It is a fascinating time to be in Bangkok. We are seeing the final funeral preparations for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died aged 88, on October 13th, 2016.
The world's longest-reigning monarch will have a spectacular final send-off which has been over a year in the making. His people will show their deep grief for a revered and unifying father figure of Thailand, who oversaw great stability within his 70-year reign, the odd coup aside!
You can't walk far without seeing a picture of the Late King, the build-up is immense. Last week the Government added two extra official days of mourning. It feels like the whole of Thailand is preparing for the five days of ceremony, which commences with the cremation on October 26th.
There is some confusion over what impact this will have on our daily lives, but my long-term friends are heading out of town to the beach, expecting the huge numbers of visitors expected in the city to bring the city to even more gridlock than normal.
Who knows, this has not happened before in the lifetime of most Thais - we are heading into the unknown.
If you remember, we arrived to live in Thailand not long after the King's death and so I have only known this country in mourning. I arrived to find major events had been either canceled or curtailed, to say Thai people are genuinely sad is an understatement. Many wearing black, or wearing black ribbons to demonstrate their respect for the late King.
Those working for the Government, have been in official mourning for 12 months, for others, their companies and organisations followed a 100 day mourning period. But since October 1st there has been a notable increase in the solemnity around the place. You are hard-pressed to find anyone wearing anything bright or cheerful. The word respect is uppermost at this time.
But this is also Amazing Thailand, it can't help itself when it comes to colour and is there any country in the world more splendid? Back in July, the Government urged it's people to plant marigolds for use in the royal cremation ceremonies these are now everywhere.
If you are just about to arrive in Bangkok for a holiday it is a splendid time to be here!
Enjoy your visit!