Several thousand residents and tourists dressed in black attire gathered in front of the Saphan Hin (Giew Tien Geng) shrine in Saphan Hin last Friday night (Oct 14) at 7pm for a candlelight ceremony to pay respect to King Bhumibol.
Many built sandcastles resembling a number nine and surrounded them with a heart, this symbolizing that King Rama IX is the heart of Thai people. At 8pm, along with tears and sorrow, the crowd sang a song praising His Majesty.
Kusoldharm rescue worker, Mr Chakkris Sithichai, who also helped organise the candlelight event last Friday told The Phuket News, “We are gathering here every night because we want to reflect all the hard work that His Majesty has done for us. All his life he worked so hard for his people and now he has passed away and this causes us much grief.
“We asked all our friends to come out on the night of October 13 to light candles for King Bhumibol after we heard the sad news. But in fact many people besides our friends showed up at Saphan Hin with the same intention, so we agreed to continue this activity at 7pm for nine days until October 21,” he said.
“We brought our own candles the first night, but now there are a couple of groups of people giving out candles for free to all mourners. They also provide snacks and water to those who attend the activity,” he added.
A group of tourist led by Mr Jens Platzdasch also came for the candle light ceremony. Mr Platzdasch said he loved Thailand and loved King Rama IX.
“I come to Thailand every year and this year is the eighth time. When I heard the news of King Bhumibol passing I asked my hotel manger if we could join a ceremony to pay our respect for the late King and he told us we could come here,” he said.
People are also continuing to visit Patong and Karon beaches at night to light candles and pray for the late King.
Meanwhile, all of Phuket’s 14 honorary consuls visited Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon to sign a book of condolence for King Bhumibol.
Vice Governors Theera Anansaereewittaya and Siwaporn Chuasawatand were on hand to welcome the chief and representatives of the 14 foreign consulates from France, Austria, Brazil, United Kingdom, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and Denmark.
In addition, officials from Phuket International Airport also paid their respects to His Majesty the King yesterday at the third floor of the new International Terminal.