Bangkok Update – July 2010

After the recent political upheaval in Bangkok and civil disruptions, which resulted in many deaths and a large amount of destruction to property, I was a bit wary of what we might find in the Ratchaprasong district. This is the business and shopping area where the red shirt protesters created a no-go area with barricades of burning tyres among other things. They also set fire to CentralWorld, which was one of Bangkok’s newest and finest shopping malls. As well as department stores, shops, cinemas and restaurants, it’s also the site of the luxury hotel Centara Grand at CentralWorld.

I had no real idea of what to expect, but the trip to Bangkok was necessary, and there hadn’t been any recent horrific headlines about battles in the street, so off we went. Here’s a quick report of what I found.

The BTS (sky train) is running as normal. The streets show no sign of the earlier troubles, and it’s business as usual in most places. The big exception to this is that much of CentralWorld is now a black, burned out empty hulk. I did attempt to take photos for you but reconstruction is well underway and the building is clothed in massive green tarpaulins, so there’s not much to see from behind the camera lens.

I’ve heard that the department store Isetan is open for business in CentralWorld again. I also checked out the Centara Grand at CentralWorld’s website and there’s nothing on there to suggest that they’re not open for business. It looks as though the fires didn’t reach the northern end of the complex. (Sorry, I didn’t have time to go and verify that for myself.)

However, I did manage to check out the Grand Hyatt Erawan, which is directly across the busy Ratchaprasong crossroads from CentralWorld. The good news is that it is most definitely business as usual here. Having stayed at this hotel before, and enjoyed the magnificent dinner buffet in their Dining Room restaurant, I was delighted to discover that there’s also a superb lunch buffet on offer in the Dining Room too. Highly recommended!

As usual, Bangkok residents seem to have bounced back from their troubles. I wish I didn’t feel the need to add “until the next time”.

Comments (5)

  1. Greg M says:

    Hi, I like the little article. Did you see some luxury places (hotels, jewelry, clothing …) messed up and empty or is everything back to normal for the sector in Bangkok ? Plus did you notice if the sector is blooming throughout the Ratchaprasong district?

    Regards

  2. Good to see Bangkok back to near normal. Photos would have been interesting. Hard to believe it recovered so quickly. Thanks for the update.

  3. Kay McMahon says:

    Thanks for the comments. I haven’t been back to Bangkok since I wrote the article so I’ve nothing to add.

    There’s a good chance I’ll be back in Thailand in September so I’ll write another update then.

  4. I was planning to go t Bangkok for some shopping stuff. but was really afraid due to those political facts. Sounds really pretty to hear that everything is going back to normal.

  5. BKK Tours says:

    Things are indeed back to normal. More and more visitors have restored their confidence to come back to visit the City of Angels. As you explore Bangkok you will hardly notice anything has happened. It is only at Central World where the damage is very visible.

    Regards,
    Michiel

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