The past few years have not been easy for Bangkok. Military coups, political instability, and deadly street protests have given the Thai capital a dangerous—though mostly unearned—reputation. “It’s a topsy-turvy place for politics,” says Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. “At the same time, it’s a safe place.” Outside the protest zones (last year’s stretched from Lumphini Park to the shopping centers along Rama 1 Road), life goes on as normal, which means browsing the reconstructed mall that was burned to the ground only eleven months ago, queuing up curbside for “toxic orange” bowls of pork noodle soup, and grabbing drinks from the side of a Volkswagen Beetle that’s been converted into a roving 3 a.m. bar.
• Fear Not Street Meat
• What If Protests Erupt Again?
• What Is It With Thais and Cowboys?
• Listenable Thai Dance Music
• How to Speak Thai Like a Dek Naew
• The Toughest Tables in Thailand
• A Neighborhood Battle
• Where Locals Would Stay If They Weren’t Locals
• The Mall With Nine Lives
• Big Apple vs. Big Mango
Reported by Matt Gross.