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Charity man's Thai holiday of terror

PUBLISHED: 15:59 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 July 2010

'FIRST AND LAST VISIT': Timothy Shayler

'FIRST AND LAST VISIT': Timothy Shayler

Miles Jermy

A PAIR of tourists were hoping to finally return home to Winterton this weekend after being stranded in Bangkok for the last fortnight.

Timothy Shayler and Robert Rushton have been stuck in the Thai capital since protestors laid siege to the airport.

A PAIR of tourists were hoping to finally return home to Winterton this weekend after being stranded in Bangkok for the last fortnight.

Timothy Shayler and Robert Rushton have been stuck in the Thai capital since protestors laid siege to the airport.

The two had been due back in Britain on Wednesday last week, at the end of what they had hoped would be a dream holiday.

Instead they found the airport had been shut by crowds of anti government demonstrators.

Staying in the country a further 10 days has cost Great Yarmouth charity worker Timothy, 49, and barman Robert, 40 more than £1,000 that cannot be reclaimed on insurance. In that time they have stayed in three different hotels and this week had been found accommodation in the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel.

A holiday that began with relaxing on idyllic beaches ended in frustration, fear and uncertainty for the travelling companions.

“We are lucky we had the money to pay, there are people here without a penny who cannot even afford to buy a bottle of water,” said Timothy.

“The Thailand Tourist Authority has promised to pay for our stay at this hotel, but getting stuck here has already cost us a fortune.

“There is a real air of tension here. Bombs were let off at the airport by government supporters and we were warned further attacks could be planned.

“This place is full of guests from all over the world who just want to get out of the country as soon as possible.”

Timothy said: “It is my first and last visit. I will never set foot in this country again and that is the view of 90pc of the holidaymakers I have spoken to.

“I have kept in touch with friends and family back home and luckily my employer is very understanding, but this could be a real problem for people with jobs to go back to.”

After finding that the airport was shut on the day they were due to leave the two men had been making daily trips to the airline office in the hope of finding a flight out of the country.

They were finally given tickets on Wednesday, when the airport blockade was lifted, for a flight back to Britain via the Jordanian capital Amman.

“The situation has been such a frustrating ordeal that I have been crying my eyes out at times,” said Timothy who works for Great Yarmouth based charity Crossroads.

“We spent the first couple of weeks of our holiday relaxing at a beach resort and I could never have imagined that it would end like this.

“The Thai people are wonderful, so apologetic and don't want this to be happening to their country - this crisis has crippled the economy which is so reliant on tourism.”

Around £300,000 tourists were stranded in Thailand by the protests which have forced the country's prime minister to resign.

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