Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bangkok, The Red T-Shirts and the Walking Street

In mid April we took a trip to Thailand, the land of the Siam People.   This was during the height of the Red T-shirts protests, where the red  t-shirts had encamped themselves in Bangkok city center blocking some major shopping malls and getting into violent clashes with the law enforcement authorities. Just days before there was a mass funeral parade exhibiting the 12 coffins of the red t-shirt protesters who have died in the clashes.  So needless to say it wasn’t the best timing for the trip.

But the trip which was planned for several months had to proceed regardless of the situation, and come to think of it, it couldn’t have been planned at a better time. In fact we were there during a period which was defining the Thai political history.

Our stay in Bangkok was just limited to four days and three nights, but we could very well say that it was an experience of a lifetime. One of the major highlights was Pattaya, a wonderful beach destination located just 2 hours off Bangkok. Pattaya is home to the much famed Walking Street; a place popular for its vivid and brightly lit neon lights and the partying that just keeps on going from dusk till dawn.

Walking Street - Is not just about walking! 


how can i forget the frog legs? Delicious, tastes like chicken...,but dont eat too much then you would really start to feel its taste :D

On the final day of our trip we visited central Bangkok where the red t-shirts had encamped themselves around some of the most popular shopping malls in the city. The roads had been blocked off and they did not allow anyone to get in unless they were red t-shirt supporters. After wondering around the shopping malls and crossing many streets we suddenly ended up in the middle of a road which has been cordoned off by the red t-shirt supporters who had now camped themselves there.

They didn’t block us off from walking in the street may be because we were tourists. In fact there were several tourists who were walking around buying red t-shirt souvenirs and talking to the protestors. Just few meters away a man in full guerrilla attire was giving a charged and an intense interview to a bunch of local and international reporters. We later learnt that it was Maj.General Khattiya Sawasdipol, a rogue army officer who had aligned himself with the red t-shirt movement. He was shot dead by a sniper a few weeks later while giving a similar interview to a group of reporters.

After a few weeks returning from Bangkok, we saw how the Thai Army stormed the camp sites to evict the protestors and how the bloody clashes ensued afterwards left many people dead. It was really sad to see this as just a few weeks back we had been on the same place where now many people have perished.

Red T-Shirt Protests, in the middle of the shopping district.

There is a very serious political crisis in Thailand at the moment which has somewhat bitterly divided the country and its people. Hopefully Bangkok and its wonderful people would recover from this bitter divide soon and this City of Angels would reach back to its former glory.

1 comment:

  1. I hear that the Thai government's trying to restore tourism in the land after the recent terrorist attacks. A friend of mine has visited recently and she says it's safe to go now. I need some serious Bangkok shopping spree!