I awoke to find the news back home dominated by what is labelled as the snap election. After missing out on participating in last year’s Brexit fun and games, it’s slightly annoying to also miss this piece of democracy. That said, I suppose I also won’t have to endure the general election circus.
Today was my last full day in Thailand. Writing this long after leaving the country, I can speak a bit more freely about the place. Although a modern country in many ways, I still don’t think that political analysis is particularly encouraged in Thailand. This may be slight paranoia on my behalf but as George Orwell said, Big Brother is watching! Just look at that poor man in a Dubai prison for illegal charity promotion after sharing a fundraising event for Afghan refugees on Facebook.
While it undoubtedly has issues, the Thailand now seems more stable to the version I previously visited in 2014. Back then there were blockades all over central Bangkok and large visible demonstrations. Nearby to where I was staying back then people were killed in a hand grenade attack on the day I arrived. The interim military rule in effect is barely noticeable to most overseas visitors, maybe aside from stricter enforcement of alcohol sales times. Obviously tourism is a huge in Thailand so I’m sure all efforts will be made not to disrupt this industry.
Since I had some Intrepid Travel vouchers (converted via Tesco vouchers), going on an organised tour to my next destination of Cambodia was excellent value. Despite not doing a great deal today I still managed to get stuck on the other side of Bangkok and missed the tour welcome meeting at 6pm. Some of the group went out later but with tomorrow’s early start I gave it a miss. They ended getting ripped off at a ping-pong exotic cabaret performance! I felt a bit bad for not warning them as almost everyone I’ve spoke to in hostels who have sampled such entertainment has also been stung.