Sam Thompson

Protests - reason to worry?

Always keep in mind that good news doesn't sell.

I'm not one to get very political; I've found it takes entirely too much effort, and it seems that no matter who is elected or in charge, stupid things are done. My take on the matter is simple: if you're crazy enough to want to preside over a bunch of people who are just going to be mad at you for one reason or another for years on end, you've got to be a little unbalanced to start with. What do people expect out of politicians anyway?

Furthermore, in the event that there are one or two politicians who do have a few ounces of sanity left, we "the people" aren't going to hear about most good deeds or jobs well done. I was a journalism major, and I know: good news doesn't sell. It's not that news people want to report only bad news, it's just that it seems to be the best way to grab an audience's attention.

These are just my humble opinions.

In any event, I keep having various family members emailing and Skyping me to see if there's any truth to the "riots" they keep seeing on CNN and other news channels. From a personal standpoint, I can honestly say that the biggest shocker I've seen is Siam Center and Paragon shopping malls closed this past Sunday. Now, there's something you don't see every day.

Yes, I have certainly heard the news of the pro-and-anti-government clashes over the last few weeks. I've also heard about some of the tragedies amounting from a few of these incidents. Because I was not here during the fiascos of 2010, I can't say whether or not the protests thus far are approaching "out of control," but just based on the atmosphere I've encountered around the city in the past weeks, I'm honestly not personally concerned.

The BBC has reported that the political instability of the moment has caused 35 countries to issue travel advisories against visiting the Kingdom, and that the economy (especially tourism) has started to see a slight decline in recent weeks. I've also noticed a good number of the older students at my school absent over the last few days related to the protests, at least according to other students I've asked. However, that being said, it appears that the active protesting zones are limited to a few locations in Bangkok, and have yet to majorly affect me or any of the foreign teachers I know.

I just hope it stays that way. Hopefully, political views aside, the tensions can be resolved without much more conflict, and Thailand can stay the peaceful paradise I've come to love.


Hopefully, after Monday's government dissolution (can you say "government shutdown," USA?), the protests will die down again. It's rather funny; I was picking on my friends and family in the USA a few months ago saying, "Well, at least we have a working government over here in this comparatively underdeveloped country!" Now... here we are. :)

I agree, @Donna, Thailand has had its fair share of political conflicts. But I would argue that, on the whole, Thai people aren't prone to fighting one another... at least violently. It's always a shame that the minority of people using violence give the majority of those not a bad name.

And @Guy, I found myself thinking the very same thing... I'm not sure "irony" is the right word, but... haha

By Sam, Chatuchak, Bangkok (10th December 2013)

The bloody crackdown of 2010 earned then PM Abhisit the monniker 'Butcher of Bangkok.' His henchman who actually managed the slaughter at Democracy Monument was ... (drum roll) a familiar fellow named Suthep.

By Guy, Bkk (8th December 2013)

But Thailand is not a "peaceful paradise" and that's the point. This is a country that has experienced military coups and deadly street conflicts for decades. Have you forgotten 2010 or 1976? As an expat you cannot participate in Thai politics, you don't have to like politics, but please don't delude yourself either. Stereotyping Thailand as a peaceful paradise is patronizing to say the least.

By Donna, U.S.A. (4th December 2013)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Pre-school Teacher

฿90,000+ / month


Full-time and Part-time Literacy / EFL Teachers

฿48,000+ / month


English Conversation Teachers

฿35,000+ / month


Economics, Business, GP and Maths Specialist

฿65,000+ / month


PE Teacher for Grades 7-12

฿59,000+ / month


NES English Language Teachers

฿600+ / hour


Featured Teachers

  • Emerson

    Filipino, 34 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Bruno

    American, 30 years old. Currently living in China

  • Sheila

    Filipino, 29 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Maria

    Indonesian, 35 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • Noel

    Filipino, 37 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Karl

    Filipino, 24 years old. Currently living in Philippines

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.