Two Anacortes residents have been stuck in Bangkok for the past week, unable to return from a vacation there because of an anti-government protest which closed the airport. They are among thousands who have been trapped in Thailand.
Beth and J.B. Smith had expected to be back in Anacortes on Thanksgiving, but now they say they’ve been held hostage, a “bird in a gilded cage,” as Beth put it in an email to Anacortes Now. When we asked Beth for a photo, her answer was “We are not happy campers right now and any picture we would send would not be fit for a travel brochure.”
“We really want to come home,” Beth writes.
The anti-government group has announced an end to the airport blockade, but it will take some time for the airlines to move tourists out of Bangkok.
Beth Smith says that her group was offered a plan to get out of Bangkok by paying $5,000, but everyone said no. "Rumors are running rampant right now about getting flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and other places for $300. We are currently trying to track down the validity of those rumors,” she says.
Beth says “Getting out of Bangkok is only the beginning. We have to get to a major int'l airport to get a ticket to get home. All at our own expense. “ She says she’s sadly disappointed in the U.S. government, “They will not get involved unless a civil war breaks out.”
She wrote her email before the anti-government group announced they would end the blockade. She ended her email with "If anyone wants to contact their senator or congress person on the behalf of those that are stranded here, please do. It couldn't hurt. Hope to see you soon."