Twenty-three Shanghai tourists who had been stranded on Thailand's Phuket Island after protesters shut down the airport last Friday returned to the city today.
Another 10 tourists remain stranded on Phuket.
After a 12-hour bus trip, the 23 arrived at Bangkok airport where they boarded a flight to Shanghai.
Three international airports in southern Thailand including the one in Phuket were closed last Friday. Most of the tour groups from the city were in Bangkok when protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy occupied the airport as part of a protest against the Thai government.
The Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission said the flight to Bangkok was normal and all tourists were safe.
Those stranded on Phuket were mainly local residents who had booked do-it-yourself travel through Ctrip.com. After the demonstrations began in Thailand, the travel agency immediately contacted the tourists and arranged for them to be taken to Bangkok airport.
The company has stopped accepting bookings for Phuket and promised to refund all expenses to travelers who booked over the past three days.
A tour organized by the Spring International Travel Service Company to Phuket on Saturday has been cancelled.
(Shanghai Daily September 1, 2008)