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King's legacy still felt strongly as Thailand bids goodbye

In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, bright green rice fields sit in the hills of Huay Hom, a misty valley in the northern province of Mae Sariang, Th...
In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, branches bearing coffee beans are wet from a fresh rain in Huay Hom, the misty valley in the northern province of...
In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, a Buddhist monastery sits on top of a hill in Mae Sariang, northern Thailand. Home to numerous ethnic minorities,...
This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, Shows the royal crematorium and funeral complex for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as preparations continue in Bangk...
This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, mourners pay their respects in front of a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok,...
This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, warm light illuminates the royal crematorium and funeral complex for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as preparations conti...
In this Oct. 17, 2017, photo, mourners pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Following...
In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners attend a candlelight vigil marking one year since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand. Fo...
In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners attend a candlelight vigil marking one year since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand. Fo...
In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners hold a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a moment of silence at Siriraj Hospital where he die...
In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners cry holding portraits of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Siriraj Hospital where he died a year earlier ...
In this Oct. 16, 2017, photo, Thais are ordained as monks and novices to honor the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple B...
In this Oct. 16, 2017, photo, Thais are ordained as monks and novices to honor the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple in Ban...

In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, bright green rice fields sit in the hills of Huay Hom, a misty valley in the northern province of Mae Sariang, Th...

In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, branches bearing coffee beans are wet from a fresh rain in Huay Hom, the misty valley in the northern province of...

In this Sunday Aug. 20, 2017, photo, a Buddhist monastery sits on top of a hill in Mae Sariang, northern Thailand. Home to numerous ethnic minorities,...

This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, Shows the royal crematorium and funeral complex for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as preparations continue in Bangk...

This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, mourners pay their respects in front of a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok,...

This Oct. 17, 2017, photo, warm light illuminates the royal crematorium and funeral complex for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as preparations conti...

In this Oct. 17, 2017, photo, mourners pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Following...

In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners attend a candlelight vigil marking one year since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand. Fo...

In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners attend a candlelight vigil marking one year since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand. Fo...

In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners hold a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a moment of silence at Siriraj Hospital where he die...

In this Oct. 13, 2017, photo, mourners cry holding portraits of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Siriraj Hospital where he died a year earlier ...

In this Oct. 16, 2017, photo, Thais are ordained as monks and novices to honor the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple B...

In this Oct. 16, 2017, photo, Thais are ordained as monks and novices to honor the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple in Ban...

HUAY HOM, Thailand (AP) — As Thailand prepares to cremate its king of 70 years, an era comes to an end amid tears, nostalgia and anxiety.

Bhumibol Adulyadej (POO-mee-pon AH-dun-yaa-det) is regarded with great reverence for his decades of work on behalf of the have-nots and as a unifying figure in times of turmoil and violence.

In northern Thailand, villagers still haven't forgotten the day Bhumibol descended by helicopter into their remote, impoverished mountain valley.

The king, they recall, brought electricity and a road that replaced the trail they trudged over for eight hours. Coffee growing was greatly expanded and soon supplanted opium harvests, reaching such high quality that Starbucks is now a steady customer. The village even reaped profits from the royal-assisted raising of sheep and wool weaving, a rarity in tropical Thailand.