The Red Shirts are stirring the pot in Bangkok again, and now it has become deadly again.What a shame for such a wonderful city. I have no position on the politics of the standoff, but am sad for all those who killed or injured. The Thai people, like most in Asia, everywhere for that matter, have long-standing differences of class and political persuasion. Now that things have turned violent, I hope they will take the opportunity to talk.
We ended our In Search of Shangri-la tandem bicycle tour in December of 2009, and all was quiet. The last time the Red Shirts demonstrated they closed the airport, and thousands of Westerners were trapped in Bangkok for some time. Not that we would mind all that much. We stayed eight days this visit, and after our Around Australia by Tandem journey, we visited for 12 days.
I wrote from Bangkok that it was a Shangri-la of major cities, and despite a few inconveniences now and then, I stand by that assessment. It is a great place to get a taste of Asia without getting too far out of your comfort zone, a place from which to launch more adventurous forays into the most important continent in the coming century.
Here are a few random photos from our most recent stay. Give Bangkok a chance. You will not be sorry.