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Aging Vietnamese pay homage to late Thai king with four-day bike journey

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 16:45 GMT+7

Two Vietnamese Thais have traveled 600km by bicycle to pay tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who died last year and whose body is currently being cremated as part of a five-day ceremony.

Thailand-born Vietnamese Do Van Phung, 67 years old, and Pham Ngoc Dung, 59 years old, along with 50-year-old Thai companion Saksiri Sirikul made the journey to Bangkok from Udon Thani Province in northeast Thailand.

It took them four days, from the morning of October 19 to the evening of October 24, to reach their destination.

Excluding Phung, who rides 10-15km each day, the team only gave itself one week to train for the 600km journey.

Phung said that they were lucky their trip was problem-free and that they arrived in Bangkok safe and sound.

The team leader also shared his admiration for the late Thai king, explaining that he was beloved by both the Thai people and Vietnamese residents in Thailand for his sacrifices and contributions.

“We decided to do something meaningful to pay our last respects to the late king as well as to praise the relationship between Vietnam and Thailand,” Phung said.

The five-day cremation ceremony for the world’s longest-reigning royal, who died on October 13, 2016 at the age of 88, began Wednesday, October 25.

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