and everything was silent... all the screens in the department store were off, No music playing anywhere - you don't realise how much of your life (especially if you live in a city) has background music piped into it, until someone turns it off.

Richard Barrow is one of the foremost western commentators on Thailand, he is not a professional journalist and rarely ventures to give opinions (unless it is on travel).  He simply states the official line, in English, for tourists.  None the less he has a great series of posts about the forthcoming funeral: the preparations; how to behave; what to expect.

http://www.thaitravelblogs.com/category/royal-funeral/

 

 

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@hirondelle I've been following him on facebook and twitter since the coup.  He's also answered several questions I've posted about what to expect at different holidays, or places.   He's an amazing guy ^_^

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I remember when he was sick and in the hospital.  So many of my Thai friends were praying for him to get better again.  He had been sick a very long time and in and out of the hospital.  I also remember when the news came out that he had died and how I felt, and how my Thai friends felt when I talked to them the very next day.  Very sad.  :cry:

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May the King continue to watch over his people through his heirs or heiresses, or even successors.  May his legacy continue to live on in his people as to hear such words of esteem from people who live in different countries is a sign of true worldly acknowledgment and monarchy prowess.

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