APEC 2003

Airport security stories at here.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

What the APEC tuk-tuks look like
- November 5, 2003
A few shots of Tiger Motor Company's electric tuk-tuk used at the APEC summit. The tuk-tuk, nicknamed "Chai" (victory), was on display at the "Life and Living 2003" exhibition at the Impact Convention Center, Muangthong Thani. The Nation had a funny comment about them: In an inspection tour in July, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai tested the Chai tuk-tuk with disastrous results. It failed to carry the burly minister and a Navy official across the bridge because it lacked sufficient power. The tuk-tuk's developers said they have since improved the quality and design of the new vehicles and have given assurances that they will not break down on the day.
You may have also seen Tiger's cool mini motorcycles being heavily promoted at local malls recently. Does Tiger have a website? We can't find it...

Thaksin: new regional leader - AFP, October 22, 2003
This is typical of the recent articles in the foreign press declaring Thaksin as Southeast Asia's new regional leader. It also mentions how bumbling and uncertain Thaksin was when he first started: Thaksin's new-found confidence, backed by Thailand's stellar economic performance as well as political and social stability in the kingdom, struck the foreign media during a pre-APEC dinner where he made a strong impression.
Virtually unrecognisable from the reticent, gaffe-prone political ingenue who took power in a January 2001 electoral landslide, he now appears altogether more relaxed, self-assured and energetic.
His command of English, once faltering, has improved considerably since he took to the world stage.

APEC Summit Notebook - AP, October 20, 2003
In the 2B forum, 'ttaaee' pointed out this great collection of odds and ends from the summit: the reality of a tuk-tuk ride, traffic jam for Bush motorcade, and world leaders meeting HM The King.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
APEC today - October 21, 2003
Some of today's schedule: Anantasamakom Throne Hall will host a 90 minute break between APEC sessions. Leaders will then move to lunch and a photo session in the building's west wing.

Also: Avoid key roads, motorists told - Bangkok Post, October 21, 2003
Below: A couple of the many APEC billboards around town.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Bangkok's eerie quiet - Reuters, October 20, 2003
...Across the road, the vast World Trade Centre shopping complex, a warren-like temple to Asian consumerism, sat silent and empty behind steel barricades erected to deter expected but absent anti-globalisation campaigners.
Skeleton staff in the few malls which opened were busy only with stock-taking or cleaning. On the streets, not a noodle or satay vendor stirred...

Past U.S. Presidential visits to Thailand

Road closures - translated by everybody - October 10, 2003
After we mentioned the Thai-language article about road closures (What roads will be closed during APEC? - Manager Online, October 6, 2003) we had half a dozen translations sent to us of all or part of it. Thanks to everyone! So here is an edited amalgam of what was sent:

Traffic regulations concerning street closures, no parking areas, and one-way streets for the APEC Summit 2003 in Bangkok from October 15-22, 2003
No parking is allowed on the following days
* October 15-22, 2003 (24 hours)
- Thorough Chareonkrung Soi 42, 42/1, 44, 50
- Thorough the street to Sathorn Pier
- Thorough the street skirting Shangri-La Hotel from Chareonkrung Soi 42 to the street to Sathorn Pier
* October 16-21, 2003 (24 hours)
- Thorough Silom Road (both sides) from Sala Daeng intersection to Naralom intersection (Sukhumvit Soi 22) [A couple people have questioned what this means--since no roads between Silom and Sukhumvit are mentioned, but this is exactly how it appears in the original Thai.]
* October 16-22, 2003 (24 hours)
- Wireless Road (both sides) from Wireless intersection to Ploenchit intersection
- Ratchadamri Road (both sides) from Sala Daeng intersection to Ratchaprasong intersection
- Sukhumvit Road (both sides) from Nana intersection to Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection and Soi Ruamrudee (both sides)
* October 17-22, 2003 (24 hours)
- Chareonnakorn Road (both sides) from Chareonnakorn Soi 7 to Chareonakorn Soi 19.
- Krung Thonburee Road (both sides) from Taksin intersection to Taksin Bridge
* October 20, 2003 (08:00-20:00)
- Thorough Maharaj Road
- Thorough Kalayanamaitree Road
- Thorough Chetupon Road
- Thorough Tai Wang and Soi Sethakarn
- Sanamchai Road from Palace Metropolitan Police Station to Pom Padej intersection
- Chareonkrung Road from Sapanmorn intersection to Raksadindan intersection
* October 20, 2003 (05:00-24:00)
- Arun Amarin Road (both sides) from Siriraj intersection to Rama 8 Bridge

