Bangkok, Thailand and Thai communities across the world have been mourning the loss of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej this week after his sad passing on Thursday 13 October — a date Thailand will remember for many years to come.
His incredible 70+ years of public service to Thailand and his people will live on forever. As well as his inspiring work as head of state, Thai people loved him for his generous and creative character — an animal lover, musician and artist.
Out of respect to the King, the royal family and the people of Thailand, we’re bringing you a slightly different edition of the Week on Sukhumvit this week, dedicated to the remembrance of His Majesty and also to the beauty and strength of the country that he helped nurture and care for in his lifetime.
This is a poignant obituary of the late King by Nirmal Ghosh at the Straits Times, putting into context Thailand’s bereavement as the people mourn not only their king, but their father too. A must-read, particularly for foreigners and other outsiders looking to understand the factors behind Thailand’s grief.
A truly wonderful collection of photos here, documenting moments from the King’s long life. The first photo dates as far back as 1934 — a family photo from Switzerland — and the latest one in 2014. One of the constant themes in every photo are his distinctive round-rimmed glasses.
As the first monarch to be born in the continental US, King Bhumibol was marked out as special and unique at an early age. This piece tracks the path of the King’s time in Cambridge, the US, and the efforts of Massachusetts-based Chol to commemorate the King’s time there.
This Time article has collected the various reactions and official statements from global statesmen around the world to the news of King Bhumibol’s passing, including from President Obama, Indian PM Modi and Irish President Higgins.
An interesting piece about perhaps one of King Bhumibol’s lesser known passions and talents — sailing and boat building. It details his historic achievement in dinghy sailing and how he was the only reigning monarch to be awarded the Insignia of the Olympic Order.
People queuing this morning for the bathing ceremony at the Grand Palace. #Bangkok
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) October 14, 2016
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) October 15, 2016
RIP His Majesty King of Thailand, Bhumipol Adulyadej. His passion for street dogs will live with me forever. pic.twitter.com/tKSBmJofVg
— Thai Street Paws (@ozzytam76) October 14, 2016
I have been lucky enough to have visited Thailand several times on business. On my trip, I was amazed how nice Thai people treated me & how they viewed life. I remember eating at a restaurant back in 2007 in Bangkok & the owner sat down with me. I asked him about their King- the owner’s eyes lit up & he began to tell me all about him- the great things he did for the Thai people & how Thai people love him. When I got home weeks later, I read about the King. I loved what he did for Thai people. I was very sad when I heard the King died this morning. It brought me immediately to my memories of the old man telling me about him in Bangkok as I ate my green curry- he loved that I was a photographer & he yelled “So is the King!” It was one of those amazing moments you have with a total stranger while traveling. When I visited in 2015, I tried to find the restaurant & the old man again, but the restaurant was gone. But I’m thankful that man told me about the King. RIP Bhumibol Adulyadej #longlivetheking #bhumiboladulyadej #thailand #kingofthailand #ripking #buddhism #buddha #bangkok #los
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit. Thailand, we love you and stand by your side while you grieve for your King.