Chai Ling and I were hanging out in Siam Paragon when we decided on a whim to go on an impromptu Ratchaprasong disaster tour. Central World/Zen is in bad shape. I had hoped media pictures were exaggerating the damage. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, looking at the gutted remains for real was a lot worse :(
This first picture was actually taken a few days later from Siam Paragon's Kinokuniya bookstore but from here you can see Central World's Zen section on the right. The exhibition and hotel areas are safely intact. The protesters were camping on Ratchaprasong which runs along the right side of this picture, where the BTS line runs.
At the front, you see the Pathum Wanaram Temple where women and children from the red shirt camp were to be harboured safely. But this was also where six bodies were found, dead from gunshot wounds.
We walked from Siam Paragon along Ratchaprasong Road, and peeked into the temple.
The clean-up of Bangkok has been amazing. No bamboo sticks nor tyres in sight. Here you see newly-cemented pavements.
Central World's Zen.
Turn the corner into Ratchadamri Road, and you see this. The extent of damage is just unbelievable. Sorry, but whatever sympathies I might have for the red shirts' cause just fizzled out with this cruel and senseless burning of Central World.