We've been enjoying a long weekend here in Thailand, thanks to the King's birthday celebration. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej turned 83 on December 5. In Thailand, the King's birthday is also father's day (and, you guessed it, the Queen's birthday is mother's day) so the holiday is not only a big national celebration, but also a day to spend time with family. Offices close, traffic eases up and everything gets a little quieter, even in a big city like Bangkok.
Though there aren't lots of tourist activities on the King's birthday, the celebrations (which take place in all major cities and towns) are still worth watching and participating in if you happen to be in town.