It does not disappoint.
Embedded above and on YouTube here: A trailer for “Bangkok Airport,” a series of six hour-long shows about the facility and the people who work there and pass through it.
It looks…quite entertaining.
Thailand Uber-blogger Richard Barrow has more, and says the show begins Jan. 22.
Additional details from a BBC press release:
Bangkok Airport (w/t) – 6 x 60 minutes
Bangkok airport, the gateway to South-East Asia, is a thriving, bustling hub of excitement and anticipation, of pale arrivals to tanned departures and everything in between. BBC Three has gained unparalleled access to all aspects of the airport in this thrilling six-part series which sees young Brits passing through to embark on adventures of a lifetime. Each episode follows some of the thousands of youth British travellers checking in and checking out, run-ins with the tourist police, incidents in immigration, customs, treatment at the on-site medical centre, missed flights, expired passports and emergencies abroad. The action takes place inside and occasionally outside the airport – at island trouble spots and the British Embassy in downtown Bangkok. And in a unique twist, contributors’ UGC (user generated content) will be used alongside fly-on-the-wall docusoap content. Bangkok Airport is made by Keo Films. It is series produced by Fiona Inskip and executive produced by Paula Trafford. BBC commissioning editor is Sam Bickley.
The AP reports:
Asset disclosures by members of Thailand’s military-dominated post-coup Cabinet reveal they are quite well-off, a trait shared with the civilian politicians they accused of corruption.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday released the asset declarations of the 33 Cabinet ministers, 25 of whom are millionaires in dollar terms.
Allegations of corruption and inappropriately gained wealth have played a major role in the country’s fractious politics in the last decade. The current government has made fighting corruption a priority, though its critics believe the policy is being wielded mainly as a weapon against its political rivals, particularly those connected to the elected government it ousted.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as army commander led a May coup d’etat, listed 128.6 million baht ($3.9 million) in assets and 654,745 baht ($20,000) in liabilities. Under the disclosure laws, assets belonging to spouses and children under 21 must be included. He also reported the transfer of 466.5 million baht ($14.3 million) to other family members.
Before his retirement at the end of September, the general received a 1.4 million baht ($43,000) annual salary as army chief. His assets include a Mercedes Benz S600L car, a BMW 740Li Series sedan, luxury watches, rings and several pistols.
McDonald has been traveling in the region for more than 20 years, and has some interesting thoughts on how travel — and travelers — have changed over time.
He talks mainly about Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, and suggests an intinerary for a one-month tour through the region. His recommendation might surprise you.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I traveled to Bangkok to help out with our coverage following the May 22 military coup.
Here are links to a few of the stories I worked on:
- Turmoil Costing Thailand Conference Business
- Thailand Sees Widespread Facebook Outage
- Social-Media Companies Skip Meeting With Thai Junta
- Thai Junta Says Facebook, Google Meetings Called Off
And, perhaps most memorably:
Anti-coup protesters in Thailand are adopting a symbol of resistance from a science fiction movie in which citizens struggle against a tyrannical government in a dark, dystopian future.
A few dozen demonstrators on Sunday gathered in a flash-mob style protest at a Bangkok shopping mall, where many held anti-army signs and raised their hands in a three fingered salute aimed at nearby troops.
The gestures were similar to those used by heroine Katniss Everdeen and other characters in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” a globally popular movie based on one of Suzanne Collins’s hit trilogy of books. Western films and other popular culture are widely consumed in Thailand.
To hear me discussing the three-fingered “Hunger Games” salute, see the WSJ Live video embedded above and online here.
And finally, for more on the Facebook issue, see this story I wrote just a few days ago:
Our main story today:
Thailand’s armed forces declared martial law early Tuesday, saying the move was intended to curb the country’s sometimes violent political conflict and wasn’t a coup d’état.
Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha issued a pair of statements at 3 a.m. and later appeared on television to say that martial law was necessary across the country to address the worsening security situation. The army later said it would censor media it deemed inflammatory. Thailand is bitterly divided between supporters of its populist government and its conservative opponents who have been massing on the streets for over half a year in a bid to topple the administration.
In the military’s first announcement, Gen. Prayuth said the escalating violence related to political protests in and around Bangkok have “a tendency to stir riot and serious chaos in several areas, which affect national security and people’s safety.”
Before Gen. Prayuth went on air, Army-run television station Channel 5 ran a ticker message across the bottom of its screen urging the public not to panic.
“The army aims to keep peace and maintain the safety and security of the people of all sides,” it said. “Please do not be alarmed and carry on with business as usual. This is not a coup.”
For ongoing updates, see our live stream of photos, text stories, and Tweets.
There’s also my 109-strong Twitter list of Bangkok journalists.
(Image above: The front page of The Bangkok Post on January 27, 2010.)
Since I’m now in Singapore covering technology news across Southeast Asia, my posts about the ongoing unrest in Thailand will probably be limited in the weeks and months ahead.
So, as I’ve done in the past, I wanted to offer suggestions for following the news as things develop.
- The Wall Street Journal often live-blogs big events, like the beginning of “Bangkok Shutdown” and last weekend’s elections. Keep an eye on WSJ.com when things heat up. And the WSJ‘s Southeast Asia Real Time provides coverage of events as they happen in Thailand. There’s a Thailand tag.
- Another resource is Asian Correspondent, where Bangkok Pundit and Saksith Saiyasombut provide continuous updates when there’s developing news.
- For an academic perspective, check out New Mandala.
- The ever-prolific Richard Barrow, a long-time Thailand resident, Tweets, blogs, posts on Facebook, maintains a Google Map of protest sites, and even practices drone journalism.
- As I’ve mentioned before, you can follow my list of more than 100 Bangkok journalists.
- I also maintain a list of more than 500 Thailand-related Twitter accounts. These include Thai news organizations and various individuals, either in Thailand or Tweeting about the country.
- The most commonly used Twitter hashtags seem to be #BangkokShutdown and #BKKShutdown.
- And, as ever, you can always follow me: @newley.
Google News search
- It’s a no-brainer, of course, but simply searching google news for “Thailand” or “Thailand protest” yields timely results.
- The Bangkok Post and The Nation offer English-language coverage. Other resources include Khaosod English and Prachatai.
- At The Bangkok Post, I suggest Voranai Vanijaka’s columns. He wrote an excellent one last month called “With all sides wrong, there can be no right.”
- There’s a Wikipedia page called 2013-14 Thai political crisis. Worth keeping an eye on, especially for background information.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that contentious elections set for February 2 can be postponed, adding further pressure on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to delay the vote, as antigovernment protests continue.
The court said Thailand’s constitution doesn’t prohibit postponing an election in the case of an emergency or if there are other obstructions to the polls going ahead safely. It said that if the Election Commission considers it necessary to postpone the ballot, it should propose a delay to the government, which could then seek a royal decree to postpone the vote or set a new date.
Varathep Rattanakorn, a minister in the prime minister’s office, told local media that the government will have to study the court’s verdict on delaying the election to determine whether it was an order or a suggestion.
But Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, one of Thailand’s five election commissioners, told reporters in southern Thailand, where he was meeting with local officials, that the commission could meet with the government on Monday. He said he expects to government to seek a new royal decree by Tuesday to scrub the Feb. 2 election date.
One election commissioner, speaking to Reuters, said the vote could still go ahead on February 2 if Yingluck’s government dug in its heels.
“We will ask to meet with the prime minister and her government on Monday to discuss a new election date,” Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said. “If the government doesn’t agree to postpone the election, then the election will go ahead.”
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post says:
The caretaker government will postpone the Feb 2 election if anti-government protesters end their rallies, caretaker PM’s Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn said on Friday.
