Bangkok: Thousands of Thais lined the roads from Bangkok to the historic capital Ayutthaya to catch a glimpse of the country`s 84-year-old monarch as he makes his first trip outside the city since being hospitalised in 2009.
Crowds dressed in yellow and pink to honour King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose health is a matter of immense public concern. His convoy was due to depart Bangkok late afternoon on Friday.
Grand pageantry was planned for the visit, including a parade of rare white elephants and a river procession of traditional boats.
The royal visit was centred on a trip to a rice paddy the King once visited in 1996 as part of a royal project to develop a water retention system to mitigate flooding problems in the flood-prone area around Ayutthaya.