Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

In pictures: Thai king's birthday

Buddhist monks at Sanam Luang square in Bangkok

Thousands of people have turned out in the Thai capital, Bangkok, to mark the 81st birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Members of a choir sing for the Thai king at Sanam Luang square in Bangkok

The monarch pulled out of his customary address to the nation on the eve of his birthday due to illness. Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn said the king "was a little sick".

Buddhist monks line up to receive donations from Bangkok residents

Hundreds gathered outside the royal palace to give alms to monks as a way of conveying their best wishes to the monarch.

Thais offer alms to monks in the southern province of Pattani

Similar celebrations for the king have been held across Thailand, including in the southern province of Pattani.

A man sells portraits of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej (R) and his father in Bangkok

The celebrations come as the Thai capital slowly returns to normal in the wake of anti-government protests that closed both of Bangkok's main airports.

Thai greeters stand at Suvarnabhumi airport after an official reopening ceremony

Thousands of stranded tourists have begun flying out of Bangkok, but many face delays as airport operations work to get back to normal.

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