Street closure - no vehicles allowed to go through the following roads
* October 17, 2003 at 9:00-12:30, and October 18, 2003 at 19:30-22:30
- Sri Ayudhaya Road from Saowanee intersection to Sri Ayudhaya intersection (outbound side)
* From 11:00 on October 20, 2003 until 17:00 on October 21, 2003
- Area in front of Dusit Palace
* October 20, 2003 at 11:00-17:00 and October 21, 2003
- Ratchadamnern Nok Road from Chorporror intersection to King Chulalongkorn Monument
- U Tong Nai Road from U Tong Nai intersection to area in front of Dusit Palace
- Rama 5 Road from Benjamabopit Temple intersection to Panichkarn intersection
- Look Luang Road from Prachakasem intersection to Dhevakam intersection
- Krung Kasem Road from Pracha Kasem intersection to Dhevakam intersection
- Phitsanulok Road from Nang Learng intersection to Wang Deang intersection
* October 20, 2003 (15:30-20:00)
- Thorough Ratchadamnern Nai Road
- Thorough Maharaj Road
- Thorough Na Pratat Road
- Thorough Na Pralan Road
- Thorough Sanamchai Road from Pipit intersection to Pom Padej intersection
- Chareonkrung Road from Chareonkrung-Rajinee intersection to Raksadindan intersection
- Kalayanamaitree Road from Kalayanamaitree-Rajinee intersection to Kalayanamaitree-Sanamchai intersection
* October 21, 2003 (07:00-17:00)
- Ratchadamnern Nok Road from Makawan Rangsan Bridge to King Chulalongkorn Monument
- U Tong Nai Road from U Tong Nai intersection to area in front of Dusit Palace
- Sri Ayudhaya Road from Pol. 1 intersection to Benjamabopit intersection
- Phitsanulok Road from Panichkarn intersection to Wang Deang intersection

One-way commuting will be temporarily conducted on the following roads
* October 17-22, 2003
- Sukhumvit Road from Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection to Nana intersection (northern side
only); all transportation will be allowed to go from Sukhumvit Road (inbound side or Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit Hotel side)
- Ploenchit Road from Rajchaprasong to Ploenchit Express intersection (this one-way route is already being tested)

Here is a permanent link if anyone wants to link to this text.
Some of the APEC schedule
The official APEC schedule page is here.
October 20, 2003
- "19:30 – 21:30 > Thai dinner with cultural extravaganza" - Barge procession for visiting APEC leaders: "...50 barges taking part will depart from Wasukri pier at 8 pm and arrive at Rajworadit pier in front of Wat Arun Ratchawararam and the APEC auditorium, where the barge procession and traditional shows will be held at 8.30 pm." Leaders will watch from the Navy hall opposite the Grand Palace
October 21, 2003 - Anantasamakom Throne Hall will host a 90 minute break between APEC sessions. Then they will move to lunch and a photo session in the building's west wing.

Full APEC schedule - APEC, October 15, 2003
Schedule of the 11th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (19-21 October 2003)
Sunday October 19, 2003
Arrival of APEC Economic Leaders
[Bangkok Post reports: A source said Mr Bush and his wife Laura were due at the (army) headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Nok avenue at 12.30 pm on Sunday... Mr Bush would be escorted to the second floor of the Army Museum for a discussion with the armed forces leaders. After 20 minutes, Mr Bush would be led to the army headquarters lawn where he would deliver a 15-minute speech to 800 Thai soldiers, thanking them for their contribution to peace-keeping missions... The American security inspectors had specified that Mr Bush address the soldiers from the right wing of the lawn with his back to the nearby United Nations building, for security reasons... Security for Mr Bush would be jointly supervised by the Royal Household Bureau and Royal Aide De Camp Department while the president remained the King's guest on Oct 18-19. Mr Bush would leave at 1.15pm. UPDATE: United States President George W Bush has extended his visit to army headquarters by 15 minutes on Sunday to meet war veterans and members of the Serithai Movement, said a military source.]
Monday October 20, 2003
1330 - 1350 hrs. - Arrival of Leaders at the Government House - Greeting by H.E. Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand at the Thai Koo Fah Building
1400 - 1510 hrs. - Retreat I
Venue: Outer Santi Maitri Building
1515 - 1600 hrs. - Interaction with ABAC
Venue: Inner Santi Maitri Building
1600 - 1620 hrs. - Leaders depart the Government House for their hotels
1710 - 1730 hrs. - Leaders and Spouses depart for the Grand Palace
1730 - 1840 hrs. - Audience with Their Majesties the King and Queen
1840 - 1900 hrs. - Leaders and Spouses depart for the Royal Thai Navy
Conference Hall
1920 - 2020 hrs. - Leaders’ Gala Dinner
Venue: Royal Thai Navy Conference Hall
2045 - 2130 hrs. - Cultural Performance
Venue: Royal Thai Naval Institute
Tuesday 21 October 2003
0930 - 0950 hrs. - Arrival of Leaders at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (ASTH) - Greeting by H.E. Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand
0950 - 1000 hrs. - Leaders Group Photograph
1000 - 1150 hrs. - Leaders’ Retreat II
Venue: Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
1200 - 1300 hrs. - Leaders’ Working Luncheon
1315 - 1330 hrs. - Leaders’ Declaration
1330 - 1350 hrs. - Leaders depart the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall for their hotels
1500 hrs. - Press Conference by H.E. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Venue: Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Bangkok

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

October 19, 2003, 2:00 pm
Above: Roads are deserted. It is a strange feeling be able to roar down normally congested Sukhumvit at top speed even with the south-side lanes closed.
Right: Security guards checking cars at the Emporium.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Left and above: Small protest against U.S. and Bush across from Mahboonkrong Shopping Center.
Rajdamri and Ploenchit roads to be closed for four days - The Nation, October 18, 2003
...US security teams have asked police to shut Rajdamri and Ploenchit roads to protect the visiting US president, Traffic Police Commander Pol Maj General Pharnu Kerdlarpphon said.
The closures of Rajdamri Road, where the Grand Hyatt Erawan and Regent hotels are located, and Ploenchit Road, where the Intercontinental Hotel is located, will affect many major shopping and entertainment complexes in the area. These include Central Department Store, Central World Plaza (formerly the Word Trade Centre), and the areas around popular Siam Square. But operators of these complexes have put on a brave face, saying that there will be minimal impact.
Sections of Rajdamri and Ploenchit roads, two of Bangkok’s busiest streets, which lead to Siam Square and Rajprasong intersection, will be shut down from 4pm today until 2pm on Tuesday, officials said yesterday.
The police will seal off both inbound and outbound lanes of Rajdamri Rd, from Sarasin intersection to Rajprasong intersection, and inbound lanes on Ploenchit Rd, from Chidlom intersection to Rajprasong intersection until Tuesday afternoon.

Gigantic banner unfurled to hide slum - The Nation, October 17, 2003
Arguably the world's largest banner, stretching over half a kilometre long and standing at about the height of a four-storey building, was unfurled in Bangkok to hide an unsightly slum from delegates attending the Apec summit.

Erawan to host the U.S. President? - October 16, 2003
Sources indicate that the Grand Hyatt Erawan is probably the hotel where U.S. President Bush will be staying during the APEC summit. This may not be such big news... As early as October 1, Agence France-Presse ('Bangkok hotels placed on highest alert,' AFP, October 1, 2003) was insinuating this.
UPDATE: On October 20, 2003, The Nation confirms this.
Royal Thai Navy Conference Hall - October 16, 2003
In the 2Bangkok forum, 'ttaeee' pointed out these great photos of the Royal Thai Navy Conference Hall which was built for the APEC summit for world leaders to view the royal barge procession.

"...they want photos of buildings and roads only." - The Nation, October 14, 2003
Lots of people found this quote and sent it to us: Speaking at the same seminar, a senior NIA officer profiled the suspicious people that the ham radio operators should report. "They act like tourists who love taking photos, but they want photos of buildings and roads only," Nanthiwat Samart said, adding that they don’t ask other people to take pictures of them while they pose.
Yes, we at 2Bangkok.com will have to watch out!

Here come the foreign correspondents - October 9, 2003
2Bangkok.com is awaiting a flood of breezy articles on the stereotypical aspects of Thailand (exotic culture, prostitutes, eating bugs, something about elephants painting, "modern skyscrapers alongside exotic temples," etc.).

This will happen when foreign corespondents spend a few days in town for the APEC summit and file local color articles on the character of the nation (Seth Mydans of the New York Times is always conspicuous with a flood of regional articles whenever he passes through Bangkok).
Often these articles reveal more about the author's lack of understanding of the region and the political bias of the publication than anything about Thailand.
BTW: One guess as to the viewpoint of the World Socialist's article about Bangkok's security crackdown and Thai ties with the U.S. (Thousands of poor expelled from Bangkok for APEC summit, October 7, 2003). We are somewhat surprised at just how negatively Bangkok's APEC cleanup and security measures have played in both the local and international press.

Boxing - October 9, 2003
In case you have not seen it, here is a statue of Thai boys boxing at Silom and Narathiwat Road. Photos of other recently erected statues are here.

Students Federation of Thailand to accuse Bush of war crimes - Bangkok Post, October 8, 2003
The Students Federation of Thailand will next week file a complaint of war crimes against US President George W Bush for the invasion of Iraq. SFT secretary-general Pichit Chaimongkol said Mr Bush had committed atrocities and deserved to be punished. He also said the SFT would press ahead with its protest during the Apec summit, despite Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra banning rallies

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Silom elephant art - September 30, 2003
Bangkok has a surprising lack of outdoor sculptural art for a large city. However, public art has been emerging in various areas. Over the weekend, four elephant statues were erected in the center of Silom Road for the APEC summit. It is an interesting indication of how people view such objects that officials have stressed that these elephants are not monuments connected to religion, but public art. This means people are not to leave garlands and other offerings for good luck on or around the statues. MCOT has the statue press release here.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Welcome elephant (above) - raising its leg and trunk to symbolize a Thai wai

Deference elephant (left) - kneeling to show respect

Warmth elephants (below) - a mother and baby to symbolize family and welcome

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Spotting terrorists made easy for cabbies - Bangkok Post, September 22, 2003
...Other possible tell-tale signs were passengers carrying batteries and electric wire and smelling of chemical substances and gunpowder, he told 160 drivers receiving security training in preparation of the Apec summit... Lek Chinawong said he would not inform police despite having been trained because police had not impressed him. "Police give us trouble, especially at their street checkpoints," he said.

Hotel security beefed up ahead of Apec - The Nation, September 20, 2003
Hotels selected to house delegates of the 21 Apec economies are the Banyan Tree, Conrad, Dusit Thani, Grand Hyatt, Imperial Queen's Park, Intercontinental, JW Marriott, Oriental, Peninsular, Plaza Athenee, Regent, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Shangari-la, Sheraton Grande, Sukhothai and Hilton.

Skytrain tickets for APEC - BTS Skytrain newsletter, September 18, 2003
Thanks to Khun Orapan for pointing out these graphics of the special APEC Skytrain tickets.

Skytrain in Apec special - Bangkok Post, September 11, 2003
Skytrain souvenirs for APEC: The tickets featuring the seven royal barges... will be presented to the 21 heads of government together with a booklet citing the history of royal barges. The souvenir will be contained in an elegant wooden box in golden wrappings. Another 4,500 gift sets will also be distributed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Besides, the BTSC will issue another set of gifts--Sky Card tickets valued at 200 baht each and an Apec guidebook--for presentation to all participating delegates and members of the press.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Looking good - September 14, 2003
The entire downtown area is being spruced up for the APEC summit in October. We have not seen the area looking so fresh since the 50th anniversary of HM The King's accession to the throne in 1996. Above is Ratchadamnern Avenue looking towards Democracy Monument and below is the recently renovated Navy Hall where world leaders will watch a royal barge procession.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

No garland sales during APEC - TNA, September 3, 2003
No garland sales during APEC: But over 300 families in Bangkok’s Suan Ngern community, the capital’s largest garland-making area, have vowed that they will resume their livelihoods as soon as the APEC delegates disappear.
...garland makers, who sell their garlands wholesale to small-scale vendors, had agreed with the Metropolitan Police that they would put a stop to sales for a period of one week during the APEC meeting ‘for the good of the national reputation’.

About APEC - August 30, 2003
There's plenty of interesting pricing on the APEC site. World broadcasters will be headquartered at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center. Some prices for the broadcasters:
* One unit of workspace of 3 x 6 m (Standard size) US$ 1,000
* Satellite broadcasting: First 10 mins. US$ 500 - Each additional minute US$ 45
* 21-inch TV monitor/unit US$ 155
* VTR Editing Betacam SP, PAL, IMX6: One hour without technician US$ 100 - One hour with a technician US$ 150
* SNG Van with crew (8 hrs. / day) US$ 2,500 - Space segment / minute US$ 8
* ENG Betacam PAL camera: With one-man crew (8 hrs. / Day) US$ 400 - With a car and a driver (8 hrs. / Day) US$ 100
Here's the full pdf price list.
Besides the official APEC site, there's now a website with a schedule of many APEC events, including when various world leaders speak. It appears many events are being held at the Shangri-la Hotel.
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