Destination: Bangkok

Morning Links: Sex and Romance in Rio, Chaos in Bangkok and More

sydney opera house Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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On Asia: Points East

On Asia: Points East iStockPhoto
Shibuya, Tokyo. iStockphoto.

If this is indeed the “Asian century,” count me as an early adopter. I’ve quit two full-time jobs to explore the world’s most diverse continent, and they were the two best decisions I’ve ever made. To an Asia hand, the lavender fields of Provence might be pleasant, but it’s the chanting of novice monks, the mystical tinkling of the gamelan, a bowl of spicy dan dan noodles that really get the blood pumping. I’m drawn back, again and again, and I don’t know if I’ll ever kick the habit.

My (unlikely) introduction to Asia began in arid, post-Soviet Uzbekistan in the late ‘90s. As soon as my conference in Tashkent wrapped up, I hopped a bus to the Silk Road city of Samarkand, where blue-tiled madrassas dazzled against an azure sky. They were like nothing I’d seen, a window into an ancient time when Tamerlane traipsed across the steppes.

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Morning Links: Warrior Monks, Sustainable Fuel, ‘The Big Belch’ and More

Bangkok’s Airport ‘Creaks Back to Life’

The international airport here has slowly started the process of reopening, after anti-government protesters who had camped there for a week called off their demonstration following a court’s decision to ban the prime minister from politics and dissolve the governing party. Flights have begun to arrive at the airport, though authorities still estimate it will take days before some 230,000 stranded visitors will be able to leave the country.

Bangkok Airport Closed by Protests*

Thai authorities have canceled all flights at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport as riot police face down protesters inside the terminal, the New York Times reports. More than a few travelers are affected: Suvarnabhumi is the 18th busiest airport in the world.

* Update, 9:45 PT: According to Reuters, reports from various Bangkok media have been “confusing” but indicate as many as several bombs have exploded outside the airport, injuring up to a dozen people.

I Have $6,000 For a Trip to Asia and the South Pacific. Any Tips?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel

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Sorrow in the Land of Smiles

On the streets of Bangkok Jim Benning faces a confounding reaction to the terrorist attack on America

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Terror in America: A Letter From Thailand

By Jim Benning

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Soup to Nuts

Bangkok's Bangplee Market has everything Newley Purnell could ever want. Except one thing.

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