Wednesday afternoon (yesterday) the Thai government declared a State of Emergency in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, some parts of Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya.
The declaration in itself isn't expected to change much in day to day life in these areas, but what it does do is allow the authorities to act against issues that they feel are a threat to the state.
The declaration has been made due to the long running Redshirt protests in central Bangkok that got a bit unruly yesterday and have paralysed the centre of the city -- and (shock horror) led to the temporary closure of some shopping malls.
I'd expect the next step to be some attempt to clear the protests out and that has the potential to get very ugly.
Considerable caution should be used if you're planning on checking out the scene yourself as matters could get seriously unhinged very quickly.
If you're not in Bangkok then none of this matters at the moment as the rest of the country is currently pretty much unaffected.
If you're not yet in Thailand, I wouldn't be postponing any travel, but I would be making an extra effort to remain informed regarding what is happening.
The best blog to follow on this topic is Bangkok Pundit. As far as English press in Thailand is concerned, the Bangkok Post is the source I'd recommend.
I arrived in bkk last night and was immediately struck by the volume of police and army personnel on the streets. There are some large gatherings of protesters 10000+ in some locations. It's clear that many of the protesters are sleeping in encampments on the streets.
I wouldn't say I felt threatened at any time, but I was noticeably the only tourist milling around. The people have all been friendly enough to me but there is a definite undertone of aggression. There are even German language protest banners comparing the government Hitler and co. As Somtam says above, if the situation becomes violent I would expect it to spread throughout the city very quickly indeed.
#2 ms1892 has been a member since 23/12/2009. Posts: 38
One can only hope that the situation does not get out of hand and leads to bloodshed.I'm sure the government is doing all it can to avoid this but if they are pushed too far then the army will put an end to it.It's happened quite a few times in Thai history.If this occurs then the UDD may become some kind of undergroud guerrilla army,attacking military and government installations.Can only hope it does'nt go that way.
I would'nt be changing any travel plans though-just keep out of the protest areas.The average Thai probably wishes,the same as us,that it would all just disappear and get on with normal life.
More information can be found at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/
A very informative article by andrew Walker and also links to the government information regarding foreigners.
Although at present the Thai government is being very restrained and the Thai people involved in the political demonstrations are non-violent I think most observers would agree this is going to get worse before it gets better.
After many years spent in Thailand I can firmly say that the Thai people,police and army would NEVER deliberately target foreigners.Saying that I would agree with Somtam this is not a good time to be in Bangkok and caution is important.Stay away from demonstrations and you should be fine,unfortunately this is easier said than done as the demos seem to be fluid.The rest of the country will not be affected, this upheaval is limited to Bangkok and its environs.
Pictures in the Thai press of Red shirts capturing and brandishing weapons they have seized from the police are not going to help Thailand's image and sadly I think this could be the death-knell of the Thai tourist industry for the immediate future.
I have family living in Bangkok and they do not seem unduly worried.I just hope the political problems and in particular the question of the Royal succession can be speedily resolved without bloodshed.
#4 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
# Sayadian - the only pic of a red shirt with weapons they seized from 'police' was one of a red shirt leader after they temporarily seiged parliament. They seized his gun and supposedly two cans of tear gas which they proudly showed off at their stage at Rajaprasong. Whether the two cans of tear gas belonged to the police we'll never know. But isn't it normal that police around the world are allowed to protect themselves??
The red shirts are totally indifferent to the state of emergency and proceeding around Bangkok today as normal. Tourists have to keep updated with the latest reports, anything could happen. But now all is still peaceful.
#5 Risha has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 20
I've been in Bangkok since the protests began, and have hopped on the back of a moto during the mobile rally last month thus far it has been peaceful, though with the SOE decree, things could change. Still, as last year's songkran protests showed, even when things DO change it does not impact daily life to the same extent as other similarly situated countries (e.g.what's going on in Kyrgyzstan).
If you are interested, I've been posting
updated readings on the red shirts & state of emergency from around the blogosphere (including the excellent Bangkok Pundit analyses as TF posted above), and url=http://legalnomads.blogspot.com/2010/03/massive-red-march-takes-over-streets-of.html]pictures of the red rallies too.
Whoops- pictures didn't work there, sorry! The red rallies/protest pics are here: http://legalnomads.blogspot.com/2010/03/massive-red-march-takes-over-streets-of.html
Last night we had a demonstration at the provincial capital building here. I was really surprised. Hundreds of Red Shirts protesting. Not blocking any streets or disrupting any buisinesses though.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Situation appears to be escalating -- I'd strongly advise people to steer clear of the Chidlom and Phan Fa areas - a day for "Protest tourism" this is not. BTS has also been shut down.
Just to reiterate what I said in the previous post -- the situation appears to be deteriorating considerably. Bear in mind I'm in Bali monitoring this through Twitter (riven by hearsay) and Aljazeera -- so my sources are limited -- but it seems there has been quite the flare up (gunfire, molotivs etc + one unconfirmed fatality) near Khao San Road and again I caution people to keep their distance from what is going on.
Current toll (as at early Sunday morning) is 15 dead (4 soldiers, 11 civilians) and 678 injured. Sad day.
The two best roundups I've found so far of yesterday's events are:
Foreign press coverage is quite limited (so far) and it is unclear what is going to happen today, but suffice to say that while the riots are very localised to a couple of spots in Bangkok the overall situation is extremely volatile.
If you are already in Thailand, I'd recommend delaying a return to Bangkok if possible -- just to see how things develop. Perhaps a dose of common sense will appear today -- stranger things have happened.
And one more, this a firsthand report from some "protest tourism" down to the Khao San area that culminated in the author being teargassed.
Khao San on NewMandala
These guys aren't playing. If you go to these areas to watch the fighting and you get beaten or shot, you have no one but yourself to blame. If you see a large group of soldiers or a large group of Red Shirts today - go the other way. In last nights speech Abhisit wasn't conceding and the Red Shirts weren't budging. That augers badly for today. Let's hope everyone simers down for the day. But if you're in BKK, just stear clear of these guys.
#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
While I agree entirely with Madmac I think it needs to be clarified, especially for those people who are unfamiliar with Bangkok and are perhaps just about to arrive in the city, that this is being played out right in the heart of the biggest backpacker area in Bangkok.The rioting was taking place in and around Khaosan Rd.So basically the only way you are going to be able to stay out of it is to get a room in another part of the city
#17 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
I was in Bangkok in 1992. This is approaching that level of conflict.
I have lived in Bangkok for the past ten years. Folks, this is serious. No one knows how this will get played out.
I suggest you avoid the following areas. I've used multiple location names in case a visitor is not familiar with Bangkok.
Avoid Phan Fa, Democracy Monument, Wanchart Bridge, Larn Luang intersection, Pom Prakarn intersection, Misakawan intersection
Khaosan Road, Puthumwan (MBK) Siam (Discovery, Paragon, Siam Square) Ratchaprasong and Ratchadamri (CentralWorld, Erawan, Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Four Seasons,) Chitlom (Central Chitlom) I would stay away from Wireless Road (too many embassies). I am staying away from Saladaeng and Silom Road at night.
Currently there is no skytrain service to National Station, Siam, Ratchadamri and Saladaeng stations on the Silom line. There is no service to Ratchathewi, Siam, Chitlom, Ploenchit and Nana stations on the Sukhumvit line.
While some of these areas are "fairly safe" that could change in a moment and chances are the casual visitor will not be tuned into the current situation. I would council on the side of caution.
There is a good chance that one of the following will happen tonight. A) More clashes between protesters and the military. B) Sporadic and erratic bombings from grenade launchers. C) A full scale assault on protesters by military. D) Total calm, as both sides regroup. E) A military coup. F) Other. Take your pick.
There was (and probably still is) a critical need for Type O and Type A blood. Consider donating tomorrow if you are an eligible donor.
21 dead as of this moment and over 800 injured. DON'T BECOME A HEADLINE.
#18 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
The question is... should I book a trip still for June? Know one knows anything for sure, but is the feeling that this is likely to have reached boiling point and simmered out by then?
#19 mark1980 has been a member since 24/3/2008. Posts: 6
Not meaning to be flippant, but what @Enigma said.
@mark1980 Next couple of days should say a lot -- I'd hold your horses and see where we are in a few days.
I have a flight to BKK on the 21th of April to stay there for 2 nights before flying to Hanoi. Your posts sound to me as it would be good to change my flight so that I do not have to go out of the airport in BKK??? Also I have to pay a lot more that way?
What do you think?
#21 ginadia has been a member since 11/4/2010. Posts: 2
I'm travelling for the first time with my boyfriend. Our first stop in Bangkok, we arrive on 17th April at Suvarnabhumi Int. Airport from the UK. I am really concerned now!!! I've been keeping an eye on the reports and all the posts and the situation just seems to be getting worst?
Could someone please advise me. I know sometimes things can seem worst through the media. We are still definitely going to fly into Bangkok... its just how fast should we leave? WE have got 4 months in S.E Asia so we can return to Bangkok at a later date?!
Any guidance would be HUGELY appreciated :)
#22 Frenchie has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 2
ginada - Given the severity of the situation at present and the unpredictability of what will happen over the next couple weeks, it probably is not a bad idea to change your itinerary to avoid going into Bangkok if you can (you'll just have to call your airline and see what they can do for you; you may have to pay a fee). If you can't change it and things don't calm down by then you should just stay at a hotel near the airport - the way things are now, as Sayadian and Enigma pointed out, several of the touristy/backpacker areas of Bangkok are "no go" areas. But who knows what will happen between now and then? It could become peaceful by then if Abhisit steps down and dissolves parliament. If not, or if something else like the King stepping in doesn't happen, it could get worse.
Frenchie - Things are definitely bad right now. 20 dead and 800 injured in rioting is bad and this is happening right in central tourist areas. Note this article:
As of right now it appears things may get worse before they get better since neither side seems to be budging. You will just have to wait and see, but if nothing changes between now and the 17th, I would get out of Bangkok immediately after arriving if I were you. (note the answer below)
lilboreddude - There have been some demonstrations in several other provinces and I read a report that a government building in Chiang Mai had been briefly occupied by the Red shirts. However, as far as I've read there has not been any violence or interruption to major transit lines outside of Bangkok. If I were heading into Thailand right now, I would certainly avoid Bangkok, but would think that in general the rest of the country is safe including Chiang Mai, the islands, etc. Of course, May is still pretty far off and (god willing) even Bangkok should hopefully be calm again by then.
Sad days for Thailand; jai yen
I'm supposed to fly ijto BKK tomorrow (13th Aptil) and arrive at 11pm. Was going to stay in the airport overnight and take the first bus out to koh chang. Too dangerous?
This is sad :(
#25 themildcat has been a member since 24/3/2010. Posts: 7
thanks for your answer I think you are right and gonna try to change my flight
#26 ginadia has been a member since 11/4/2010. Posts: 2
I wanted to update my post from yesterday and clarify something.
My comments were intended for the casual traveler and the first time traveler to Bangkok. Right now, this situation is serious. Right now is not a good time to be taking things lightly. Now is not the time for "protest tourism".(Great term, by the way!)
I know Bangkok well, know the Thai character fairly well and understand (mostly) the dynamics of this political situation. I HAVE NO STINKING IDEA WHAT EITHER SIDE, OR "THE THIRD HAND" IS THINKING RIGHT NOW. I read various news sites and news feeds, check with my Thai friends regularly and use common sense as I plan my day. I am being very careful and limiting my travel within the city.
If I had a friend planning a visit, I would probably really babysit their visit to ensure they have a safe trip.
On the one hand, I feel like telling everyone to avoid Thailand. Spend your money somewhere else. This government and the elite leadership does not deserve your patronage. You probably saved and planned a long time for your vacation. On the other hand, I don't want to see tourists stop coming to Thailand. It will hurt the small people who work in the hotels, shops and restaurants - many of whom are my friends.
Right now, I say avoid Bangkok. What you would probably most want to see right now - Grand Palace, Wat Po, etc. is off limits (meaning those areas are not safe). Most Songkran festivals are canceled. I know I will be avoiding crowded areas for the next couple of days.
If you must transit through Bangkok you should be fine but don't waste your time and money in the city. The airport is safe, many areas of the city are safe and transit to and from the airport is fine. (Check for updates, but I do not expect this to change in the immediate future.) Stay over on the Sukhumvit side of town or an airport hotel. Hit the islands and the beaches and have fun. Enjoy an exotic land.
I would also mention that the Northeast (places like Chaing Mai) are very "Red" and there could be political tensions there as well. The deep south has had violence and unrest for years. Wherever you do go, enjoy yourself, but use more than the normal bit of common sense and caution.
#27 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
thanks a lot guys, very reassuring. take care x
#29 themildcat has been a member since 24/3/2010. Posts: 7
To "themildcat" - you should be fine.
To "Frenchie" - I suggest you go to the islands first, monitor the news and then decide where to go. Airport and transiting has not been a problem.
In general - I would imagine that all airlines are being flexible regarding rebooking fees. My approach would be to contact my travel agent or speak face-to-face with an airline agent and get any changes made free of charge.
The situation at the moment (Noon, Monday, local time) is like this. The Reds are not backing down and the Government is stalling. I have no idea what discussions are taking place within the military. I expect that during the day today things will be fairly peaceful.
Tonight? Care to vote?
Everyone remains calm
Random bombings and grenade attacks
By the way, I saw a video of one farang (foreigner), clearly drunk or high, who walked between red shirts and soldiers and started talking to the soldiers. He is lucky to be alive today, assuming he survived his hangover. I hope they deport him at once.
#30 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
"I hope they deport him at once."
Did they arrest him?
#31 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
@enigma are you talking about the clown in this video? Unbelievable.
There have been reports of the military (Anupong) calling on PM Abhisit to dissolve the House and also of coalition members "reassessing" their position -- so it's all happening!
Good live video in that link Somatam.
People mostly worry about being hit by stray bullets but as the guy mentions in part 3, being crushed is probably the main danger, especially when there's teargas about.
Songkran has been cancelled? That's like saying Christmas has been cancelled! Is it cancelled everywhere in Thailand or just Bangkok? If the latter then do you think more redshirts will arrive in the capital or are they be more likely to go back home to be with their families?
Hi everyone, Im currently in Koh Tao, and have tickets to go on the bus back upto bkk on wednesday afternoon. We are only planning an overnight stop anyway (will arrive BKK midnight) and were then going to head up to Ayyutayah on the bus the following day.
Having updated myself on the goings on in BKK, I am worried about going back there at all, especially as our bus will drop us off on Koh San rd and have no idea where is now safe to stay! I dont really know what to do - also, is Ayyutaya (the old part) safe to travel to? We were planning on heading north for over a week and then into Laos.
Is the north worth it at the moment or should we possibly try and get a flight straight into Laos and bypass the north all together?
any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am a little concerned and dont know what to do really!
#34 emilymay has been a member since 25/1/2010. Posts: 2
The overnight sleeper trains are often full, especially around Songkran so this may not be possible, but I'd be inclined to try and scrap the bus tickets and to try and go by train instead. Then you could just hop onto the next train to Ayutthaya when you arrive in BKK.
Trains also go all the way to the Nong Khai on the Laos border too. Check out http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm for train information.
Madmac - I don't think they arrested him. I think they were busy with other things at the time.
Somtam 2000 - That's the one! Also, did you see the tourist getting his photo taken in front of a line of riot police (I think at Thanon Ratchadamri)?
SBE - Don't worry, Songkran celebrations will break out somewhere. You can't take the sanook out of a Thai.
Somtam - how can I send you a private message?
#36 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Flying to Bangkok on 15th May, spending 2 nights near KSR and then onto Chaing Mai for a week.
Is CM safe?
I know it's a month till I go and anything could happen but I'd like to try to plan ahead.
#37 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60
Songkran has already started here unofficially. The two girls who work next door are now drunk and bra-less flinging water all over the place. Anarchy is about to begin full bore tomorrow.
#38 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Sorry have been a bit MIA on this, just working through some other distractions...
Anyway, this piece in the WallStreetJournal preety much knocks the nail on the head and does a good job of explaining why everything needs to come to a head.
Also, if you're in Australia, I suggest you watch the vid (unfortunately can't be viewed outside Oz) referenced here
I'm going to break my own rules and crosspost this to the other Bangkok thread :)
You have to subscribe!
#40 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60
Yep I tried it first. Maybe you could C&P it?
#42 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60
Try this one instead: http://bit.ly/cLd0PB
Sorry not going to cut/paste the story in as aside from copyright issues, it seems has already been banned in Thailand!
Nope, you definitely have to subscribe.
See what the next few days has in store...
#44 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60
Re #43 somtam.The continual banning of stories regarding 'certain' people is a big part of the problem.The internet has opened the eyes of many Thai people to what is actually going on.I feel this protest has a different momentum to what has happened in the past.The Status quo is under a bigger threat than ever before.This could get very nasty before it gets better.I just hope it can all end peacefully and we can go back to enjoying visiting a great country without safety concerns.
Anybody interested in Thai politics can google more or less everything so there is no need for me to say anymore.
#46 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Lifted from khmer440
As I said, I think things will get worse before they get better.On the positive side this will be played out in bangkok as usual so tourism in other parts of the country will remain safe.
#47 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Two developments today.
first an abortive attempt to seize the leaders of the reds and apparently the reds now have police hostages. This is bound to inflame the situation.
Mor worryingly is this comment concerning the ABC (Australia) documentary on the Thai Royal Family.
"The concern is that it might affect the good relations between Thailand and Australia, especially the people to people relations," Saksee Phromyothi, minister-counsellor at the Royal Thai Embassy said.
What does he mean by 'people to people relations'?
I guess you Australians in Thailand had better change your accents ;)
#48 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
It looks as though things are going to get violent again this weekend.
A yahoo news article quotes the deputy prime minister as saying, "I would like to ask innocent protesters to leave the demonstration area, in order to avoid being used as human shields," Suthep said. "The government from now on would like to carry out decisive legal measures against the Red Shirt leaders."
If the government doesn't give in soon it will get messier and messier. I don't see the Reds giving up. Maybe another coup will "save" the day? This could go any number of ways; let's hope for the best.
I think he means that he would like to continue this policy of trying to arrest 'the ringleaders' rather than confront the demonstrators.Another own goal by Abhisit as it looks like the first attempt was a disaster.
Will he try again? He is rapidly losing face, this could go either way. He could make another attempt to seize the leaders or he will have to go as he is rapidly running out of options.
I don't know if the army will want to become involved again as it seems there are divisions in its ranks.Fact is I hope he has more sense, or at least the generals do, as another assault could trigger a civil war.
My family tell me the television there report that the Reds are making derogatory statements about The King.I doubt this is true.
As I have indicated above this protest throws up a new dimension as the state can no longer control dissemination of the news.Could this be the first internet inspired revolution?
One thing we can be sure about the elite will not go without a fight and the lack of a Royal voice makes a bloody end game more likely
#50 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
"My family tell me the television there report that the Reds are making derogatory statements about The King.I doubt this is true."
I believe there is some truth in this - but we don't need to go into that here. Bottom line is this has a chance of getting very ugly.
#51 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Sayadian, arresting the ringleaders is impossible without confronting the demonstrators, and the fact that deputy PM was warning the peaceful demonstrators is worrisome. You're right it could go either way, but I would not be at all surprised to see another crackdown on the demonstrators, which would likely turn into a harsher battle than the last one. Of course, now it's all up to Anupong and the military - he has hinted that parliament should be dissolved while supporting Abhisit at the same time. This government is either going to have to step down very soon, come to a compromise with the Red shirts, or ask the military to massacre them (who knows what the military would do with that order?). The tension is mounting...
Hi. I am living in Europe right now and follow CNN...but they don't always report all the news. I find myself coming to this blog to try to find out what is really going on in Bangkok.
This morning there have been reports that the leaders of the red shirts are going to turn themselves in. Is this true? Does that mean the protests are going to end?
#53 mhughes has been a member since 29/3/2010. Posts: 1
See the following from Bangkok Pundit
-Yellows arrested for carrying weapons
-Reds vow to hunt down Abhisit
-Anti-aircraft guns captured by Reds!
I'd say thing have certainly been ratcheted up a notch or two.
Now we have a volcanic cloud stopping tourists flying to Thailand from Europe.
The people of Bangkok who depend on foreign tourists to make a living must be tearing their hair out.
Does anybody have any information on anything else happening in other parts of the country?
I know of staunch Red supporters in Ayuthaya but presume they have motored down to Bangkok to join the protest.
A time for a bit of Jai yen.
#54 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Red supporters sporting their bandana's were all over the place here during Songkran. We've only had one demonstration though, and it was pretty low key.
#55 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
An article in the Bangkok Post today says the military and police are very divided with the lower ranks and former generals under Thaksin supporting the reds. The same article says the police are now just going to be in charge of security around the protest area while the military we be in charge of rounding up red leaders and stopping movement to other areas. I live south of Ubon and haven't seen anything but drunks(myself included) all week here.:)
#56 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
For current (English language) info on the situation ("breaking news"), I have found The Nation's website to be a fairly accurate source.
Each day they have a forum that is dedicated only to published news reports and bursts of info coming in from their reporters.
This is the link for The Nations newspaper's Thailand News Clippings.
Within this link you will find various forum topics. I suggest you ignore 99% of them. However, during each day of the crisis, they have posted a daily forum. Normally it will have a title such as
"Bangkok Red Shirts Rally Live Sunday)"
As an example, here is today's link
If you use this source, I think you will have good, current news updates of what is happening at the moment. I am not necessarily endorsing their news and editorial content but I do find their site to be current and frequently updated. This is a good source for those of us attempting to avoid the hot spots in town.
If anyone has other sources of "breaking news", I would like to know about them.
#57 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Yes the Nation pours out a lot of content, but it carries with it a very heavy anti redshirt bias. The Bangkok Post tend to be a bit slower off the mark but is a bit more level in its coverage.
ThaiVisa doesn't reprint Bangkok Post coverage at all because the BP disagreed with Thai Visa's policy of reprinting stories in whole without link back.
I find bloggers to be the best source of info -- especially if they're digesting the Thai media as well. My top five would be:
Political Prisoners in Thailand
Some of these might not be at the breaking news edge, but they tend to carry well thought out stuff that you can then use to make a judgement on some of the things you'll read in the papers.
A number of media sources are talking of a crackdown being imminent -- like today. You can read more info here
As I've said many times already, this is not the time for "protest tourism" and would strongly suggest people stay away from the affected areas.
Yes the Nation pours out a lot of content, but it carries with it a very heavy anti redshirt bias. The Bangkok Post tend to be a bit slower off the mark but is a bit more level in its coverage.
IMHO Bangkok Post can be even more rabidly anti-red than The Nation, & the level of bias of both can increase/decrease from day-to-day depending on twists & turns in the situation. after reading both i hafta turn to the UDD Thailand facebook group wall posts (in English) to 'restore balance'. sad state of journalism + censorship in Thailand, media = mouthpiece of ruling party (sounds a lot like my country).
am tracking the same blogs as mentioned in #58. & also twitter e.g. bangkokpundit, tulsathit, RedPhanFa2Day, RichardBarrow, TAN_network, newley, newmandala, ThailandWatch, uddth (Thai only), BPbreakingnews, etc...though can be an info overload for some.
daily photos by someone living at Ratchaprasong:
I want to reiterate what I said in my previous post (#57).
"If you use this source, I think you will have good, current news updates of what is happening at the moment."
I think there is enough political coverage - news, editorial, analysis and propaganda on the web. Anyone with half a brain can find it, and can surely find something that will appeal to their own personal bias or perspective.
If anyone has a better source for "breaking news" that reports facts - what is happening at what location on a "right now" basis - I'd like to know about it. AP and Reuters are good. Nation seems to be faster.
As I said -
"I am not necessarily endorsing their (The Nation's) news and editorial content but I do find their site to be current and frequently updated. This is a good source for those of us attempting to avoid the hot spots in town."
I don't think that the purpose of this site should be to provide political analysis, it should be providing news to keep visitor safe. Just my two cents worth. It's not my site!
#61 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Enigma, you asked people to suggest better sources of breaking news and they have done so, explaining WHY they consider them better sources of info...ie the Nation is very politically biased.
Then you reiterate what you said before about the Nation being a good source of info. Do you have shares in the company or something?
Why aren't the sites Somtam and Wanderingcat mentioned any good?
Has anyone got an update from today? Reading things on news about the military coming in.
Not sure whether I'm more worried about the Icelandic Volcano or the Red Shirts now though!!!
#63 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60
SBE, I never said they were not good sites. They are good sites and have great analysis and commentary. They are not necessarily fast in reporting breaking news. Sometimes it is good to know what is happening at the moment, or what is happening in a certain area.
I said that I was looking for alternative sources for info on things happening in the now. Perhaps I am not seeing a certain section, but I don't find anything "up to the minute on these sites". Great reports and commentary, but not "up to the minute".
For example - - -
Thailand Crisis - lastest post is dated April 7
New Mandala Pol Prisoners Bangkok Pundit post about once per day.
And the Prachatai website is blocked.
The Nation is biased? You think? Heh heh. Yes, I think I know that and I believe that I put a disclaimer in my previous two posts. I don't rely on them for anything other than the basic info, and even then I realize that their reporting is prone to error.
I am not on Twitter. I think it is generally a time suck. But I admit that I may have to rethink that.
Please don't try to assume you know my political views if you have never met me or had a conversation with me. Certainly nothing in my posts here would give you any indication of my political views and opinions.
#64 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Has anybody heard of any bombings in public places in Chiang Mai? How far has the danger reached in the country? Ive heard that the south might be getting very dangerous. If anybody has heard anything or knows anything about these topics, please, help to clarify. I am currently in northern laos with plans to cross into thailand in a matter of days and if anyone has experience or information on where and where not to go, that would be very helpful and much appreciated. Cheers.
#65 perceheadies has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 4
Where do you get the idea that I assume I know your political views Enigma? All I did was reiterate comments made by other posters about the reporting in the Nation being biased.
You made some very good posts earlier in this thread but I can't understand why you seem to be plugging just ONE source of information so strongly. Personally I think people should cross check any info given on the Nation with other sources. The fact they get news onto their website so quickly means there's a higher risk of inaccuracy and some of their "breaking news" is practically content free!
New Mandala Pol Prisoners Bangkok Pundit post about once per day.
for NM, quite a few updates & links to reports & photos come from the comments section rather than the actual blog posts. new posts appear on NM perhaps once per day, but new comments appear throughout the day (Australian time), albeit with some delay for moderation. also, whenever s*** hits the fan NM usually starts an 'open thread' for anyone to contribute updates e.g. this & this, & BP does 'live blog' e.g. this.
And the Prachatai website is blocked.
sorry, didn't know that you are in MICT-land. am outside, but extended family & friends in there...censorship + 10th April 2010 made us turn to 'new/social' media. generally, in terms of speed, fastest to slowest = twitter & facebook > blog post > online 'breaking news' update > full news article online > print news.
bit more about some of those whom am following on twitter:
tulsathit = editor of The Nation (updates straight from newsroom & also press events he attends)
RedPhanFa2Day = redshirts (updates from the reds themselves)
BPbreakingnews = Bangkok Post breaking news
RichardBarrow = updates from the ground before his material makes it onto thai-blogs.com
journotopia, karmanomad, Anasuya, newley, etc = BKK-based journalists/news correspondents
TAN_network = Thai-ASEAN news network
for BKK Post & The Nation - we don't trust the unblocked mainstream media to tell us the truth even about basic info, but we monitor their output for the purpose of 'reading between the lines'.
dawn crackdown that many feared didn't materialise; redshirts decided to put off march to Silom; people went about their business (except for one school that closed) in Silom despite troops + barbed wire + reports of troops being armed with live bullets; huge black 'netting' stretched across ratchaprasong stage that might be tactic to foil snipers; no news yet about meeting of army commanders that Anupong called for today, but rumours that army unwilling to crack down on Ratchaprasong unless no. of protestors dwindles; Central Chidlom mall was open in the afternoon; 2 previous PMs seeking audience with King; Thaksin made a trip to Fiji; Abhisit has been strangely silent, back from holiday to Hua Hin (well this is a travel site :P) & giving televised address right now...
hoping (against hope?) that this isn't lull before big storm :|
+Has anybody heard of any bombings in public places in Chiang Mai?+
this March grenades were thrown at targets like the construction company linked to a politician. tourism as usual there. btw i was in a similar situation - crossing into Thailand from Huay Xai hours after bomb was thrown into a Chiangmai mosque, & the day after bombs went off around BKK on New Year Eve 2006.
+Ive heard that the south might be getting very dangerous.+
not heard of that (yet) unless you mean the 'deep south' (provinces nearest Malaysia e.g. Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani)...
1) Thanks. Added info is very helpful.
2) Half the "fun" (???) of living here is reading between the lines!
Thaksin gave phone interview to Reuters today. Two articles are online.
And why don't my hyperlinks work? Is it my browser(Firefox)?
I think I read that the meeting of army commanders that Anupong called for today was postponed until Friday. Sorry, I don't remember the source.
I was at junction of Silom & Rama IV at midnight last night. Many troops there had shields only, no weapons. In fact at that time I saw very few armed troops. I did sense a lot of nervousness. That was last night. By dawn, I understand there was more weaponry on display.
I heard that the "multicolored shirts" (guess who) were going to demonstrate this afternoon at Chatuchak instead of Victory Monument. But no reports to confirm that there was a gathering.
Whatever happens, at least we have front row seats.
#68 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Thank you all for the information. It has been really helpful to follow. We have decided to spend 2 weeks South Thailand to start off with... We been stuck in the UK due to the volcano erruption ( which although is a real pain, it has given us a little more time to reconcider where to start our travels!!!)
I hope the situation is resolved quickly and everyone stays safe
#70 Frenchie has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 2
Rest of the country should be safe, with the exception of the far south, which has been somewhat unsafe for years due to the conflict there between the Muslim minority and the Thai government(s). The situation in the south has nothing to do with the political demonstrations in Bangkok, and it is generally confined to the farthest south provinces of Thailand (so Krabi, Surat Thani, Chumphon and all the islands are safe as ever). Don't worry and enjoy your trip.
@Wanderingcat I follow the same people on Twitter (I'm @legalnomads) and agree with your assessment. I also follow @nkolezsar for media roundups as he does a great job with putting all the video, pics and news into one place on Thailand140.
I went around yesterday to take some photos of the army stationed near Silom and also to Rachaprasong. If you are interested, April 19 Bangkok pictures are here.
As of today, the red shirts were supposed to do a mobile march, but have yet to indicate where they are headed.
just in case you hear more about 'bombs in Chiangmai'...wee hours of this morning (20 April), grenade blast reported in Sankamphaeng district of Chiangmai, apparently targeted at the Bangkok Bank branch there, no injuries. IMHO timing of incident seems like the perpetrators just want to stir trouble by damaging property but not actually injure/kill (Sankamphaeng is Thaksin's birthplace + stronghold, while Bangkok Bank with its many 'yellow links' is a target of the reds.)
#72: saw you on the RTs of others & your photos incl the 'Thai-sized' one :) also track the thailand.media140 blog.
20 April so far:
reds not moving to Silom for now (the army is effectively doing the job of occupying Silom on their behalf :P); soldiers at Silom have live bullets & military says they are allowed to use live rounds in self-defence; reds occupying Ratchadamri Rd (where Four Seasons Hotel + St Regis are) + nearby part of Lumpini Park; Siam Centre, Siam Paragon & ZEN Central malls closed; hotels around Ratchaprasong intersection closed, but not Centara Grand; BTS skytrain operating.
With all these current events transpiring, do you still think its a good idea to Chiang Mai? Our plan was to fly to BKK and make a beeline to the train station asap.
#74 lilboreddude has been a member since 24/1/2010. Posts: 2
Sorry I've been a bit off the pasture last coupla days, but reports are coming in of a huge explosion on Silom road in Bangkok, will update as more info comes in.
It's unclear what the explosions were - some saying crackers, others M79s but appears to have been a few injuries, but that is about it for now. Apols for the drama!
It now seems there were 5-6 explosions at least some of which were grenades. One person is dead and dozens wounded, including foreigners. I would definitely avoid travelling to Bangkok at this point in time, if at all possible.
1 dead at least 75 injured in Silom blasts
"Six bombs exploded in the Silom area, near the Dusit Thani hotel and Sala Daeng skytrain station, on Thursday night. One person was confirmed dead and at least 75 people were wounded by the first three blasts."
video after 1st blast in BTS Saladaeng station
~5 suspects arrested, & the anti-reds & reds are still trading sticks & stones nearby...
When expressions such as "automatic weapons", "live ammunition" and "deadly force" are heard, I generally head in the opposite direction. Several forum members have been recommending caution and common sense for over two weeks now.
Business hours ended and offices were closed. Why would anyone be in this area at this time unless they were a member of the press?
Damn lucky that a train full of passengers was not involved.
I've felt that the Silom and Puthumwan districts were fairly safe during daylight hours. I am rethinking that. Perhaps I will have more to say tomorrow after (some of) the facts are in. Meanwhile my concern and condolences to the injured and the dead.
#81 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
map of places to avoid in Bangkok by Richard Barrow.
the anti-red mob planned daily protests at Silom, & their numbers grew larger on 22/4 - in the evening they were joined by other anti-reds who'd come over from their rally at Victory Monument + people carrying yellow flags = Silom was packed with anti-reds yelling for the military to 'fight!'. some shops (& Patpong bars) did remain open in the area - Au Bon Pain (where many journalists gathered on 21/4 night) had a sign saying that it was to close at 9pm on 22/4...& then one of the blasts went off in front of it at ~8pm...
now 3 dead with 2 foreigners among the injured.
@lother Again, very concentrated in just that area. Business as usual elsewhere in Bangkok, even blocks away from Sala Daeng. At present, I would not advice people to avoid Bangkok. This could change if things escalate (which they very well might) but for the moment, the conflict is quite centred around Ratchaprasong and Sala Daeng.
@wanderingcat I was standing next to Dusit Thani hotel. Here's a photo of the scene following the blast (under the BTS): http://tweetphoto.com/19447365, and here is one I took of the hole left from the grenade: http://twitpic.com/1hjvx1
Deputy PM just gave a press conference saying that residents should clear out of the area, but that there were no plans for a crackdown from the army. When I left the area, the pro-gov't protesters were hurling things over the barricades at the redshirts, with no police intervention. Since then, the police have separated the two (according to tweeters on the scene).
That's all I have at the moment! Jodi
A U.S. State Department warden message dated today said this:
Due to escalating violence in central Bangkok, all U.S. citizens should avoid nonessential travel to Bangkok. Those traveling outside of Bangkok in Thailand should be aware of the possibility of disturbances elsewhere and should exercise caution and good judgment.
That's good advice.
See the following video for footage taken at Silom BTS after the bombing -- in it you see the injured Australian guy and a LOT of soldiers.
Daily Motion vid
While I agree this is talking part in one small part of Bangkok, that one small part is at the heart of the business and tourist district and at the interchange of the main public transport infrastructure used by tourists (the Skytrain and the Subway).
As exacto says the US has just increased their warning, as have, apparently the FCO, who say (in part):
"The overall level of the advice has changed; we currently advise against all but essential travel to Bangkok; against all travel to some specific areas of Thailand and all but essential travel to other specific areas of Thailand." ( you can read the full brief here )
Now normally I'd say Embassy warnings tend to be very conservative as they're partly about covering their own backsides, but with regard to Bangkok, I concur. If you don't need to go to Bangkok, then don't. If you do, keep in tune with what is going on.
Most people I've talked to about the ongoing problems feel that things are going to get worse before they improve. I'm not inn the least suggesting cancelling your trip to Thailand, but I would suggest trying to fit in some flexibility to your plans should things go pear-shaped.
Thailand is an amazingly resilient place, and it would not be at all surprising for some totally bizarre, yet completely workable solution to suddenly appear and for all things to settle down back to normal, but the feeling is, among people I've talked to (on both sides of the divide) the chances of this happening are very low.
Best & thanks to those in Bangkok for updating this thread with their experiences - beers on me should you find your way to Bali!
23 April morning
note: things are subject to change anytime
MRT service: section between Hualomphong & Rama 9 stations closed. rest (Culture Centre - Bang Sue) closed.
BTS skytrain: 6am-6pm only today. Silom line closed between Saladaeng & National Stadium. Rest (Chong Nonsi - Wongwian Yai, & whole Sukhumvit line) running.
#83: as karmanomads said, pls take care.
(btw somtam2000 it takes forever for travelfish site to load - might be to do with some facebook thingy? facebook blocked for me & many sites that have facebook-related stuff embedded end up affected too)
Firstly, thanks for all the info so far. We land on the 5th of May in Bangkok so we've been keeping a close eye on this thread!
Does anyone have any new info on the situation or is it still the same?
We don't arrive until 6.20pm, so could anyone recommend a good area to stay on the first night? We will have been traveling 25 hours by the time we arrive thanks to a Dubai stopover!
The original plan was to stay somewhere off the KSR just for the sake of convenience and find somewhere different the next day. Any advice would be greatly received.
Thanks again! Betty x
#88 bettysheis has been a member since 15/2/2010. Posts: 7
Thanks for the updated messages... A much more useful source.
I understand its very dangerous in Bangkok at the moment but i was wondering if there is anybody on this forum that can shed a little light about the situation around the Koh San Rd? What is it like around there and is transport by bus still going on from that area out to various locations around the country?
We were there two years ago when there was the military coup and saw very little violence but heard ALOT of media hype, which unfortunately misrepresented the situation.
This uprising sounds much more scary as there has been deaths, injuries and any sort of amo is enough to make one run a mile, but is it not confined to certain areas? Again if anyone out there is on the KSR now and can tell a little of what its like it would be much much appreciated.
Thanks to enigma especially for your updates.
#89 vixlix has been a member since 26/4/2010. Posts: 1
map showing area occupied by redshirts (who are no longer wearing red - harder for military to identify them):
latest updates on BTS skytrain operations:
latest updates on MRT subway operations:
(news has been in Thai all along - until today when English finally appeared)
for now, Khao San is clear.
Sunday 25 April:
- protestors & armed troops made a brief morning appearance at Sukhumvit soi 29-31 area (where PM Abhisit's residence is).
- anti-reds didn't stage their usual protests at Silom, & BTS skytrain has decided to resume full operations & reopen Saladaeng station (hit by 3 grenades days earlier).
- late at night, a grenade targeting a politician's home injured ~6. but it's far from any tourist area (Bang Phlat area of Pinklao, way across the Chao Phraya river from Khao San).
- also late at night, a grenade each at the Administrative Court & a provincial police HQ in Chiangmai (not so familiar with Chiangmai but the locations don't seem to be near the tourist area - someone more familiar with Chiangmai can help?)
Monday 26 April:
- the King is scheduled to address judges today & everyone will be looking out for clues...
hard to say how things might change even by this evening, let alone 5th May ;) just in case you prefer to stay closer to the airport, some info here.
transport by bus still going on from that area out to various locations around the country?
even in more peaceful times, personally would not recommend taking any inter-province buses that originates from Khao San Rd. be aware of the scams, do a Google search & you'll find many similar reports.
My view is that the situation is "calm at the moment", with "at the moment" being the key words.
It is difficult to give travel and safety advice because, quite honestly it is difficult to know who is really in charge. No one does.
Yesterday there was heavy police presence in the Chong Nonsi area - the lower edge of Silom Road. I did not venture into Silom area, as I had no need to be in there yesterday.
I was out after dark last night (breaking my own rules!). On my way home in a taxi we passed by a roadblock manned by Red Guards. They had closed all but one lane of the road. I found this disturbing and it angered me. This is really anarchy. (I digress. That boarders on a political opinion. Sorry.) Actually, we should not have been in that area. I have no idea why the driver decided to take that route but I don't argue. The taxis usually have better knowledge of hot spots and traffic jams than I do. Still, it bothered me and it shows that the Reds have as much control as the police and military in some areas.
Most areas remain quiet. My Thai friends and I are avoiding the areas of Silom and Suriwong Roads between Rama IV and Chung Nonsi. We avoid the area of Rama I from Siam Square, Discovery up to Chitlom. (MBK and Central Chitlom are OK for us.) We stay out of the red area, Ratchadamri Road, and Lumpini. We avoid Wireless Road. I personally try very hard to be home by dark. I am not afraid, but am cautious. (No one who got hit by grenades on Thursday probably thought they were at risk.)
Unfortunately, "Seh Daeng", or the "Terrorists", or "The Third Hand" or whatever "other element" out there are causing violence in unpredictable places. The general population of Bangkok (the normal residents) are getting tired of this and patience is wearing thin. Add to this the official cast of characters in this drama - Police, Army, Reds, Yellows, Multi-Colors, etc. and you have a volatile and unpredictable situation.
Therefore, it is best to avoid the obvious hot spots, be aware of your surroundings, be aware of where you are and have alternate exit strategies.
I know this may sound "dark" but I see so many tourists who no not really know their way around and they may find themselves in a tough spot just by accident.
I will be out and about today, trying to go about my life. If I see or hear anything "special" I will post again tonight.
#91 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Something to consider for the first timers to Thailand. Although you may travel to the north, northeast and east and not see a red shirt, they are red. If the situation continues to deteriorate, this can spread very quickly to the provinces. The reds can mobolize very quickly in the provinces, as demonstrated by the stopping of a troop train in Khon Kaen last week and stopping police heading to Bangkok on Sunday. I live in a small village south of Ubon Ratchathani. Although the majority of the people aren't very political, they are red under the surface. I DO NOT DISCUSS POLITICS WITH ANYONE, unless it's a chance to bash Bush. :) We were in the city on Sunday and seen a small mobile group, some loading up supplies where we shopped and the wife said they were heading for Bangkok.
#92 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
& also Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok , Rangsit (north BKK)...but seems that they only want to block movement of police & troops (e.g. in Chachoengsao they're blocking the police HQ) that are heading to the protest site to join in a possible crackdown; all other traffic gets through.
reports & photos show that some of the police & troops are only happy to have an excuse to turn back rather than risk becoming part of what might turn out to be yet another massacre, although border police in Phitsanulok reportedly broke through the road block today.
BTS skytrain tracks at Chidlom blocked by tyres this morning, so all services stopped for now. MRT running as usual. Speculation rife over whodunnit.
Central Chidlom mall closed today (had been opened all along till today).
Thanks for the updates @wandering_cat, here's another:
The British Government has changed their warning to now encompass the entire country
"This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Travel Summary (Terrorism and Security). The overall level of the advice has changed; we currently advise against all but essential travel to the whole of Thailand."
You can read the full advice here.
Seems quite the over-reaction in my opinion, but worth reading in full.
- today's anti-reds protest at Chinatown: http://tweetphoto.com/20120923
they have also staged protests at Victory Monument & Chatuchak Park over the past couple of days.
- troops stationed at BTS Asoke station.
- from 28 April onwards, BTS skytrain will operate from 6AM to 8PM daily until further notice.
- earlier today, the reds mentioned plans to travel to wherever the anti-reds were protesting in Bangkok tomorrow (28 April) & stage parallel protests. no idea if these plans will actually materialise, but having both parties in close proximity has had rather negative results - gives those wanting to aggravate things a chance to create chaos (e.g. Saladaeng grenade attacks).
- travel advice from the Australian government
- reds sent a convoy from their protest site northwards to the Thai market (Talat Thai) at Pathum Thani (province north of Bangkok). the convoy made it out of central Bangkok to somewhere beyond Don Muang (the old airport north of Chatuchak), & troops fired rubber bullets at them this afternoon. redshirt leaders have now ordered the convoy to return to the protest site. not sure how situation will play out...
- anti-reds will have their usual late afternoon protest at Victory monument today (4-6pm)
- anti-reds plan major rally on 2nd May 3pm at the Royal Plaza (nearby tourist spots = Vimanmek Mansion, the 'marble temple' Wat Benchamabophit, & Dusit Zoo)
There's been a bit of a blow up on the road to Don Muang Airport - some rubber bullets fired ... details unclear, but airport saying allow 3-4 hours to get to the airport from downtown as the expressway has been closed.
28 April 3.30pm Thai time:
- massive jam along Vibhavadi-Rangsit Rd due to reds vs troops stand off. main confrontation point = near National Memorial, ~2km north of Don Muang airport. hope that thunderstorm + difficulty of distinguishing protestors from onlookers who're simply stuck by traffic will quieten things (troops have been firing, ~20 protestors injured so far).
- if heading to Don Muang airport to catch Thai Airways, Nok Air or One Two Go domestic flights, be prepared for delays in getting there. if using Don Muang tollway, the exit at National Memorial (intersection with Paholyonthin Rd near Air Force sports stadium) is closed. no worries if your flight is in/out of Suvarnabhumi. Don Muang flight schedules.
- if heading north/northeast out of Bangkok by bus from Mo Chit bus station, be prepared for delays. National Memorial is at intersection of Vibhavadi-Rangsit Rd & Paholyonthin Rd (main highway to north), & buses from Mo Chit to north & northeastern provinces usually pass through this point.
There has been at least one fatality (a soldier) up on the airport road. Just coming in are reports of reports of gunfire, an explosion and two rockets being fired(!) in the SIlom/Saladaeng area.
I've just added a Twitter widget to the main Travelfish homepage (in the left column) this is relaying comments from those who have been covering the issues and they're mostly in Bangkok - some at site -- so this is as up to date as it gets.
If you know any Twitter accounts that should be added into the feed, please post them here and I'll add them in.
red have been launching such rockets (normally used for Boun Bang Fai celebrations in Isaan & Laos) at helicopters hovering above cos the military has used those to drop teargas on them.
reason to stay clear of hotspots in Bangkok:
see expression of lady driver on left. also a video (might be taken down soon) from this afternoon showing how troops opened fire even with one lane of traffic coming towards & passing beside them, resulting in the death of one soldier from not-so-friendly fire - no wonder civilian non-protestors who just happened to be driving by were hit too. sad for all. many of the soldiers sent out against the reds are conscripts with just 2 days of service left before their freedom. if you are travelling by taxi in Bangkok, best to make sure your driver's tuned in to radio updates.
anti-reds have since called off all of their gatherings until further notice.
@Somtam2000 - Hi Stu, I'd also consider adding the following to your Twitter feed for the protests:
- @terryfrd (he does real-time translations of the speeches given by both sides in Thai - really great to follow)
- @AsCorrespondent (they often publish Thailand stuff unrelated to Bangkok Pundit's column)
- @sjmontlake (he's been writing for CSM about Bangkok)
- @MCOTEnglishnews (breaking news updates, interesting to contrast against BKK Post)
Thanks for posting the widget- great way to keep people informed on an up-to-the-minute basis.
Anything more today about outbursts in different parts of the country?
#108 Patrickx8 has been a member since 28/8/2008. Posts: 26
Thursday (April 30) was generally a quiet day. However, in the evening the UDD searched Chulalongkorn Hospital, saying that there were military troops hiding inside. They have stated that they will search the hospital again tomorrow (Friday). This has not gone over well with the general public. A search today may or may not invoke a response from the military.
In the news - - -
"In Chanthaburi province, a worker laying water supply pipeline had notice two bags of suspected items beside the street so he called local police to investigate the objects. The police found that the bags contained four units of M79 grenades, 12 M79 cartridges and two packs of plastic bullets. Officials view that the incident is a sign of possible sabotage in the province planned by an unknown force."
There is a chance for random acts of violence taking place anywhere in the country. Bangkok and the Northeast are possible flash points, but no area is guaranteed safe. Strategic facilities could be targeted to cause hardship or chaos. This is why embassies have raised their warning levels for the entire country. Chances are the typical tourist won't get involved in any such actions, but there is always the chance of "wrong place, wrong time". Many of the grenade attacks have taken place at night and this is why I personally avoid evening travel.
Anarchy reigns. UDD now sets up roadblocks and search vehicles. UDD has searched a hospital. More reports of this sort of activity are in the news every day. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not confront the Red Guards. Try to remain calm. Smile. If things get tense, try a wai. If possible, move forward toward your planned destination. If things look really bad, consider retreat. As a foreigner, you are not a target so try not to feel threatened.
"Red Guards" - - - Has anyone noticed this similarity - with the Chinese Cultural Revolution?
#109 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
anti-reds were supposed to hold a rally at 5pm yesterday at the Chiangmai University exercise park, along the southern part of Nimmanhaemin Rd, no idea how it turned out.
reds have just announced that they will NOT search Chulalongkorn Hospital today, one of their leaders has admitted that it was a bad move.
as said earlier, if travelling by taxi in Bangkok, best to make sure your driver's tuned in to radio updates
decided to stop updating here cos thought have been making too many posts & the twitter feed would be enough. will add more later, have meeting now.
"Red Guards" - - - Has anyone noticed this similarity - with the Chinese Cultural Revolution?
only in name.
for Chiangmai, there are 2 resident expats posting here. could also check for updates on the Chiangmai branch of the thaivisa forum, though threads on that forum can sometimes go way off-tangent...
the anti-reds rally mentioned in #110 was peaceful, although the US Embassy went as far as to issue a warning for citizens to be careful around Nimmanhaemin Rd.
with each day, more & more sites (including facebook group pages) being blocked by the Thai government, & also problems with twitter being 'overloaded', slowing down updates from sources...
- anti-reds plan major rally today starting 3pm at the Royal Plaza. nearby tourist spots = Vimanmek Mansion, the 'marble temple' Wat Benchamabophit, & Dusit Zoo.
(they'd earlier called off all gatherings but just announced that they will go ahead with this one)
On 5th May - Have just looked on The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Website and they have updated the advice it now states 'The overall level of the advice has changed;we no longer advise against all but essential travel to the whole country. We advise against all but essential travel to other specific parts of Thailand, including Bangkok'.
Hopefully things seem to be calming down, anyone know of any other governments doing this? We fly next week so this looks promising!
p.s travel insurance should know improve!
#114 kernowfixing has been a member since 21/2/2010. Posts: 12
Matters look to be settling down considerably. It isn't a done deal, but should settle. Notably the UK has scaled back its warning over-reactions so that should mean fewer issues for those with travel insurance.
late night Fri 7th May:
gunshots at Saladaeng, 1 policeman dead, 2 civilians injured (one from gunshot, other from broken glass).
early morning Sat 8th May:
grenades at police tent at gate 4 of Lumpini Park, ~5 injured.
So just when I thought it was safe to have a couple of days off...
Matters are escalating quickly (again) and the US embassy has put out a warning that indicates a crackdown in the next 24-48 hours with chat of the power/water being cut off. SOunds like this could be it.
You can read the full embassy warning here:
The important bit is in the lead paragraph "It is currently unclear how large an area will be affected. It is also unclear how the UDD (the red shirts) will respond."
So be careful and steer clear of the protest areas.
13 May - from 6pm onwards:
military said they will seal off 3 roads (Phaya Thai, Witthayu aka. Wireless, & a section of Petchaburi) around the protest site & restrict movement/impose ID checks on a fourth road (Rama 4) from 6pm onwards this evening. Richard Barrow's Bangkok Dangerous map has been updated to show these roads highlighted in green.
- mobile phone signals within this area might be blocked
- BTS skytrain will still run till midnight, but skip these 4 stops: Siam, Chidlom, Ploenchit & Ratchadamri
- MRT subway will run till midnight, but skip Lumpini & Silom stations
- MBK will close early (first time since this round of protests started)
offices in the area have allowed their employees to leave work early this afternoon. at present, human jam on BTS + traffic jams along roads around the protest site, Silom & Sathorn, & soldiers seen making their way to Silom on foot (classic Thailand moment - army gets blocked by traffic jams!)
seems that CRES might close additional roads - Rama I (from MBK westwards) & Ratchaprarop (from main junction near Platinum Mall northwards)...given such a short notice, hope people in hotels like Amari Watergate, Baiyoke Tower 1 & 2, Indra Regent, Citin Pratunam, etc aren't gonna get stuck...
19:50pm Thai time:
due to the chaotic situation, for the safety of passengers, all BTS skytrain services have ceased from now on (for tonight)
Khattiya Sawatdiphol, A Thai military general aligned with the read shirts was shot in the head tonight in the middle of an interview with journalists from the IHT/NYT, supposedly by a sniper, but reports are all over the shop. He's apparently alive, but, again, and again, steer clear of protests areas, things appear to be heating up yet again.
Anyone who is not a member of the mainstream media should be at home right now, or buttoned into a safe hotel somewhere. This could get very, very bloody. (Or not. I've seen so much in the past weeks and months. I don't know what to expect.)
BTS is closed
MTR is closing at 10:00 PM
By the way, stay away from glass and windows. And if you see a flash of light, do not go look out the window. Light travels faster than sound and shock waves. You could get hit with a face of flying glass.
#123 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
let me try that link again
#124 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
It's going to be an interesting night. I do not have satellite tv and am having trouble accessing any website in Thailand. lWhen I found out about Seh Daeng being shot (Thanks to Travelfish), I walked across the street to friends and it was like "Mai pen rai". Somtamm...I'm not a techie but Thanks for the twitter feed and to those who contribute to it. It truly has been my sole source of information out here tonight
#125 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
at this moment, troops + live bullets vs. protestors along the Lumpini Park, Suan Lum night bazaar & Lumpini boxing stadium stretch of Rama 4 Rd (incl intersections with Sathorn Rd & Soi Ngam Dupli): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAUmbmb9M38
things have turned violent in Pratunam:
- violence has extended northwards beyond the area marked in the Bangkok Dangerous map
- troops seen moving south from northern end of Rajaprarop Rd (intersection with Ratchawithi Rd, near Century Park Hotel)
- military running around + shooting heard north of Si Ayutthaya -Rajaprarop intersection (near Suan Dusit University)
- teargas + explosions heard near Baiyoke
- access to Si Ayutthaya Road from Phaya Thai Rd sealed off
Areas of violence right now:
1. Saladaeng (bombs again)
2. Lumpini all the way past Suan Lum night bazaar towards Khlong Toey MRT (several injuries + 1 confirmed death so far)
3. Sathorn Rd (troops vs reds near Australian embassy, Banyan Tree Hotel)
4. Pratunam (post #127)
My husband and I are planning to stopover for 2 nights this week on way to London from Sydney- booked fare months ago and accomodation
Staying near the palace and Chinatown - worried now re escalation of violence- wondering if I should change schedule now and not stopover now- any advice?
#129 frances50 has been a member since 16/5/2010. Posts: 2
Main areas of violence up till late last night:
1. Rama 4 esp near Suan Lum night bazaar & also Khlong Toey MRT (area known as Bon Kai)
2. Soi Rangnam-Rajprarop-Rajwithee-Din Daeng-Victory Monument
3. Phetburi-Soi Chidlom (near Manhattan Chidlom)
Unconfirmed report that troops are on the skywalk at BTS Victory Monument station - please avoid. Troops also at Saladaeng. Many photos & videos of people being shot by snipers who have been described as 'equal opportunity' - shooting anyone that moves incl protestors, paramedics, press, residents of the area trying to get home, even one guy taking a smoke on his apartment balcony. If the area around your hotel/apartment suddenly becomes a confrontation zone, please heed advice in #123 & stay away from windows.
Not sure if things will erupt again along the section of Sathorn Rd between Rama 4 Rd & Narathiwat Rd. Many embassies along that stretch incl Australian, French, Malaysia, Singapore, & also Banyan Tree Hotel (popular rooftop spot - Vertigo Grill & Moon bar). If you need to go to any embassy in person, advice is to phone them first to find out if safe to proceed. Unconfirmed report that Japanese embassy is now operating out of Imperial Queen's Park Hotel (Sukhumvit soi 22). US Embassy twitter updates: https://twitter.com/USEmbassyBKK
Updated map of areas to avoid by Richard Barrow.
For those wanting to stay near Suvarnabhumi to avoid entering the city:
List of accomm near Suvarnabhumi here & here
Things to see & do in Samut Prakan near Suvarnabhumi airport:
@frances50 If you can I'd change your ticket either to :
a) transit only in Bangkok
b) go via another hub (eg Singapore of KL)
c) If you can't change your ticket, then look for a connecting flight out of Bangkok to another destination within Thailand -- for example Phuket, Krabi or Ko Samui, spend the intervening time there and return to Bangkok solely to transit onto your onwards flight.
The US Govt has upgraded its warning advising to avoid ALL travel to Bangkok -- this WILL have travel insurance implications for those travelling with US travel insurance, the Australian govt warning remains unchanged I believe.
We're shortly going to be recommending avoiding Bangkok altogether -- just writing the story now.
Thanks for advice - will see travel agent
#132 frances50 has been a member since 16/5/2010. Posts: 2
Main areas of violence now:
1. around Khlong Toey MRT station (area known as Bon Kai)
2. Lumpini Park (incl Langsuan Rd to Ploenchit) & Saladaeng
3. Soi Rangnam-Rajprarop-Rajwithee-Din Daeng-Victory Monument
4. Phetburi-Soi Chidlom
media reports mentioning place names like Bon Kai & Soi Suwan Sawat are referring to #1.
Saphan Leuang (Yellow bridge):
protestors setting up new barricade here. this is around the intersection of Rama 4 Rd & Ban That Thong Rd, to the southwestern corner of Chulalongkorn University campus. it's not that far (~1km or slightly less) from Hualomphong MRT station...it's not marked in the Bangkok Dangerous map yet cos Richard Barrow is in Rajprasong right now.
this temple right smack in between Siam Paragon & Zen CentralWorld is a designated safe place for anyone wanting to get out of the main Rajprasong protest area.
17 & 18 May have been declared public holidays within Bangkok (not other parts of Thailand). government said they are leaving it up to private sector whether to stop business operations for those 2 days.
at this moment, Dusit Thani Hotel near Saladaeng is under attack incl grenade hits - guests, medics, injured, staff, press holed up in basement. live updates from a war correspondent among them by twitter, while MCOT news is showing...something about shampoo...
one unconfirmed report that redshirts might set up another satellite stage at Nang Loeng. they've already put up satellite stages near Khlong Toey MRT, at Din Daeng, & reportedly Victory Monument too. Nang Loeng is at Nakhon Sawan Rd, which runs off in 2 o'clock direction from Phanfa Leela bridge (Nang Loeng market is just southwest across the road from Wat Sommanas). if protestors really gather there, & things spark off there, it might bring some action back closer to the Democracy Monument area. hoping that this report is not true, & also for a long big fat thunderstorm to put out all the raging fires...
i booked a flight to bangkok on June 7th and planning on leaving to chiang mai on June 10th. Do you think the situation will get better by then or should I book my flight to chiang mai the next day? or just wait to see what happens?
#135 antoinetiux has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 8
further to #134:
Seh Daeng just passed away this morning, & his funeral rites will be held at Wat Sommanas (also spelt as Sommanat) this afternoon. this is the temple at Nang Loeng. potential for emotions to run high among his supporters there, & they tend to be the less moderate of the redshirts. maybe better to avoid the area.
I can see no reason why anyone should at present consider Bkk as a holiday destination. Regardless of the violent events unfolding there is now far too much disruption to daily life
Public transport (rail suspended) major shops and embassies closed a state of emergency . "live fire zones" and a possibility of a curfew.
however it should still be possible to land at the airport and move on to another destination - e.g. connecting flights, drive off North or to Eastern Seaboard or even get onward transport from Bkk itself etc.
Any more bloodshed might well result in violence popping up in other areas of the country.
NB - The Redshirts movement a loose coalition that are part of a MAJORITY of the voting population...this is not a small bunch of extremists that will disappear any time soon.
#137 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
agreed khunwilko, sadly it looks like downtown bangkok is going to be a no-go area for a while yet.
however, does anyone have information on the area around the airport. i know the main airport is still unaffacted but are the hotels in the vicinity still safe for an overnight stay while transitting through the airport. i haven't seen anything about these areas in the news coverage so presume they are still ok but any advice from those in the know would be appreciated.
#138 whiff has been a member since 17/5/2010. Posts: 5
sorry for posting so many times...
further to #134 & 136:
Wat Sommanas is right next to Rajdamnoen boxing stadium. nearby are the Royal Thai Army HQ & Government House - both were hit by grenades this April. tourists thinking of watching Monday muay thai matches at Rajdamnoen tonight - please reconsider.
Khao San Rd is under a mile away from Wat Sommanas as the crow flies, whoever's there, better to stay alert.
~1h left to CRES latest deadline for protestors to leave Rajprasong.
saw that too, but at the same time also tweets with photos reporting things calm at southern end of Asok (Asok-Sukhumvit intersection): http://twitpic.com/1ojlai http://twitpic.com/1ojkr6 http://twitpic.com/1ojliq
perhaps reports are from different ends of Asok (>1km long road) & the tyre barricade is at the northern end (Phetburi-Asok intersection)?
Yup, the Asok tire thing was fake.
Thanks to all for the updates, especially to wandering_cat.
Just a quick note, I've just added a new story to the site basically suggesting that anyone considering travel to Bangkok should cancel their plans. We're not suggesting bypassing Thailand in total, but we think Bangkok is for all intents and purposes a no-go-zone for the average tourist/traveller. We'll revise it should the situation change.
You can read the full story here: https://www.travelfish.org/feature/187
To those who are in Bangkok, please take care. Curfew kicks in in another 15 minutes I believe, short of some last minute ceasefire.
19-21 May declared public holidays in Bangkok.
Updates on Bangkok hotel closures:
Richard Barrow's map & list of accommodation near Suvarnabhumi Airport
The areas to avoid in Bangkok are widely publicised and unlikely you would even get close with the current security in force (unless you was determined to do so) the capital still has lots to offer.
#145 bucharest has been a member since 7/5/2010. Posts: 9
The site thaivisa.com has pretty good updates and has forums that you can subscribe to and get daily e-mails on the breaking situation. I thought I had covered all bases by taking AirAsia to Phuket and using there and Pattaya as travel hubs instead of Bangkok but now I've heard the state of emergency has even stretched to Chonburi and Chiang Mai. There may be little to worry about but it detracts a bit from the whole relaxation concept of a holiday.
Whether this is the same in most countries I wouldn't know, but flights to Kuala Lumpur have reached an all-time low cost in Adelaide. AirAsia doesn't fly direct from there so we've never had anything like this. Travel agents are offering return flights from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur for less than $700, and these flights don't have extras like luggage and meal costs. This can't be just coincidence, Malaysia must see themselves as a strong alternative to Thailand.
#146 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107
Just want to thank wanderingcat for his/her terrific and accurate updates.
Respectfully disagree with #145 - I've been in Bangkok since March and have been a cheerleader for the city (see above, where I said people should just stay away from protest zones), but at this point I would agree with Somtam/Travelfish's advice and stay clear of Bangkok until this settles down. Though at present only certain areas of the city are 'live bullet zones' (sadly including the one I live in!), when the violence does spread, it does so quickly.
hi, ive just sat and read just about all this thread and found it extemely informative. id like to send my regards to all that have given their time and knowledge to this situation.
i have a question though.i arrive in bangkok on the morning of 4th june, and to be honest im really not sure what to do when i arrive. Weather to book and flight or get a bus straight out of bangkok. any opinions much appreciated, many thanks and all the best, dan
large no.s of troops, APCs to the south of Rajprasong, at Saladaeng/Lumpini/Rama 4 end.
~0615: military announced to protestors that they have 15min to leave before they (military) move in.
~0630: helicopters dropped teargas at Khlong Toey/Bon Kai. high pressure water hoses used to clear tents at Saladaeng barricade.
~0645: half an hour later, CRES now announces their plans on TV:
1. announcements to protestors to leave
2. warning shots in air
3. high pressure water hoses to clear barricades
4. "further action"
no more hope against hope for no second edition of 'Black May'?
offline for next 2 hours...
I've changed the homepage to better reflect the fast changes happening in Bangkok with the additional of a Reuters feed and links to embassy warnings etc.
@mrnice88 I certainly wouldn't be staying in Bangkok, but there are plenty of opportunities to travel elsewhere in the country, which, for now, remains safe. There is some more info here: https://www.travelfish.org/feature/187
some of the press on the ground are reporting that military has told them - one literally at gunpoint, another by warning shots - to stop taking photos.
some photos of what's going on this morning...
crashing through barricade at Saladaeng:
troops moving in along BTS skytrain tracks:
somtam...Reuters feed started off great but now seems filled mostly by comments in response to the updates rather than updates per se...takes bit of time to sort through...
@wandering_cat feed is cleaner now -- Reuters really need to turn off comments but I've put through a change that is culling most of the stuff from the peanut gallery.
Tks for the pics.
Reuters feed much better now, much thanks.
new potential site of confrontation:
reports that protestors elsewhere in Bangkok have 'seized' one bus each at
1. Hualomphong intersection (near Hualomphong railway station)
2. nearby Mahanakorn intersection ~400m away (east along Rama 4 Rd, in direction of Saladaeng)
there are also protestors & troops further east along that road (Rama 4) at the next 2 landmarks - Saphan Leuang/Yellow bridge, & Sam Yan (near Chamchuri building). further down is Saladaeng, where an Italian photographer has been shot dead.
also reports of protestors mobilising in Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen & near Laem Chabang port in Chonburi.
some of the protest leaders have already surrendered to the police. Rajprasong stage now almost empty. afraid that this might just be the start of violence escalating elsewhere - protestors at Rajprasong are angry at the surrender, some are still facing off with soldiers at Sarasin, those at Khlong Toey & elsewhere are still carrying on, including at Udon Thani.
not sure what exactly is happening but earlier reports of fire seen near Sheraton Grande, & now one report of gunshots, & also of tyres on fire: http://twitpic.com/1p2mhg
(for Asok - follow http://twitter.com/SwissInBangkok)
earlier on, people also clearing out of lower Sukhumvit, with troops around Nana & no inbound traffic permitted. fire at BTS Chidlom where troops were earlier seen moving along the tracks: 1 2
things might be heating up near the Big C at Ladphrao (near soi 88, where RamIndra flyover is) too.
