The King here in Thailand is the longest living monarch in the world right now. Most Thai people (in fact all but a handful) have known no other king their entire lives. King Bhumibol has seen Thailand through incredible shifts in politics, wars and everything in between. On top of that, he's like a god. Let me rephrase, to Thai people he is a god. He is enlightened and considered father to all. The love that Christians believe Jesus has for his children, Thais feel that same adoration from the King. As a Christian, it'd be like Jesus being currently of flesh and blood... mind blowing.
This picture was taken during a gathering that took place because the King was returning to his palace in Hua Hin after a trip to the hospital in Bangkok. All traffic was stopped and hoards of people adorned in yellow flooded the streets like they were gearing up to watch the thanksgiving day parade. Instead of a 4 hour parade, though, the King and his guard sped by at 60 mph and the ordeal lasted about 30 seconds. To me it was utterly anti-climactic, but to every Thai person there, it was the highlight of the month.
The King is very old and his health is dwindling. He's not expected to live very many more years, and what happens when he dies is almost impossible to think about. Thai people seem to live in denial that it could happen, but to this country it'll be more significant that the death of Nelson Mandela was to S.A. I think the closest comparison might even be Jesus's crucifixion. Needless to say, Thailand is on the verge of some very big changes.