This was supposed to be the Asian century, with the ascent of China being only one – albeit a major – part of the story.
In April last year, Unyakarn Booprasert, a Thai cleaner, tried to commit suicide in front of the Ministry of Finance’s building with rat poison as a “protest”, as what she was going through “happened to many people.”“I completely ran out of money. I called my friends and relatives. Everyone had no money,” Booprasert explained.
Once the interrogation room doors shut behind Attasith Nussa, eight plainclothes officers descended upon him quickly.The leading officer approached the 35-year-old Thai pro-democracy protester and asked him if he came alone to the 29 October vigil in Bangkok.“I drove my motorcycle here alone,” Attasith recalled to Al Jazeera as telling his interrogators.Attasith said the same officer, dressed in a button-up shirt, then replied, “‘Well it’s good that you travelled alone.
Overseas tourists poured into Bangkok and the holiday island of Phuket on Monday as Thailand kickstarted its tourism industry after 18 months of COVID curbs.The coronavirus pandemic hammered the kingdom's tourism-reliant economy, which last year saw its worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis as arrivals dwindled more than 80 percent.Thai authorities have given the green light to vaccinated tourists from over 60 "low-risk" countries to skip hotel quarantine – pr
Hotels, street food carts and tuk-tuks are gearing up for the return of tourists to Bangkok as Thailand prepares to re-open on 1 November to fully vaccinated visitors after 18 months of COVID travel curbs.But the steamy metropolis, the world's most-visited city before the pandemic, will take some time to get back to its pulsating, intoxicating old self, industry experts say.The coronavirus pandemic sent visitor numbers plummeting from 40 million in 2019 to just 73,000 in the first eight
Thai Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha announced Thursday that vaccinated travellers from more than 40 countries will be allowed to enter the kingdom without undergoing quarantine come 1 November, as it readies for a much-anticipated re-opening.The 46 countries and territories are a significant jump from the 10 initially announced last week by Prayut, when he unveiled plans to reopen the country next month.The ballooning list is due to Thailand's urgent need "to stimulate the tourism sector
Six days of gun battles between soldiers and militants in Thailand's restive south have left six people dead, the military said Monday, as troops hunt insurgents hiding in a swampy forest.Thailand's three southernmost provinces have been in the grip of a 17-year conflict that has killed more than 7,000 people, the majority civilians, as militants in the Muslim-majority region fight for more autonomy from the Thai state.The pandemic had brought a lull to the clashes – often character
Thai authorities on Tuesday rushed to protect parts of Bangkok from floodwaters that have already inundated 70,000 homes and killed six people in the country's northern and central provinces.Tropical storm Dianmu has caused flooding in 30 provinces, with the kingdom's central region the worst hit, the Thai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said.The level of the Chao Phraya River – which snakes through Bangkok after winding almost 400 kilometres from the north – is steadi
Thailand is to cut the quarantine for vaccinated travellers to seven days starting in October, officials said Monday, as it seeks to revive its battered tourism industry.Pre-pandemic Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year, but COVID-related travel restrictions have hammered the sector, contributing to the economy's worst performance in more than 20 years.The kingdom is pushing to reopen despite still being in the grips of a deadly third wave of infections, driven by the Del
A flashy cop with a taste for fast cars falls from grace following the leak of spine-chilling footage of a brutal interrogation gone wrong.Not the plot of a blockbuster thriller, but the vivid reality of a story that has gripped Thailand in recent weeks and spotlighted police corruption that experts say infects almost every level of society in the kingdom.The case of Thitisan Utthanaphon, a former police station chief in a rural province – nicknamed "Joe Ferrari" for his extravagant
After months of lockdown, parts of Southeast Asia are leaving behind their "zero-COVID" policy and charting a path toward living with the virus - despite experts' warnings that it may be too early to do so.COVID-19 swept across the region this summer, fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant, with cases climbing steeply in July and peaking in most countries by August.Now, governments including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are looking to revive their economies - particu
Hundreds of protesters drove through Bangkok's streets on Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of a military coup that ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The billionaire ex-premier – now living in self-exile – has remained a prominent figure in the country's politics since the military deposed his government on 19 September, 2006.Unloading a massive cardboard model of a tank for their "cars against tanks" protest, rallygoers honked car horns to call for the resignatio