Thailand Mourns Beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej

14 october 2016

Longest-reigning Monarch in the World Passes Away Peacefully at 88

Longest-reigning Monarch in the World Passes Away Peacefully at 88

Image Credit: Bangkok Post

It is with great sorrow that we share the official announcement from the Thai Bureau of the Royal Household that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has passed away peacefully at Siriraj Hospital on the evening of October 13, 2016 after ruling for 70 years and 162 days.

Considered to be the personification of Thailand and the soul of the nation, King Bhumibol will be deeply missed by Thai people who have begun a period of mourning. 

IVL wishes to honour the life of the revered King Bhumibol , explain what is next for Thailand from both the government and culturally and suggest ways in which tourists and foreign residents may conduct themselves.

The Life of The King

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born in America while his father was a student at Harvard. Schooled in Switzerland, he spoke impeccable English and French, wrote books, played jazz clarinet and saxophone, painted and was an avid photographer and sailor.

King Bhumibol was an intellect, philosopher and statesman who travelled to remote provinces to meet his loyal subjects and listen to their dreams and troubles. He earned the respect of the people and drove progress while inspecting public works projects and encouraging development in all regions of Thailand.

During the time of his reign the country moved from a mostly agricultural economy to the Thailand we know and love today with a growing middle class and an economy based on industry and commerce. King Bhumibol was considered a unifying figure in Thailand and a person who cared deeply for the Thai people. The phrase Rao Rak Nai Luang, or We Love the King, can be seen adorning everything from car bumper stickers to billboards and most business have a photo of King Bhumibol on the wall.

The health of King Bhumibol had not been good for the majority of the last decade, which he spent under medical supervision in a custom suite in the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. Public appearances, though rare, were always warmly received by adoring masses of supporters.

Thailand Mourns Beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Photo credit: straitstimes.com

What’s Next for Thailand?

The democratic traditions of Thailand will be respected in accordance to the Palace Law on Succession of 1924 with the appointment of the next King as the Head of State.

The National Legislative Assembly will note that His Majesty the King, on December 28, 1972 appointed his son HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to be the Royal Successor. At this time Prince Maha has requested a mourning period before stepping up to fulfill his duties.

The government and the people of Thailand will now prepare for a Royal Funeral to celebrate the life of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and pay their last respects.

The dates of these two events have yet to be determined and it is requested that the nation waits for official announcements once arrangements have been made.

As mentioned in the press release from the Thai Bureau of the Royal Household “The best expression of our bereavement and loyalty to His Majesty is to follow in His Majesty’s footsteps and live up to His Majesty’s aspirations to maintain the independence, sovereignty, and prosperity, as well as to heed His Majesty’s sayings and teachings.”

Thailand Flag

What Will I Notice on Koh Samui and Around Thailand?

Tourists and residents will notice a palatable somber mood while Thai people mourn. Entertainment will be toned down for the next month or so and it's best to avoid brash behaviour, excessive noise and celebration.  We encourage you to respect the sensitivities of the Thai people at this time and engage with them respectfully. The phrase kor sadang kwam sia jai duay kha/krap is a useful Thai phrase to express condolences. It’s a good time to sit quietly with your Thai friends and ask questions about the life of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej , though politics should be avoided.

It is suggested to wear black or dark clothing that covers your shoulders and thighs while Thais will most likely wear mourning clothes for the next year. Businesses may be closed or have limited services and you will notice government offices flying the Thai flag at half-mast for 30 days.

Festivals, concerts and events will be cancelled for the next month.

Exercising compassion, genorosity and unity would be the best respect to pay to the legacy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej  and would be appreciated by Thai people.

We at IVL express our deepest condolences to our Thai staff, friends, family and business partners at this difficult time.  We would like to leave you with a collection of quotes from the His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, may he rest in peace.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Photo credit: ibtimes.co.uk

A good person can make another person good; it means that goodness will elicit goodness in the society; other persons will also be good.

Goodness is something that makes us serene and content; it is magnificent. Those who are not good are evil.

In Thailand's history there have been dissensions from time to time, but in general, unity has prevailed.

Everyone must correct his own self; this is something more difficult to cope with, but it is not impossible.

Nature is something outside our body, but the mind is within us.

I have been extremely touched by these signs of affection on the part of all the Thai people.

The will to work of everyone in the country is the best guarantee of national survival.

Read a chronology of the accomplishments of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Bangkok Post

Facts, figures and quotes extracted from Thai Government Official Website, The Bangkok Post & Wikipedia.