The death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahitalathibet Ramathibodi
The death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahitalathibet RamathibodiChakkrinaruebodin Sayamminthrathirat Borommanatthabophit, to give his full ceremonial title) on October 13, 2016 plunged Thailand into a year-long period of mourning. Visitors flying into Thailand are advised to dress in dark colours, preferably black, when stepping out, and, should they like, also pin a black ribbon to their top. Ribbons can range from, well, just a strip of ribbon to elaborate affairs studded with crystals or semi-precious stones, and Bangkok’s sois are brimming with options for every pocket and persuasion. On a recent visit to Bangkok, I joined the swelling ranks of mourners by getting my own. It’s understated, like me, and there’s a small symbol denoting the number 9, which stands for King Rama IX, another of the late monarch’s appellations.