46-year old Michael Hammil started the solo walkathon on Thursday in Koh Samui with the hope that he would reach Bangkok before November 16 when his extended visa is due to expire.

Hammil said that while travelling in Thailand before he stayed in Koh Samui he was curious that almost every household, government and private offices that he came across has a portrait of HM the King. He said he made enquiries and did some research to find out more about the late King.

The Australian tourists said, after he found out the truth about the late King, he understood why Thai people felt the passing of HM the King a great loss for the country and the Thai people.

As a tourist who loves Thailand, Hammil said he made up his mind to walk from Koh Samui to Bangkok in order to pay tribute to the beloved King of the Thai people before returning to his home country.

On Thursday, Surat Thani governor Oueychai Innark led a group of officials to give moral support to the Aussie. On behalf of the people in Surat Thani, he said he appreciated Hammil's dedication and respect for the late King.

The Aussie has denied donations offered to him by several Thais who appreciated his effort. However, he later changed his mind after being told by the governor to accept the donations which, he said, will be donated for charity after he arrives at the Grand Palace to pay tribute to the late King.

Meanwhile, an 84-year old cripple has been travelling in his hand-driven tricycle from Laharn Sai district of Buri Ram toward Bangkok where he intends to pay tribute to the late King.

Mr Parn Muenyote, a native of Buri Ram, started the journey on October 17. He arrived in Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya on Friday.

Throughout the journey from Buri Ram, police and volunteers from Por Teck Toeng and Ruam Katanyu have facilitated his travel and provided him with food and drinks as well as giving him moral support.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin