We would like to express our deepest condolences to the people of Thailand as they deal with their grief in response to the recent death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej .
This is a huge loss as His Majesty was considered the father of the nation. He held the throne for over 70 years (this is the longest reign in history), and during this time, he developed a deep connection with his subjects. For decades, the king travelled the country listening to ordinary people so he could learn about the challenges they faced. He displayed obvious care for all of his subjects, and he took action to make their lives easier.
His Majesty was deeply concerned about the effects of drug abuse in Thailand. He understood how these substances could destroy individuals as well as whole communities. The king was always supportive of projects aimed at helping people escape addiction. He also promoted a successful crop substitution program that made it possible for farmers to switch from growing opium poppies to cash crops.
The words ‘ขอเป็นข้ารองพระบาททุกชาติไป’ [kaw-bpen-kaa-rong-pra-baht-tuk-chat-bpai]
probably best sum up the reaction of the Thai people to the death of His Majesty – it can be translated as ‘we want to be your subjects forever’. This phrase is appearing everywhere (in social media, on t-shirts, and on posters) now, and is another sign of just how much the king will be missed.
Advice for Visitors to Thailand
The people of Thailand are deeply saddened by the loss of their beloved king, but this will not affect their hospitable nature. It is important though that visitors are respectful and sensitive to the grief of local people at this time . There will be a one-year period of official mourning, but this will likely only have a minimal impact on tourists (e.g. some events such as festivals may be cancelled).
Rest in Peace King Bhumibol Adulyadej