SIAM: The Land of Ihe Cheerful People

The airborne travelers who alighted last week in a steady stream at glittering, jingling Bangkok were apt to think that they had landed in the middle of Shangrila. The chaos that filled the rest of Asia seemed like a distant nightmare. At Bangkok's busy, orderly Don Muang airport, immigration officers smiled toothily at newcomers, whisked them through a onceover-lightly customs inspection, politely urged them to stay as long as possible.

Tourists behaved as tourists should, trekked dutifully to the Floating Market and the Cobra Farms, gawked earnestly at the gleaming Emerald Buddha...

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