The two banknotes made available to honour His Majesty were a B100 note issued in 2002 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first issuance of a Thai banknote, and a B60 banknote commemorating the late HM King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday, on Dec 5, 1987.
Both notes were available at their face value, but only at selected banks and branches.
Tengsin Saekow, 59, who lives near Khao Rang in Phuket Town, was first in line at the Government Savings Bank (GSB) main branch in the island's capital.
“I arrived here after midnight and slept in my car waiting for the bank to open because I was afraid that if I came late I would not get them,” he told The Phuket News.
Others started to arrive at about 5am, Mr Tengsin added.
“When we opened at 8:30am, the line was so long out into the street that we gave people a queue card and asked them to wait to be called to go into the bank,” a teller at the bank explained.
“We also recorded who received the banknotes so they could not return for more to prevent shortages,” the teller said.
“However, we were out of our stock of the special banknotes by 9am,” she added.
The commemorative banknotes are unlikely to become available again anytime soon.
“Siam Commercial Bank had those banknotes left in stock, they were not recently re-issued,” Bank of Thailand customer service rep Ms Chantima (family name withheld by request) told The Phuket News.
“The bank distributed the special notes to banks across the Kingdom for people to buy. It was ‘one day only’ that people could get these,” she explained.
“I am not sure if these particular designs will be issued again in the future, but we’ll advise the media if we do,” Ms Chantima said.