On October 13th, a week and a half before our trip (and one month ago today), the world’s longest reigning monarch, Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away. A somber and mourning mood could be felt immediately upon our arrival into the country. The airport walls, city streets, and even shopping malls are brimming with billboard sized pictures of the beloved king. Memorials can be found in most establishments and temples, candles line the streets of the night markets, and people wear all black or pin black ribbons to their shirts to commemorate his majesty.
It is astonishing to witness a country so devoted, loving, and loyal to its leader (especially with all that is going on in the states right now).
Thailand will be in mourning for 1 year and no celebrating (including live music) is to take place for 30 days. The nightlife since we’ve arrived has been nonexistent – bars that are typically jam-packed have been quiet and empty.
Things are about to change now that the 30 days have passed and tourist season is coming into full swing. While we are excited to hear some live music, the kickback bar scene that we’ve enjoyed will soon be rampant with young, rambunctious travelers ready to drink, bump, and grind. Hopefully they will be respectful of the Thai people in their time of grieving.