The protesters must also promise not to obstruct the new poll and there must be no boycott of it, he said.
But postponing the poll would be futile if it continues to face disruptions, Mr Varathep said. The Election Commission (EC) will invite caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to discuss the poll postponement on Monday after the court also ruled that the premier should discuss a new election date with the EC chairman.
And Bangkok Pundit has a post looking at what might come next:
We have no on-the-record confirmation, but BP would not be surprised if the government agreed to delay the election. The main reason is that timing-wise, the parliament would be convened around the sound time regardless of the election being delayed or going ahead…
However, this is contingent on the Democrats participating in the election and then the PDRC going home – or at least limiting their protests to more defined areas and stopping obstruction of government offices. BP expects Puea Thai to either approach PDRC and the Democrats again to see what their position is.* If no change then, what would be the point of postponing the election?
Here’s the latest:
- Two people were hurt in a shooting early this morning. And separately, the Bangkok residence of Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was hit with a small explosive device.
- The Thai stock exchange moved some staff to another location after demonstrators threatened to take control of its offices.
- Prime Minister Yigluck said the Feb. 2 elections will go ahead.
The AP reports:
Gunshots rang out in the heart of Thailand’s capital overnight in an apparent attack on anti-government protesters early Wednesday that wounded at least two people and ratcheted up tensions in Thailand’s deepening political crisis.
Most of Bangkok remains unaffected by the latest wave of rallies. But the shooting was the latest in a string of violent incidents that have kept the vast metropolis on edge amid fears the country’s deadlock could spiral out of control.
Bangkok’s emergency services office said one man was hit in the ankle and a woman was hit in the arm in the shooting, which occurred on a street leading to one of Bangkok’s glitziest shopping districts that has been occupied since Monday by camping demonstrators trying to bring down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government.
Sompong Pongsattha, a 56-year-old resident who witnessed the attack in the Pathumwan district, said about 30 gunshots were fired from an unknown location toward a protest barricade over the course of about two hours.
In another incident overnight, a small explosive device was hurled into a residential compound owned by former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, shattering windows and slightly damaging a roof, according to Police Col. Chumpol Phumphuang and Abhisit’s opposition Democrat Party. No injuries were reported, and Abhisit — who resigned from Parliament last month to join protesters — was not home at the time.
The WSJ says:
Thailand’s stock exchange moved some personnel Wednesday from its main building to a shopping mall following threats to seize the premises by antigovernment protesters who have tried to shut down areas of central Bangkok.
Thailand’s government stuck to a plan for a February election on Wednesday despite mounting pressure from protesters who have brought parts of Bangkok to a near-standstill, and said it believed support for the leader of the agitation was waning.
Some hardline protesters have threatened to blockade the stock exchange and an air traffic control facility if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra does not step down by a deadline media said had been set for 8 p.m.
And finally, following my previous post, here are a few more snapshots from Asoke intersection — one of the protest sites — this afternoon. (I’ve also uploaded the pics to my “Bangkok Shutdown” Flickr set.)
Blog posts will be sporadic in the days ahead, but as always, you can find me on Twitter for more frequent updates.
Here are some photos I took of today’s protests.
The Bangkok Post has more images.
Meanwhile, the WSJ reports:
After turning central Bangkok into a flag-waving sea of protest Monday, antigovernment activists now say they are preparing to take their campaign to the next level by seizing Thailand’s stock exchange.
The WSJ also has a liveblog.
The NYT says:
Bangkok’s central commercial district was swarmed by antigovernment protesters on Monday as part of a so-called shutdown of the city, a largely peaceful demonstration that cut most traffic to Thailand’s costliest real estate and most prestigious addresses.
The protest was the boldest move in two months of protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
About 80,000 Thai protesters blocked major roads in Bangkok, disrupting traffic and increasing pressure on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
Note: Blog posts may be sporadic in the days ahead, but you can follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates.