On the 25th of October, Thailand kicks off a lavish $90 million five-day funeral for the late King Bhumipol Adulyadej. The King passed away in 2016, following his passing, the prime minister announced a one-year mourning period that was extended twice before. The King was regarded highly among his subjects, he was seen as the main modernizing force of the previously impoverished rural society.
The elaborate ceremony is expected to draw crowds of up to 250,000 people - many coming from all parts of Thailand to pay their last respects, and say goodbye. King Bhumibol was the longest reigning monarch in Thailand, and for many, he was the only monarch in their lives.
However as the people mourne, many are now looking at the military junta currently holding power. In May 2014, the military staged a coup under the pretext of the King's declining health. Without the country's guiding hand, politicians could not be left like children in a playground, paving the way for a military leadership in the country.
As the mourning comes to an end, and the King's funeral begins, there are hopes that the interim government would soon announce election dates after delaying them numerous times. The last elections conducted in Thailand was in 2011 when Yingluck Shinawatra was elected into power. The government has announced that they will have elections by November 2018, but exact dates would only be revealed closer in 2018.
For now, the biggest concern lies in the future of the Thai monarchy, and how King Bhumibol's son will carry his legacy.