Somber crowds begin gathering to pay final respects to Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, braving a tropical downpour to camp out along the funeral procession route for a monarch who died last year. Samantha Vadas reports.
A tropical downpour in Bangkok wasn't enough to keep the huge crowds away from preparing to say goodbye to their much-loved Thai King. Visibly emotional, many with tears in their eyes, hundreds of people began to queue along the funeral procession route on Tuesday (October 24), two days ahead of the monarch's cremation. Some have already been here since Sunday (October 22). Hunched beneath flimsy tents, some with just a raincoat for protection, mourners secured their spot for the final farewell. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) THAI MOURNER FROM SOUTHERN CHUMPHON PROVINCE, MONTHA NAMTOONGHONG, 70, SAYING: "I slept in the rain last night in front of the royal Hotel. I stayed put even through it was raining." The five day Buddhist ceremony which began on Wednesday (October 25) has been in the works for nearly a year, with $90 million set aside for it. Thursday's (October 26) funeral is expected to draw 250,000 people. Hotels in the neighbourhood have been booked up for weeks and a national holiday has been declared for the day. The king passed away just over a year ago and was seen by many as a pillar of stability in the politically turbulent Southeast Asian country.