Bangkok Unrest

In celebration of my arrival in Bangkok the opposition party is apparently planning a million person “red shirt” rally. Exciting! On the bright side, “The UDD [United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship] can only afford to keep its protest going for three to five days. If the government has not fallen by that time, it will have to withdraw and draw up a new strategy.” I always pick the best times to travel. :) (Mom, don’t worry. I’ll stay safe!)

38 thoughts on “Bangkok Unrest

  1. When I went to Thailand in September 2008, it was just as Samak Sundaravej was being removed from office (thanks to hosting a cooking program… yeah…). There were riots all over Bangkok and I often saw armed military walking around, some with their guns drawn. Of course, there was a concern that the airport would get shut down, but that didn’t happen until November, which meant I made it home safely.

    Me? I just hung around Chiang Mai and Phuket most of the time to avoid it all. :)

    1. Yeah I was there in November 2008. Have to say that “riots” in Thailand are relatively sedate compared to what I got used to when we were going through our “stuff” (I’m from South Africa) and for the most part the Thai people seem to pretty much keep it amongst themselves usually. Closing down an airport is about as close to actual harm any foreigner might come to in my experience.

  2. You are in Bangkok now?? For any WP events?? Not that i am aware of…

    Any plans to drop by Malaysia or Indonesia??

    Would like to catch up with you again after flying all the way to meet u in Indonesia last year from Malaysia…buying u good dinner for what u have contribute to WordPress community :)

    Stay safe in Bangkok :)

      1. In Bali at sunset, do bring your camera to the the Kuta/Seminyak stretch of beach Matt, for a recursive exploration of endless phototakers getting pics of other photographers at the best beach sunset on the island.
        Heads up: March 16 is Nyepi, Balinese New Year, when no one is allowed outside (really). If you’ll be here then do have a good book or a plan, or maybe to Lombok for a daytrip. The night before Nyepi there are amazing street festivals though!
        If you need any non-commercial tips on Bali, it would be my great pleasure to point you in the right direction Matt, just let me know.

  3. As long as you stay away from the zones where the protests are going on, you’ll be fine.

    I’m currently in Mukdahan, which is located in the rural North East – where most of the protesters (red shirts) are coming from.

    How long will you be in Thailand for?

  4. Hi Matt ! I’m brazilian and I’m travelling by China, now. Tomorrow, my husband and me are going to Camboja and after ( on Monday) we’ll be in Bangkok. Sorry worry you with our question but… if u haven’t problem to answer us… we’ll appreciatte to know if you think it is safe to go to Bangkok now…? OBRIGADA.

    1. The hotel gave an official memo saying everything should be fine but just a handful of roads and districts about 45 minutes from where we are. By Monday I bet it’ll all be settled down. The BangkokPost.com site I linked above seems to be a good resource.

      1. Hi Matt. Thanks a lot for your answer. I’m in Siem Reap now, follow the news from BKK. MUITO OBRIGADA, again !
        beijo

  5. Thailand is pretty much my favorite country. I was there during the last round of protests and both lots were perfectly friendly to us farangs (if you’re not Thai, you are “just a farang”).

    Bangkok, if you haven’t been there before, can be quite a shock to the system, a monster of a city but exciting once you get into the spirit of things – a hair-raising nighttime ride on a tuk-tuk is pretty much mandatory.

    The rest of Thailand moves at a slower pace and regular Thai people have such good hearts, the Buddhist sensibility is very apparent, even in the Muslim south. If I worked for a distributed company and could choose where I lived, it would definitely be somewhere in South East Asia.

    Bali is nice, except for Kuta where the hassle from street-sellers, guides and taxi drivers just doesn’t stop – unfortunately, there is no Akismet for real life.

  6. last time I was right in the middle of the unrest and shoot a video.
    Anyway, stay away, it’s exciting but could be dangerous this time

  7. Oh I’m so surprised that you’re already in Bangkok!

    Around this time last year we use #redshirt hashtag on twitter
    There’re also many political tweets without hashtag in my timeline :P

    I live in the area that #redshirt came last year but still be safe and sound :D

  8. Stay safe Matt. Good luck in your trip to Thailand. Never been there but sounds like a very attractive country.

    Good Luck,
    Alex from Argentina.

  9. Be sure to wear a nice neutral t-shirt color tomorrow. No reds (UDD), no yellows (PAD), and no blues (PTI).

    Here’s hoping things stay peaceful here.

  10. I’m guessing you’ve read all about the temples etc, so here are a few suggestions which might not be in your guide book…

    I highly recommend checking out one of the largest open air markets in the world on Saturday/Sunday, called Ja-tu-jak market. It gets busy, and you’ll only scrape the surface in a day, but is good fun and a great opo to see the locals and take pictures.

    Pantip Plaza is the biggest computer shopping mall I’ve ever seen in my life. 7 floors with hundreds of little stores selling all kinds of electronic goods.

    Bieyok Tower 2 – is the tallest building in Thailand. They have an observation desk at the top – great for taking pictures.

    Niu’s Jazz and Blues Bar on Silom is worth checking out for a night cap or 3.

    If your up for seeing the girly bars, Soi Cowboy is where to go (better than the other 2 red-light areas in town).

    Lumpini Park is great for an afternoon stroll.

    IF you like to get of the beaten track, I recommend checking out a bar or two where very few tourists/westerners venture too. They are really safe, and you’ll be most welcome. The areas include Ekamai, Thong Lor and Ratchadar.

    Although not Thai, Eat Me restaurant is my fav in Bangkok.

    Really good Thai food is available everywhere…. either at the Oriental hotel or a -$1 bowl of needles on the street.

    Chok Dee! (Good luck)

  11. been here 10 years now and for last 4 years theres been this red shirt and yellow shirt nonsense. The Thai people are really sick of it and want it finished. Fly into Koh Samui or Phuket and avoid the nonsense.

    Everyone is hoping that this will be the last protest.

  12. I’m getting sort of used to this unrest business, year after year. Just avoid the main protest areas and hope the airport doesn’t get shutdown again, although some people consider that a great excuse to extend their vacation in Thailand.

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