Upon arrival in Bangkok we soon learned it was about to be the King’s Birthday. We were certainly keen to stay on a bit longer than intended to see the festivities. And geese was it worth the wait around! This is a huge Thai celebration, and fortunately – minus the tourists. Everyone wore their yellow king t-shirts and took to the streets. We were lined along the roads (obviously closed for traffic) and waited for the king to drive past after his speech to the people. Sure enough, he did and we caught a glimpse of him as the crowd of thousands erupted in a cheering roar… flags were flying and the Thais had tears in their eyes. The energy was absolutely insane!!


The anticipation for the King who was about to drive past



Following the commotion, we continued to trek about the place for the day, including a quick stop off at the Royal Palace and the 50m gold reclining Buddha. Maneuvering between the crowds took it out of our sore little feet, so an afternoon siesta was a must. Later in the night we strolled out to the park area which was still filled with thousands of Thais. On one side we were gazing at the royal palace which was lit with warm yellow and orange lights, and on the other side were the streets lined with never ending white fairy lights dripping from the trees.

Thousands of beautiful fairy lights dripped from the trees. Photo by Clint Burkinshaw



Once the Kings song had been played, it was time to light the lanterns. The stream of hundreds flowed for hours. Clint and I simply kicked back, and sipped on our beers as we watch them floating away… with the odd casualty landing flames in the trees, OHAS – you’re doing it wrong!! …

This really was a magical way to experience Bangkok, I have been to this city many times and no experience has ever come close to that of the Kings birthday. We were more than pleased to have fluked this appearance.


50m gold reclining Buddha