Bangkok History Highlight: The Cambodian Thai Soap Opera Riots of 2003 [Season 3, Episode 66]

2019-07-01T22:49:19+07:00July 3rd, 2019|Bangkok History, Bangkok Podcast Season 3|0 Comments

Continuing our series on interesting events in Thai history, Greg introduces the Thai-Cambodian ‘crisis’ of 2003. It started when rumors began spreading that a Thai soap opera actress, Suvanant Kongying, had made disparaging comments about Cambodia to the effect that Cambodia had ‘stolen’ Angkor Wat from Thailand, among more direct insults. After the Cambodian Prime Minister repeated the allegations, anti-Thai mobs began to form in Phnom Penh and the Cambodian government banned all Thai TV shows from airing in the country. That’s when the mobs became violent, leading to looting, evacuations, threats of military action, and even a border closure! 

The sad kicker is that there was actually no direct evidence that the original comments had even been made, with the best theory being that a character played by the actress may have been the original source of the rumors! Listen in for Greg and Ed’s theories of why the relationship between Thailand and Cambodia is so fragile and for more incredible details from this bizarre saga. 

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