Our plane arrived early due to favourable winds, and we landed in Bangkok just as the King of Thailand died (though I didn’t find that out till arriving at the hotel and reading media reports). Not that I’m putting any more into that than coincidence, but read what you like into it. I didn’t notice anything unusual on the way to Phranakorn, but in retrospect, the scene may have been more subdued when passing the tourist areas around Khao San Rd (confirmed when I returned later).

A momentous time for Thailand given the King is much revered – he was the world’s longest serving monarch. Perhaps the military being in power will prove fortuitous and help stabilise anything that might get out of hand (though they could possibly end up using this as a reason to post-pone announced elections). I doubt the main opposing political groups would attempt to exploit the situation for awhile yet.

All the television stations are covering the king and his legacy, even the English language ones, but unfortunately none of the broadcasts are in English.

There will be one year of mourning, but a briefer period of 30 days to begin with, though I’m learning as I go. Not really sure what will be open or closed – banks and government agencies to begin with at least. Plans thrown in disarray a little, and already were by the bombings earlier in the year.

For party-goers intending to travel to Thailand, I imagine most business will be as usual, but in a more discrete manner – bars/restaurants serving alcohol in more dimly lit surrounds – no live music etc. That might not necessarily be a bad thing if you’ve witnessed Khao San Road’s reincarnation from low-key backpacker destination.

On a personal level – I left the normally staid and respectable, but occasionally noisy, hotel to the sounds of the couple in the next room. Though, I could only hear her side of the passion – her groans and shrieks would rival that of a porn star.

Had a meal and a beer at one of my usual places in Phranakorn. Again, didn’t notice much different, but this is not a real party scene area anyway. The pork pad sieaw was a larger serving than normal, though.

It was quieter elsewhere, as I suggested. In Soi Rambuttri an obnoxious European was giving a Thai stallholder a hard time about a dragon-fruit fruit shake, reinforcing that if Thailand sometimes changes for the worse it has a lot to do with the attitude of foreigners.

I ventured toward a shrine Thais usually attend to pay respects to the King, but it was dark and deserted. A few cops and military personnel stood around at various points.

Back at the hotel, the couple next door were still going at it. Maybe they’re making a movie. He seems to be pushing the right buttons – or else she’s a sublime actor.

Will see what tomorrow brings regarding the King, the people’s mourning and the navigation of Bangkok and Thailand.

It was 1am. I tuned in the iphone to a radio station in an attempt to drown out the sexual histrionics and drifted off.