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Thaksin Shinawatra’s Poignant Homecoming Journey: Reconnecting with Roots in Chiang Mai

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Imagine the vibrant and lush landscapes of Chiang Mai, where tradition and tranquility meet amidst the serene backdrop of Northern Thailand. This is where the tale of Thaksin Shinawatra, a figure synonymous with Thai politics, unfolds as he makes a sentimental journey back to his roots, from Thursday to Saturday, amidst the embrace of his native province.

The anticipation in the air was palpable when Thaksin, aboard a private jet, descended into the northern city’s embrace late Thursday morning. His entourage, a modest crew of his nurse, son-in-law, and the spirited Paetongtarn Shinawatra – his youngest daughter steering the Pheu Thai Party’s ship – were his companions on this emotionally charged voyage.

Chiang Mai, with its arms wide open, received Thaksin with the warmth one reserves for beloved family. The visit, however, was more than a homecoming; it was a pilgrimage of sorts. Thaksin and his entourage ventured across the province, engaging with community projects that symbolize the heart of local development efforts.

A standout moment was his visit to a watershed management unit nestled in the green heart of Mae Rim district. There, a welcoming committee comprising the esteemed Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow, the visionary Royal Irrigation Department director-general, and the provincial governor awaited. After being briefed on the project’s ambitions, Thaksin, with the eye of a seasoned leader, proposed enhancing the area with more verdant foliage and ensuring water reached the parched throats of the local populace more efficiently.

A heartfelt encounter ensued as villagers, having traversed a journey of 10 kilometers, sought to physically express their affection towards Thaksin. Amidst their eagerness, Paetongtarn, protective and empathetic, gently reminded them of her father’s enduring discomfort. Their wishes for his health, however, were a balm to his spirit.

Thaksin’s return to Thai soil on August 22, after a 15-year sojourn in self-imposed exile, was laden with the weight of history and personal tribulations. His homecoming was swiftly shadowed by health concerns, leading to a brief stay at the Police General Hospital, straight from the Bangkok Remand Prison. Yet, resilience is a hallmark of Thaksin’s journey; amidst legal and health battles, he found reprieve through a royal pardon and his eventual release on parole, a testament to a life marked by both controversy and courage.

In an act reflecting deep reverence and the seeking of blessings, Thaksin’s journey led him to the devout presence of Phra Thep Mangkalachan, Chiang Mai’s monastic chief, at Tha Ton Temple. His donation, a humble offering to the temple, was reciprocated with sacred amulets and blessings, a poignant wish for Thaksin to find solace and permanence in the land that cradles his history.

The culmination of this profound visit saw Thaksin and his family at the river’s edge, releasing more than 30,000 fish into the waters, a symbolic gesture of making merit and fostering life, emblematic of hopes for renewal and redemption. This act, steeped in Buddhist tradition, mirrors the cycle of life, resilience, and the perpetual flow of coming home – to oneself, to family, and to the roots that define us.

As the sun sets on Chiang Mai, the story of Thaksin Shinawatra unfolds like a tapestry, rich with the threads of history, wrapped in the complexity of human experience. It is a reminder that homecoming is not just a return, but a journey of the soul towards healing, reconciliation, and perhaps, redemption.


  1. TrueBlue99 March 14, 2024

    Thaksin’s homecoming is nothing but a political stunt designed to revitalize his image and influence. It’s not about redemption or healing, it’s about power and manipulation.

    • LotusFlower March 14, 2024

      It’s unfair to label it purely as a political maneuver. The sentiment of returning to one’s roots, especially after such a long period, holds significant personal value. Not everything is about power.

      • RealTalk March 14, 2024

        Personal value? You think someone embroiled in controversy for years cares about that? It’s a carefully staged play aimed at the sympathies of the public and nothing more.

    • ChiangMaiNative March 14, 2024

      Regardless of the intention, his visit did bring attention to our local projects and initiatives. That alone is a positive outcome.

      • TrueBlue99 March 14, 2024

        Temporary attention doesn’t equate to lasting change or impact. It’s merely a flash in the pan, beneficial only in the moment.

  2. PeaceWalker March 14, 2024

    The act of releasing 30,000 fish into the river as a symbol of making merit is beautiful. It embodies the Buddhist principles of compassion and reverence for life.

    • EcoWarrior March 14, 2024

      While the sentiment is admirable, I hope they considered the ecological impact. Introducing such a large number of fish suddenly could disrupt the local ecosystem.

      • BuddhaBless March 14, 2024

        Making merit often involves acts that align with nature and community welfare. I believe this was done with consideration and respect for the environment.

  3. Skeptical March 14, 2024

    This whole article feels like a fluff piece. Where’s the critical analysis of Thaksin’s controversial past? His return is painted in an almost saintly light, ignoring the many divisions his actions have caused.

    • JournalismFan March 14, 2024

      Agree. There’s a lack of balance here. It’s important to present a figure like Thaksin in a nuanced manner, acknowledging both the good and the questionable.

  4. Nostalgic March 14, 2024

    Reading about Thaksin’s journey brought back so many memories of Thailand for me. It’s a complex country but full of beauty and tradition. Hope he finds peace back home.

  5. GlobalWatcher March 14, 2024

    As an outsider looking in, Thaksin’s saga is fascinating. You’ve got elements of exile, homecoming, and political drama. It’s like watching a movie unfold.

  6. Politik March 14, 2024

    Thaksin’s return is a significant event that might unsettle current political dynamics. People shouldn’t underestimate the impact of his presence back in Thailand.

    • RealPolitic March 14, 2024

      Exactly. His influence, regardless of one’s opinion of him, is undeniable. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the upcoming months.

      • Monitor March 14, 2024

        Keep an eye on the Pheu Thai Party. With Thaksin back, their strategies might shift. Could be a game-changer for them.

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