A royal procession carrying the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej travelled from Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace on Friday, passing tens of thousands of people paying tribute to their beloved monarch for the last time.

Thailand's Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn led the convoy, which also included other members of the Thai royal family.

The mourners on the roadsides, mostly dressed in black, held up portraits of the late king, who died aged 88 Thursday, and waved yellow flags bearing the king's emblem. Many prostrated as the procession drove past, while military officers knelt and saluted.

Hospital staff and nurses from Siriraj, where Bhumibol spent much of the past decade receiving treatment for various ailments, were the first people the convoy passed.

Many had secured their positions on footpaths along the procession route on Thursday shortly after the king's death was announced and camped out there overnight.

The crowds earlier Friday sat underneath umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun, and the atmosphere on the streets was reportedly calm and orderly.

At the Grand Palace, the crown prince was set to pay tribute before the king's body and perform a religious bathing ritual. An orchestra planned to play the king's anthem before customary gun salutes were performed.

A heavy police presence could be seen at every street corner along the approximately 4-kilometre procession route.

Thai officials declared a public holiday earlier on Friday. The announcement came after many people had already arrived at work, but some employees were given the option of leaving early to participate in the mourning rituals.

Large crowds gathered in front of the hospital, and others arrived from outside the capital to pay their last respects.

"He was truly an angel on earth. There is no one else like him in this country. He is irreplaceable," said Patima Chayaphruk, a university student.

Woraporn Jukkhom travelled to Bangkok from Lampang province, 600 kilometres north, as soon as she heard the news Thursday night.

"I just had to be here," she said. "This is our last chance to say goodbye."

Thais went about their normal business Friday morning but with noticeable solemnity. Most were stony-faced and few were smiling.

"I did not sleep at all last night," said a woman named Lalana. "When the news broke out, people on the street near my place cried openly. No one appeared to be self-conscious."

Many websites in Thailand, including Google and others, were running in monochrome. Thais expressed their grief on social media, with many changing their profile photos to pitch-black squares.

All celebrations have been banned in Thailand for the next 30 days, but it was not immediately clear how this would relate to ordinary nightlife.

Shops and malls remained open, although cinemas and other entertainment venues were closed.

The Grand Palace will remain closed to tourists until October 20, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said.

The government asked all television channels, including foreign ones, to stop broadcasting their own programmes until midnight Friday. Local TV was awash in images from the king's life, often set to music Bhumibol himself composed.

Thailand plans to observe 100 days of official ceremonies and religious rites.

Related stories

Coronation of next Thai king could be delayed by one year

Thailand enters mourning period after death of King Bhumibol

Regent named as Thailand enters second day of mourning

Thailand's crown prince becomes King Rama X

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.