Thais bid farewell to 
beloved King Bhumibol

This article is more than 12 months old

BANGKOK A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's heart yesterday as funeral rituals began for the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose death after a seven-decade reign left Thailand bereft of its unifying figure.

An estimated 200,000 Thais gathered around the Grand Palace to bid farewell to a monarch known as "father of the nation", many clutching portraits of the late king.

The golden spires of a US$90 million ($122.5m) cremation site, purpose-built for the funeral, were bathed in light as Bhumibol's son and heir, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, joined Buddhist monks to start a day of sombre processions, pageantry and religious ceremony.

Vajiralongkorn lit the funeral pyre at 10pm local time (11pm Singapore time) as his father was laid to rest.

President Halimah Yacob attended the ceremony. Other dignitaries and royals who confirmed attendance included those from Bhutan, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Japan and Australia. - AFP

His Majesty (had) been in power for 70 years and, during that period, he had initiated many royal development projects and those projects have empowered many Thai people and benefited them as well. He is well loved. President Halimah Yacob on Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej