Thailand - The calm before the storm?

Jes , 0 Comments

I just returned from Bangkok and it was just so unfortunate that the Thai King Bhumibol just passed away recently.
Black and white cloth everywhere

People were more solemn and melancholy and everywhere, you see people wearing only black, dark blue or white. Most tourists like me remained respectful and followed their dress code although I did see some clueless people in yellow and red. Most people will need to wear dark clothes for 30 days while government jobs are required to put on sombre colours for 1 year.

Which explains why black and dark blue clothes are out of stocks recently in Thailand.

My distributor in Thailand told me they cried for the King when they returned home. Everyone of them contributed readily about their love for the king and how they have wept for him. My friends are avoiding the media because the images and narratives are making them cry. Most channels are solely about the Thai King. All of them are going to brave the crowd and weather to go to the king's palace and pray for him if they have not done so already.

Of course, no beer for 30 days and even restaurants have stopped selling them.

I guess the only good thing out of this is that there was no traffic jams at all. Many people took leave or stayed home to pray. Even when I went around for dinner, there were not many people outside partying or shopping. It's indeed a serious affair for Thais so do follow their rules while you are there on a holiday.

Like Lee Kuan Yew, the Thai King devoted his whole life for the well being of the country. Unlike Lee Kuan Yew, he was not into politics and was well loved by all. I mean everyone, everybody in Thailand really love him. He was the single unifying point of Thailand and I am sad that this role model is not around to bring Thailand to greater heights.

All the Thais I spoke to are deeply worried about the future.

Are there going to be violence and bloodshed again? How is the political situation going to be resolved? Is the son going to be king and will he be able to maintain peace? All these answers will only be known after this mourning period but threats of bombs still continue to plague the country.

Many Singaporeans like myself love Thailand. Not just because of food and shopping, but the people and culture. I am really impressed by their open culture where people do not judge you if you are LGBT and they even just let you know their identity on the very first meeting.

No matter what, I know that Thais are very resilient and I hope there will be a political solution that brings about stability and prosperity.

Jes

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