BANGKOK — The King of Thailand is spending a second day at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital for his annual medical checkup, according to statement from the Royal Household Bureau.
The 86-year-old monarch arrived at the hospital at around 8:40 pm last night. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the roads leading to the hospital and cheered "Long live the King" as his royal motorcade passed.
King Bhumibol was accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, who waved to the crowds of loyal Thais along the way.
One of the onlookers, Wanida Daeng-ngarm, a 35-year-old resident of Nakhon Pathom province, said she was visiting a relative at the hospital when she heard that the King was coming and decided to join others to see his motorcade pass.
"It's my first time. I feel really joyful to have seen His Majesty at such a close distance," Ms. Wanida said.
The Royal Household Bureau said in a statement yesterday that King Bhumibol is undergoing his yearly health checkup, which requires specific equipment at Siriraj Hospital.
It did not say whether His Majesty's stay at the hospital will be a long one. Today officials at the hospital placed a guestbook for members of the public to leave get-well wishes for His Majesty the King.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn also arrived at the hospital at around 9 pm last night to pay a visit to her father.
Since 2011, His Majesty the King has spent many months at Siriraj Hospital to undergo surgeries and other medical operations. He was released from the hospital on 1 August 2013 and has since been recovering at his summer retreat, Klai Kang Won Palace, an approximately two-hour drive south of Bangkok.
The king has rarely appeared in public during his stay at Klai Kang Won Palace, but made a brief appearance on 22 July when he endorsed the 2014 interim charter.
King Bhumibol's frail health is a cause of great anxiety for many Thais, though the issue is mostly discussed in private because of Thailand's strict lese majeste law, which criminalises any remarks considered negative towards the monarchy.
In November 2009, two businessmen were arrested and prosecuted under the Computer Crimes Act for spreading false rumours about the health of His Majesty the King that negatively affected the Thai stock market.