When I was in Bangkok, I visited a not-so-visited museum, called the Coin Museum. Where they’re supposed to showcase the development of the national currency & the history of the Thai Mint.

Most of the museum, however, was arranged to honor the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Through videos and photographs, they showcased his positive impact on the Thai economy and culture, as well as the people’s sentiment towards the monarch after reigning for 70 years. The longest for any Thai monarch. Most reactions, as seen in this photograph, were positive and very emotional and somewhat extreme.

After speaking with some locals, it seems the late King was indeed popular within Thai society, or perhaps they couldn’t say otherwise. The monarchy is protected by “lèse majesté” laws. Laws which allows critics of the royals to be jailed for 3 to 15 years. It’s clear he brought peace and prosperity to the country, but to what extent? What was given up in exchange, and has the outcome outweigh the costs?