The King’s Birthday

Today, the fifth of December is the King of Thailand’s 87th birthday. The Thai national flag and the yellow kings flag festoon the country, on buildings, along roads everywhere you go you see yellow. Yellow tee shirts, tops, dresses and jackets. The Thai people revere their King and look to show it on this day, a public holiday in Thailand. We are heading south from Ayutthaya, looking to bypass Bangkok and head down the coast towards Phuket some 920km away over the next few days.

Yellow t-shirts worn by moped-taxi passengers, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Yellow t-shirts worn by moped-taxi passengers, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Leaving Ayutthaya on the King 's birthday

Leaving Ayutthaya on the King ‘s birthday


Traffic is light as we set off, but on passing Bangkok we join a steady stream of slow moving holiday traffic on the Freeway heading west. As we turn south on highway 4 and are parallel to the coast we both suddenly feel we are getting closer to home. We are on the thin spine of Thailand and for some reason that changes how we perceive our location.

We decide that the coast is where we would like to spend the night, we find a nice Hilton hotel on the beach at Hua Hin and get the last room. How lucky are we! We have not been on a beach for over 18 months and the feel of the sand between one’s toes on the first step brings back to both of us why we like the sea and living in Australia. We both felt energised by the experience and rejuvenated compared with how we normally feel at the end of a day’s riding. Into the warm sea we went to swim and body surf.

At our hotel in Hua hin, for the King's birthday, Thailand

At our hotel in Hua hin, for the King’s birthday, Thailand


After a short walk around what is a very touristy town, we are back to the hotel entrance where a big TV screen has been set up and locals and tourists alike watch the Prime Minister light the first candle for the king’s birthday. We have candles too and they are lit, songs are sung and it is great to be part of another experience that we had not planned for or expected.
A sea of yellow everywhere today for the  King's birthday, Thailand

A sea of yellow everywhere today for the King’s birthday, Thailand

The whole of Thailand is meant to light their candle at the same time for the King's birthday

The whole of Thailand is meant to light their candle at the same time for the King’s birthday


May the King of Thailand have many more such birthdays. “Long live the King”

– Anthony

10 comments on “The King’s Birthday

  1. Strange that the passengers don’t wear helmets , the driver does. Looks far more organised. Good riding as you do the last stretch before landing in Oz!!

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  2. Slightly more elaborate celebrations than you experienced on your 60th birthday Anthony. Hopefully getting home won’t be an anti-climax as you’ll both be busy compiling great volumes of photos taken from across the globe. A good chance to relive so many of the unplanned encounters made along the way.
    I feel a lecture tour coming.

    Throttle on. Phillip

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  3. Tempus does fugit : I thought the king of Thailand was at most in his early fifties. Can’t imagine people here draping themselves in Union flags for The Queen’s birthday but it’s a nice thought. Enjoy the warm evening sea as the temperature here plummets to 0C. xx

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  4. Perfect timing again the 2 slow Speeds! What a lot of yellow everywhere. Is it the Kings colour cause it’s like gold or like the sun? So glad you got some beach time in xx

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