Bangkok Thailand

AP: “Big questions still unanswered in Thai terror plot”

The AP has a story today summing up the last week’s events:

It began when three men blew up their house accidentally on Valentine’s Day in Bangkok. It ended with a gory scene that looked more like Baghdad: a bloodied, would-be bomber with severed legs moaning on a glass-strewn sidewalk after another botched blast.

Last week’s explosions in the Thai capital announced the apparent arrival of international terrorists in this Southeast Asian nation, revealing a plot allegedly aimed against Israeli diplomats. But big questions remain about who was behind the plot, and why.

There’s also this bit, which I haven’t seen reported elsewhere:

Moradi turned onto a main road as police began moving in. One of them, Sgt. Panphum Rakkuson, said the Iranian pulled a rectangular-shaped box out of his backpack and threw it toward the officers.

“We were stunned and couldn’t do anything but stand there,” Panphum said.

The bomb, though, got caught on something, and hit the ground next to Moradi and exploded, instantly shredding both his legs below the knee.

Panphum said Moradi reached out for a piece of broken glass from the sidewalk and drew it toward his neck, as if he was trying to kill himself.

Bangkok Thailand

More on ‘SEJEAL’ Stickers and Iranian Bombing Suspects

2012 02 21 bkk post

Following up on a Tweet I sent last night:

Today’s Bangkok Post — a pic of the front page is above — has more on the “SEJEAL” stickers and the Iranian bombing suspects. The Post says:

City police are looking into possible links between last week’s central Bangkok bomb blasts and the posting of a string of stickers with an enigmatic message, a source said.

Fifty-two stickers bearing the word “Sejeal” were found posted along a road in Klong Toey district.

They were similar to stickers found at the house where the first of three blasts occurred on Sukhumvit Soi 71 on Feb 14, at another house on Ramkhamhaeng Road rented by suspect Leila Rohani, 31, and under the seat of a seized motorcycle believed to belong to one of the suspects.

The posted stickers were put up on either electricity posts or large signboards starting from an area under a footbridge on Duang Phithak Road in Klong Toey, which runs parallel to the expressway heading for southern Phloenchit Road.

The stickers’ trail ended at the mouth of Soi Ruam Rudi near Phloenchit BTS station.

The total coverage of the sticker-posting was about 1.5 kilometres.

The source said investigators believed the bombers used the stickers to mark spots where bombing attacks could be carried out.


Police believed Israeli officials often travelled along Duang Phithak Road, which eventually leads to the Asoke area, where the Israeli embassy is based.

The word “sejeal” may refer to a passage in the Koran that tells of a miracle when birds from heaven dropped “sejeal stones” on an army riding elephants from Yemen who were attempting to kill Mohammed, scaring the animals and saving the prophet’s life.

Here are larger images from today’s paper:

2012 02 21 bkk post suspect

And a pic of one of the stickers in question:

2012 02 21 bkk post sejeal

Elsewhere, a Google Image search reveals a few pics in the Thai media of a what looks like police examining several other “SEJEAL” stickers around Bangkok.

(All emphasis mine.)

(Images: Bangkok Post.)

Bangkok Tech

Off topic: “RE TWEET ME” T-shirt for Sale in Bangkok

I wanted to share this cell phone picture of a T-shirt I spotted at a market in Bangkok’s Silom neighborhood last night.

Yes, it says “RE TWEET ME.”

Further proof — as if any were needed — of Twitter’s global influence.

2011 12 05 retweet me T shirt bangkok

Naturally, I Tweeted the pic, and Twitter user @_JustMelissa posted the excellent image below in response.

She wrote:

@newley love it! It’s like this one. I had to stalk this kid all the way down Silom for this picture.

Af0d4zTCQAAV0ki jpg large

So there you have it: Bangkok’s Silom ‘hood is a hotbed for Twitter-focused sartorial irony. Who knew?


Acid attack near Bangkok’s Asoke BTS station?

