The King of Thailand
Thailand's King Bhumibol is a venerated figure,
greatly  respected by the Thai people.  The King no
longer rules, as Thailand is becoming a democracy.  
As the King turned 72, it seemed that all of Bangkok
was part of the birthday celebration.  You may notice
that the King does not look 72 in the above picture.
By Thai custom, pictures displayed of the King
nearly all show him as a much younger man.  I
liked this photo of the King as a Buddhist monk.  
It was probably from about 50 years ago.
In the center of Bangkok were a set of murals
celebrating the King's birthday, and showing
how wise and revered he is.  The King remained
forever young, as portrayed in these murals.
The King has numerous palaces.  This pagoda is from
his Summer Palace outside Bangkok.  The general
design would be reflected in temples and palaces
throughout the countries I visited on this trip.   
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is the one that matters,
certainly to tourists.  The King no longer lives here,
but it offers a splendor that can only be hinted at in
paintings such as the one above.  On the next page we
go for a visit to the King's Grand Palace.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip by clicking
on:
Ho Asked Me to Go