Every year Chiang mai holds the annual flower festival which we flukily happenned to arrive in the middle of. There are elephants, giraffes, kings, garudas, and all sorts of dragons made out of flowers. All very colourful and very popular with all the all thai families out on their sunday stroll , not too mention tourist families like Kate and I. The big question on everyones lips though is the flower representations of the king. Are they up to scratch? As one can see from the above picture he is without his trusty companion, the camera which he usually likes slung around his neck. Now the king is no laughing matter here in Thailand where one has to stand up for the national anthem at 8.00 in the morning and before every cinema screening and most nightly TV news bulletins . The king is everywhere and seems to be a avid photographer as seen in virtually every photo clutching his SLR Canon. Sorry you nikon users but maybe with the digital age he has swapped to nikon, though as yet there are no official photos with him and a digital camera. Maybe he prefers old SLR cameras, not being too worried about procesing fees cause lets face it, its not really photography unless you're down and dusty in the darkroom with your kingly arms in a pool of chemicals. He's the king he can afford to shoot film willy nilly. Personally I think it's good the king has a hobby, and he seems to love capturing the moment of his subjects out doing their daily things. Although brought up in an unpretentious life-style H.M. King Bhumibol is no ordinary person. By example he has led his Kingdom with great Majesty Dignity and Respect. He has earned his subjects adoration by personally helping them in many ways (witness the numerous Royal Projects Hill tribe Development Irrigation Farming and Flood Control scheme) often from the Royal Privy Purse. The King has visited each and every one of his nations seventy three provinces listening to his people, eating with them, walking with a camera and maps under the hot sun with them guiding him with suggestions and advice. He is the world's only monarch to hold a patent, holding several patents on rainmaking since 1955: the "sandwich" rainmaking patent in 1999 and lately the "supersandwich" patent in 2004.
H.M. King Bhumibol is at one with his subjects and they love him for it. He is the King of Thailand; they are the people of Thailand. Together they are the light of Thailand.... so stand up you disrespectful foreigners.