Guards checking bags, cameras that work: Bangkok security looks more serious in bombing's wake

Bangkok's laid-back, anything-goes vibe has toughened a bit in the aftermath of last month's deadly bombing in the heart of the city.

Security appears tighter, with a more conspicuous contingent of police, soldiers and plainclothes officers patrolling and guarding tourist areas and public places that attract crowds.

Private security has changed as well. Mall entrances have long had guards and metal detectors, but at some of them, shoppers routinely set off alarms without even needing to slow their stride. Now, security officers are actually checking bags. Most upscale hotels are using mirrors on sticks to check underneath cars.

One lesson learned from the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine, where 20 people were killed and more than 120 injured, is that Bangkok's security cameras need upgrading. City workers have been tackling that job at many intersections.

Footage from cameras at the shrine have led police to several suspects, whose faces are plastered on wanted posters, in newspapers and on highway billboards around the Thai capital. Two men have been arrested.