This is just too much. I feel I must now weigh in on the whole Thailand coup phenomenon that isn’t. On the same day now that the UK Foreign Office has advised visitors ‘not to move around Bangkok,’ the UK Telegraph is also reporting that vistors to the Southeast Asian nation are complaining that the recent bloodless coup was ‘almost not exciting enough.’
I guess we westerners are still relying a bit too much on the developing countries to provide our dose of blood, violence, adventure and exoticism we so desperately crave to pull us from the drudgery of day-to-day fast-food strip-mall life. So here’s a bit of a primer on Thailand from what I gleaned while there shortly after the December 2004 tsunami:
This is not a country that likes to shed blood very easily. Thailand prides itself on being the only country in the region that was never colonized by imperial forces. Granted, the Kingdom of Siam achieved this only by letting go of parts of what are today Cambodia and Laos as the cost of peace.
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Since the colonial days, Thailand has continued to be overseen by its revered royal family, but government power has occassional passed from the hands of different people and parties. usually by way of a bloodless coup like we saw last week.
Now, to clear things up, southern Thailand is another matter. There, religious divisions and a whole host of other messy matters have fueled fighting that has killed more than 1500 people in recent years. It IS dangerous to travel to the far southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla. But I wouldn’t get too worked up over “moving around Bangkok” anytime soon.
But, I promise to keep you posted just in case.