Shut Down Bangkok

27th January 2014

Coming back to Bangkok, I think I have adjusted to Thailand a little more because it seems like a nicer place and although there is some conflict with the protests going on, it is decent. I can just about handle the humidity and occasional plume of motorbike pollution a bit more now I think.

First thing I did was to head to the protest sights and it seems as if there are a number of main areas conveniently placed on the skytrain system. Visiting all of the places where people have been shot and people killed is a weird feeling seeing as when I have been there it seems like more of a street party atmosphere with people singing on a stage and stalls selling ‘shut down bangkok’ merchandise.

Shut Down Bangkok

Walking the empty streets lined with market stalls and whistling-thais was interesting because of the many different demographics, even old age pensioners. There is a real collective feel to the protests. You got people putting in shifts blocking off the highways, people being ferried round in the back of massive trucks and just loads of people turing out. If this was London, they would have the water cannons out already.

Empty Streets in Bangkok During the Protests

I didn’t really stick around the protests much. It was “dangerous” but I just didn’t have a clue what they were shouting or have any idea about the political state of the country. It was cool walking through Lumpini park because instead of the peaceful scenery it was full of tents and looked more like a busy British campsite on a bank holiday weekend.

Amongst many things Thai people seem to love, shopping malls are one. I was one day having a look around them and found the swanky-est one of all at a place called Siam Paragon. So I was doing some window shopping looking at Rolexes as you do; then I ended up on a floor filled with cars…

Siam Paragon

Granted, I am not arsed with cars and I doubt i’ll own one any time in the next 10 years but it was weird to see super cars being sold on the 4th floor of a shopping complex. I guess it makes sense though right? You can drive right out of the showroom, down the escalators and stop off at all the other shops on the way down. I did get a pretty sweet new watch for a very good price, a nice new Nixon at less than half the price it would be back home. So far I have worn it once and got the band dirty due to all the dust and shit in the air which isn’t too good.