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Australian walks across Thailand out of respect for King

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An Australian tourist in Thailand is walking from Koh Samui to Bangkok to pay respects to King Bhumibol at the Grand Palace.

Michael Hammill, 46, aims to average about 50 kilometres a day to arrive at his destination in about two weeks.

The Bangkok Post reported that Hammill heard of the King’s death while on a three-month holiday on the resort island. He decided to walk to the nation’s capital to join all Thais in mourning the late King.

Hammill arrived on the Thai mainland at Don Sak, which is over 700 kilometres from Bangkok. He is carrying a portrait of the late King with a message reading “Walk for King”, the paper reported.

Drivers seeing Hammill have offered him a lift but he has politely declined.

Hammill says he feels the same way as Thais over the loss of the King and he is determined to sign a condolence message at the Grand Palace.

Written by Peter Needham