Recently i returned from ten days and nights in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. While there, I learned that We knew very little about Thai politics, certainly not enough to know who the Red Shirts were or why they were demonstrating in Bangkok. Staying present in a country when something out of the ordinary is going on is likely to focus one’s attention on that country not only during the visit but also subsequent to it. For me, I actually seem to be to gain a vested interest in a place if I was there during an important event. For this reason, my understanding of Thai national politics started out changing during my visit there. Now back again home, I remain enthusiastic about following the news of the anti-government protests of the Red Shirts in Bangkok.

In January 2010, I started planning a month-long trip to India. At the same time I managed to influence a good friend moving into Sydney to meet me personally in Bangkok after my travels in India. All of us opted for meet in Bangkok the 2nd week of Drive. Our plans consisted of staying for four evenings in Bangkok before venturing down to a beach resort south of Sapphire lodge pattaya for a further four nights. Our last two days would be put in Bangkok before traveling home. Obviously, our programs didn’t always follow the line we expected them to due to the political unrest in Bangkok. 

My friend had recently been aware from the Foreign media that the Asian government expected protests and possible clashes with a bunch called the Red Tops around the time we were meeting in Bangkok. Coming from London, I actually don’t remember reading or hearing anything about the politics in Thailand that might have alerted me to the future trouble. My own friend wrote me a worried email around 3 weeks before we were to meet in Bangkok. She read of the mounting uneasiness of the Thai government and other Asian states about the offered anti-government demonstrations. I, again, brushed off her concerns. It wasn’t until we were in Bangkok that I realised things were more serious than I think and that she was right in being worried!

I found its way to Bangkok from Delhi on Tuesday morning, being unfaithful March 2010, with my friend arriving several hours later from Sydney. All of us were staying at the Davis Hotel in the eastern part of Bangkok for four nights. We heard nothing about any demonstrations at the international airport, from the taxi cab driver or from the hotel staff when We arrived. The two of us started our taking in the sights of Bangkok on Wed and Thursday, travelling by river boat and skytrain to the many sights. This was only late Thursday night that we started to find the news that the ‘Red Shirts’ anticipated to have a , 000, 000 demonstrators for their weekend protests. Our hotel personnel recommended that we stay around the hotel on Friday as they don’t really know what to expect. We-took their advice and took in closely to the information to verify if we would have trouble leaving the location the next morning for the seaside. There were already reports of men and women massing in Bangkok for the weekend demonstrations. At the same time, the reports mentioned that the numbers coming to protest were much smaller than expected.

In the morning we left for Jomtien Beach just south of Pattaya Beach. Again we saw no indication of trouble. There were no obstacles or police-blocks on the road even as we still left the location nor even as forced on the motorway down to Pattaya. During the weekend, we started out experiencing more about demonstrations, the size of others and the rhetoric of the leaders of the Purple Shirts. It was reported that rather than a mil demonstrators only about 75, 000 Red Shirt demonstrators had resulted in Bangkok by Sunday. We discovered that the low quantities were due, in part, to the government blockades of all access tracks to Bangkok from the northern rural areas.