The Bangkok Post reports today that:

A foreign woman artist, Elizabeth Briel, reported on Twitter on Friday that she and her husband had acid sprayed at their faces at the Asoke skytrain station last night.

She said the acid was directed at them from the stairway leading to the station near Robinson shopping mall.

Mrs Briel said her husband’s eyes were damaged but would be okay, while she has a burnt scalp.

They were treated at Bumrungrad hospital.

The hospital said this is the third case they have seen lately.

Her initial tweets are here and here.

In a blog post today, Briel elaborates:

As we passed the Asoke Skytrain exit near Robinson, we were showered with clear liquid. It was too heavy to be from a bat or a bird, too brief to be rain. Where had it come from? The trees above my head? The stairs next to us, or the walkway beyond to Nana?

I thought someone had peed down on us from the steps as a practical joke, and scanned them, but they were empty. Then Roy called out: “My eyes – they’re burning – they’re fucked – get some water.” As if in response, my scalp began to burn. Could a Skytrain cleaner have dumped extra chemicals onto us? I looked up – no cleaning buckets or employees in sight. Just the usual assortment of Skytrain passengers: middle-class Thais and foreigners. My eyes darted from Roy – crouched over, his hand over his eyes – to look for someone, anyone, who might have done this. The left side of my face and neck had been splashed by whatever-it-was, and the pain inflamed my panic.

This was no accident.

A doctor at Bumrungrad Hospital, Briel says, told them the liquid was “‘acid or industrial cleaning fluid that caused the burns.'”

There’s no further information from Briel — via the doctor — about where the other reported incidents took place, or who might have fallen victim.


What happened to On Nut?

2011 08 18 mo chit bearing

Bangkok commuters who use the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit line may have been in for a surprise of late.

That’s because one of the line’s terminal stations has changed. On Nut — usually depicted on the left on station signs like the one above — is gone. In its place is Bearing.


2011 08 18 bangkok bts map
(Click here for a bigger version of the map.)

Indeed. It’s the new On Nut.

As you can see in the map above, the Sukhumvit line has been extended in the southeast.

As the official MCOT reports, the extension opened on Aug. 12:

The route extends the Sukhumvit line, which until today ended at On Nut station. The new stations include Bang Chak, Punnawithi (near Soi Sukumvit 101), Udom Suk, Bang Na and Bearing stations, with a total distance of approximately 5.25 kilometres.

The extension will remain open for service without charges until Jan 1, 2012, when a new fare structure is expected to be initiated.

You can find more info at Thai Blogs. I haven’t (yet) come across an explanation for the Bearing station’s name.

Has anyone heard anything?

(Map: BTS.)


Self-promotion: New WSJ Scene Asia story about bread in Bangkok

Self-promotion: I have a story today at the WSJ‘s Scene Asia blog about new options for bread in the Thai capital. It’s called “Where to Carb-Load in Bangkok.”


DinTaiFung opens in Bangkok

2011 05 10 dintaifung

Xiaolongbao fans, take note: A branch of the Taiwanese restaurant DinTaiFung has opened here in Bangkok. The blog SixSix2 has a few photos and reports:

You can find it on the 7th floor at Central World right next to AKA restaurant. It’s hard to miss


My new WSJ Scene Asia piece: Bangkok’s best burgers

Quick note: I recently put together a fun piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s Scene Asia blog. It’s called “On a Quest for Bangkok’s Best Burgers.”

Thanks to Peter Oh, at the excellent new Bangkok Burger Blog, for providing his insight.

Bangkok Thailand

Austin Bush talks about Bangkok street food

2011 04 27 thai street food

In Jake Warga’s recent radio piece on “PRI’s The World,” Austin Bush discusses Thai street food. Worth a listen.

(Image: Jake Warga/”PRI’s The World.“)

Bangkok Journalism

New WSJ story on Indian molecular gastronomy in Bangkok

I have a story in today’s Wall Street Journal about Gaggan, a new Indian molecular gastronomy restaurant here in Bangkok. The piece is online and also appears in print in today’s Asia edition.