A picture of Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse during a recent tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok posted on his Facebook.
“The value of heritage comes from its inheritors.” This is what Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, 42, wrote on his Facebook page after visiting The Foundation for Slum Child Care (FSCC) in Bangkok.
His surprise return to Thailand lit up social media platforms. On the microblogging site “X “(formerly known as Twitter), the hashtag #SonOfTenReturnToThailand was referenced over 390,000 times.
His visit hit the headlines in both local and international media, including CNN, the BBC and Reuters.
This is because Vacharaesorn is the second eldest son of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his former royal consorts.
His surprise arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on August 5 was intended to be a low-key affair, but the news spread like wildfire after a number of people at the airport recognised and greeted him. Vacharaesorn responded with a wai. The whole scene was recorded and, of course, went viral.
On August 8, at a shrine near Ratchaprasong intersection, Vacharaesorn paid his respects to the Ganesha statue, before proceeding to the FSCC to undertake charitable activities.
He told the media, “I am delighted to return to Thailand, I have been warmly welcomed. I have been away for a long time, 27 years. It is like a dream come true to be back here. Before the plane landed, I looked out of the window and felt very emotional and grateful to the country.”
“I have never forgotten that I am Thai. I have never forgotten about the importance of Thai culture. When I was overseas, I spent my time promoting Thai culture, so foreigners could understand the country’s valuable heritage. Returning to Thailand this time, I would like to learn more about the culture and continue to promote it overseas. I am very happy to be back here,” he added.
On August 6th, he visited the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the City Pillar and Hong Rattan Aram Temple.
At the FSCC, people waiting for him greeted him as they would a member of the Royal Family. He asked them to just treat him as a normal Thai, because does not hold Royal status.
It is reported that he will spend about a week in Thailand, before returning to the United States. He has been busy since arriving, visiting and making merit at temples and enjoying the famous Thai cuisine at both street restaurants and five-star hotels.
On his Facebook page, he impressed many netizens by posting a picture of him alighting from a Tuk-Tuk.
Those who met him were full of praise for his polite demeanour and many people said they asked to hug him, to which he graciously agreed.
Source: Thai PBS World