Big crowds in Krabi welcome His Majesty
King presides over new provincial hall opening
Krabi - His Majesty the King on Friday arrived in the southern province to preside over a ceremony to unveil a new provincial hall in his first visit since assuming the throne, to the delight of people who spilled onto the streets to greet him.
Krabi has gone down in history as the first province that His Majesty the King has visited since his accession to the throne on Dec 1.
Local residents in Krabi and nearby provinces including Phuket, Phangnga and Surat Thani flocked to catch a glimpse of the King.
Welcome signs reading "Long Live the King" were put up across this popular tourist destination, which lies along the coast of the Andaman sea in southern Thailand as houses and buildings were adorned with national flags, as well as flags bearing the royal insignia of His Majesty the King.
Some people had camped out near the provincial hall on Thursday night for a better chance of seeing the King as hundreds of police, soldiers and officers from the provincial explosive ordnance disposal unit were deployed to maintain security around the area.
Local Thai Muslims wearing traditional dress turned up for the royal visit as well-wishers lined the streets holding photos of His Majesty along the route of the royal motorcade.
Krabi governor Phinit Boonlert said that officials from the Department of Public Works, Town and Country Planning had built and decorated a royal pavilion where the King would preside over the ceremony to open the new provincial hall.
He also said a musical band of 45 students from Ammat Phanit Nukul School who played the Royal Anthem in honour of the King were delighted to join the historic event.
Located on Uttarakit Road in central Krabi, the five-storey new provincial hall building houses various local agency offices.
Construction of the provincial hall was completed in 2014 at a cost of about 113 million baht, Mr Phinit said.
He also said that a model of a rua hua thong, a local fishing boat, and one of Krabi's symbols, would be presented to the King, along with other well-known local products, including lobsters, and local fruits.
Ekkaraj Mukem, editor of the Alami Magazine Thailand, a magazine for Muslim readers, said he and his wife had arrived in Krabi from Bangkok to cover the royal visit.
He said he was glad to join local Muslims and other residents and witness the historic event.
Rojana Nuea-orn, a 32-year-old Krabi resident, said she came early in the morning to welcome His Majesty.
She said she was happy that Krabi was chosen as the first place for a royal visit by the King.