After the week-long blockade of Bangkok’s two main airports, which has crippled the Thai economy and left tens of thousands of frustrated travellers stranded, there is finally some good news as the first passenger flights for over a week are landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports. The protests were led by the royalist People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which claims the government is corrupt and hostile to the country’s much-revered monarchy. A court ruling on Wednesday denounced the prime minister, just in time as many Thais were hoping the protests would be over by today (Thursday) in time for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 81st Birthday Speech. In fact, very sadly, he was unable to make his speech because he is a ‘little sick’.
Unfortunately there were a number of violent outbursts during the protests however now it has come to and end, everything seems to be getting back on track very quickly. In typical Thai style many campaigners were even seen to sweep up after themselves once the protests were over, highlighting the fact that whilst there may be dissatisfaction with the government the people of Thailand remain some of the most conscientious people in the world.
Thailand has been a popular tourist destination for many years and although it still welcomes millions of tourists every year, it is often overlooked by people who are looking the places where no-one else has been and for the next best thing. It is sometimes tempting to assume that something really popular will only disappoint. Whilst it’s great to get off-the-beaten-path, and this often offers some of the most memorable travel experiences, the danger can be in missing out on some truly outstanding sites and destinations because they are well-established. Of all the people I know who have visited the Taj Mahal I haven’t heard one person say that they weren’t awe-struck by it. Everyone knows about Angkor Wat, before I visited I had seen hundreds of images of it, and yet it still took my breath away.
For some ideas about what to do and where to visit in Thailand, view our luxury itineraries.