Bangkok Shutdown ( A now irrelevant look at protest tourism )

Bangkok Shutdown Demo

So, after getting emails for the past couple of months form people worrying about staying in the centre of Bangkok, I finally got time to go there last week and take a walk around the protest sites in the city centre.  The idea was to add a page to the site to show people what they could expect, as although there had been some shootings and a few grenades tossed, overall it was more novelty t-shirt street market than a warzone.   The protests had been going on since December and there was no hint that they wouldn’t continue indefinitely.

Overall it was pretty friendly but it takes some getting used to to seeing surly guards in flak jackets watching over people and of course no police in sight.  The guards were the law in the protest areas, even directly outside the National Police HQ.

It was just my luck that a few days after taking these photos the protest leader declared that all the protest sites would be taken down and protests would now be limited to Lumpini Park.  Today, the streets where these photos were taken near Siam Square, paragon, CentralWorld, MBK are open to traffic as normal.  The stages and vendors have gone.

You should be able to get a good deal on a Bangkok Shutdown t-shirt, as there are dozens of vendors with stocks to shift.  ( Unless they keep them for the next time protests are held in the city centre.)

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