The red shirt protests have been going on in Bangkok for 4-5 days now. Countless thousands of protesters have been camped out along the Royal Avenue. The news hasn’t received that much attention yet in the international press, mainly because there hasn’t been any violence. Thailand is not like other countries as the citizens are mainly Buddhists. Their protests are largely symbolic. The picture above from Reuters is probably something similar that will run on the front pages tomorrow with the headline “Blood Spilled at Government House”. But, no-one was hurt or injured. Thousands of red shirt supporters donated blood today for this Brahman ritual to curse the Thai government and to force the prime minister to dissolve government.
I attended both the yellow shirt and red shirt rallies to take pictures and I was impressed with their behaviour and general mood. Many people commented it was like a carnival atmosphere. There were even stalls selling souvenirs and bands playing songs on the stages. Some foreign tourists probably mistakenly thought that it was another colourful Thai festival. Despite this, and the fact that there has been no serious act of violence on the streets of Bangkok in the last five days, is is strange to hear that 35 countries have so far released travel advisories about Thailand. Some have even warned their citizens not to travel to Bangkok at all. I am not going to pretend that street fighting will never take place, but the odds of it happening is very small. In addition, foreign tourists have never been targeted in any protest.
Thailand and Bangkok are safe and there is no reason for you to cancel your holiday:
- Both city airports (Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi) are operating as normal
- All other international and domestic airports in Thailand remain fully operational
- Tourist attractions in the city remain open for business
- Shopping malls are open
- MICE venues are open
I will be posting regular updates of breaking news on Twitter @RichardBarrow
Be safe by keeping an eye on the news and staying away from the main protest sites that I have marked on this google map. If you face any problems them use the 24 hour tourist hotline 1672.