- lower Sukhumvit soi 3-10 = gunfire
- CentralWorld = fire & damage (under control, but nearby malls targeted)
- Siam Square = fire (movie theatre & MK restaurant)
- Sam Yan intersection (near Chamchuri Square) = buses on fire
- Khlong Toey MRT station damaged, big fire nearby, electricity out
- Stock Exchange of Thailand (next to Queen Sirikit Natl Convention Ctr) = fire
- 5-way NaRanong intersection (outside Sacred Heart Convent/southwest edge of Khlong Toey market) = protestors heading here
- more & more locations streaming in...
Din Daeng protestors announced themselves to be independent of those at Rajprasong (read: no surrender). situation at Victory Monument seems similar.
malls in Bangkok are closing, many banks already closed (a few set on fire), all BMTA bus services stopped, Bangkok Post & The Nation staff are evacuating their buildings, Channel 3 TV station building (outskirts of Bangkok) on fire.
- Zeer Rangsit (a few km north of Don Muang airport) = targeted by protestors
central BKK burning:
Mukdahan (MADMAC could you kindly confirm?):
protestors gathering at Samrong.
only bright spark of more positive news:
- Asok = things have quietened down
protest leaders arrested, but even greater numbers of (& more radical) protestors now, with no leaders left to call for restraint...
Rajprasong protest site cleared, but even more of Bangkok & Thailand in a mess now...
curfew in Bangkok tonight starting 8pm.
can't believe CRES declared their military operations a 'success' just now.
Have also heard reports from friends in CHiang Mai of soldiers firing on protesters with live bullets on the Narawat Bridge area.
Matters are developing quickly and over a wide spread.
report of bomb going off at Tesco Lotus there, & gunshots. it's right next to BTS On Nut station, at intersection of Sukhumvit soi 50 & 79.
My two cents worth for people visiting or planning to visit Thailand.
Today = SITUATION CRITICAL
You can read details of what has happened today and what is happening right now in the posts above. Excellent posts by Somtam and wanderingcat. (Great work, guys!) You can follow news via the Twitter Feed on the home page. (Somtan, you're a genius for adding this!)
However, nobody can predict what will happen next.
I am a long time resident of Bangkok and I feel quite safe in my home outside of the conflict zone. But I have really limited my travels over the past five days and did not leave my little neighborhood today. I just see no reason to tempt fate. The danger for most of us is that we could be "in the wrong place at the wrong time".
If you are a tourist or a visitor, you are less informed and less familiar with the various parts of the city. So you are more at risk of "wrong place wrong time".
The formal demonstration has been ended by force. There are a great many people in Bangkok and across Thailand who are full of frustration and anger over how this is ending. These people are on a rampage today in Bangkok and in several provinces. (More info already posted above.) This is not going to be resolved cleanly, completely, or quickly. Bangkok can be considered a hot spot.
Words for today are brought to you by the letter "I"
Intrigue, Insubordination, Intimidation, Insanity.
My prediction, and it is purely guessing on my part, there will be a good deal of random violence over the next several days. You may have heard reference to "Men in Black" (rogue paramilitary forces). We don't know how many were captured and how many are still at large. There are large amounts of weapons including hand grenades that are not under police or military control. The Red Guards, who did a very good job of keeping the masses of Red protesters under control are no longer controlling anything.
While there are many, many "safe" (slight disclaimer) I would not suggest that anyone visit Bangkok over the next few days. It is a bit unstable and some sections of the city are still a bit dangerous. (A bit?) But also, with a curfew in effect, there won't be any of the famous Bankgok night life and your fine dining experinces will be rushed by an 8 PM deadline.
I could not say that visits to the provinces will be much better, especially in the north and northeast. I cannot say that buses and rail transportation will be reliable and safe. (It should be fine, but there are no guarantees.)
If you must come to Thailand, I would recommend the islands (Chang, Samet, Phuket, Samui). I would recommend Krabi. That is where I would send my friends off to. In fact, I am about to take a mental health break on Koh Samet this weekend, just to get out of the city for a few days.
I don't mean to scare anyone off from visiting Thailand but I've see a lot of stupid people walking about very dangerous spots. Use some common sense and leave the dangerous areas to the professional journalists - they get paid for it. And if you can avoid the city right now, do that - and enjoy some of the beauty of parts of Thailand. If you can delay your trip, even better. Let's hope this all settles down quickly.
#159 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Corrections (typos) to previous post #159
While there are many, many "safe" (b)areas(b)(slight disclaimer) I would not suggest that anyone visit . . .
If you must come to Thailand, I would recommend the islands (Chang, Samet, Phuket, Samui). I would (b) also(b) recommend Krabi. That is where I would send my friends off to.
This just in (I cannot confirm)-
"Foreigners in Bangkok must carry passports & tickets to show security personnel if traveling outside Bangkok tonight."
#160 Enigma has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 20
Slightly off-topic, but just wanted to have a bit of a rant that Lonely Planet appear to think that a story covering the "9 reasons LeBron should stay in Cleveland" is more important than what is happening in Bangkok at the moment.
As it stands Bangkok is the #2 story with a link to a day-old BBC story and to a very good thread on the Thorntree. I realise that not all their readers are headed to Thailand and likewise I realise our homepage looks like a bit of a mess at the moment -- I won't make excuses for that, but I do think it is important to get the information out there -- for travellers who do need to know.
Lonely Planet could be doing far far far better than what they are now -- and they really need to get their **** together.
Travelfish has been the most reasonable and up to date sources of info during this - even people not traveling there soon can see the importance. Keep up the fantastic work.
#163 jasinorbit has been a member since 4/12/2009. Posts: 37
Absolutely. It's great the way TF has reacted to cover the situation, putting those feeds up was a pure stroke of genius. Cat's updates have been fantastic too, absolutely no need for you to apologize for posting so many times!!!
Central World used to be called the World Trade Center...someone just sent me another pic and although the building hasn't collapsed it does look uncannily like 9/11.
just want to echo the above posts. travelfish has been an invaluable help in the last few days as i have been trying to work out what to do about my scheduled trip to bangkok next week. somtam and all the other posters - keep up the good work.
#165 whiff has been a member since 17/5/2010. Posts: 5
Just a C&P from the curfew thread (thanks wandering_cat):
curfew extended to 21-23 other provinces - just announced on TV.
waiting for list of provinces to be confirmed, but assumed to be those that were already under State of Emergency, of which there are 23. 2 provinces were just added this afternoon, which might explain why many sources still report the figure as 21.
*Chiangmai & Pattaya are included.
2. Chonburi (incl Pattaya)
3. Nakhon Pathom
5. Pathum Thani
6. Samut Prakan
9. Khon Kaen
12. Nakhon Ratchasima
13. Nongbua Lamphu
14. Roi Et
15. Sakon Nakhon
17. Ubon Ratchathani
18. Udon Thani
19. Chiang Mai
20. Chiang Rai
22. Nakhon Sawan
please correct if any errors.
Thanks all - calling it a night for the evening. Here's to hoping Bangkok is in better shape in the morning.
First, I would like to thank everyone providing updates as to the situation throughout Thailand right now and especially in Bangkok. Your updates have been crucial in ensuring the safety of those traveling to these areas.
I wanted to get some input and recommendations from those posting. I am headed to Thailand for three weeks and am scheduled to land in Bangkok on June 1st. I will be traveling with my fiance, her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend, we originally had plans to stay in Bangkok and also visit Chaing Mai in addition to the south islands, however, it seems like our only safe option would be to catch a flight immediately down to the south islands on both the Adaman and Gulf coasts (we would likely fly into Phuket). My question is whether people here would recommend this plan, or perhaps grabbing an AirAsia flight to Hanoi and visit Vietnam until the situation improves. I am trying to make sure that my fiance and her friends will be safe and also make sure that we can be somewhere that their families will not fear for their safety. Thanks again for any recommendations you may have.
#167 Obrad has been a member since 19/5/2010. Posts: 5
it's hard to say with the situation changing so fast and apparently escalating away from the isolated areas that were originally affected but I for one have now decided to avoid not just the city but also transitting through the airport. my mother is flying from england to hanoi next week and we are trying to re-route her via Kuala Lumpur. there are plenty of other places in south-east asia you can visit and lots of other air routes you can take.
i haven't seen this mentioned before but even tight-ass budget airline airasia are now offering limited refunds on flights to bankgok.
anyway hope i'm not painting too negative picture but things do appear to be exceptionally grim in Bangkok at the moment.
it sounds incredibly trite but let's just hope for a better day tomorrow!
#168 whiff has been a member since 17/5/2010. Posts: 5
UK have now upgraded their warning to advise against all travel to the city of Bangkok.
They are also now warning against "all but essential travel to the city of Chiang Mai."
#169 ZPeppiatt has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 38
As BKK airport is not technically in Bangkok, but Samut Prakarn, what implications would the UK & Australian advisories have for people staying in a hotel near the airport?
I'm supposed to be flying in on Sunday and have 2 nights booked at Thong Ta Resort. Was hoping to go overland to Siem Reap (hence 2 nights so we've got a day's rest in between) but this is now looking less viable, so will more likely get airasia flight to Phnom Penh instead. Am I better off writing off the 2nd night & getting a flight out on Monday, or do people think I'll be OK staying an extra night if I stay holed up in the hotel?
On the one hand, a day's rest would come in really handy as we'll be travelling with a four yr old, but for the same reason I don't want to take any risks...
#170 ZPeppiatt has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 38
@Obrad - I'd concur with your plan to head south. You could fly into Surat Thai ( for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao and Ko Samui ) or Krabi (for Ko Lanta and Ko Phi Phi ) or Phuket as you suggest.
At this stage there has been no trouble whatsoever (that I'm aware of) in southern Thailand (aside from the problems in the far south, but you're not heading there anyway).
Heading to Hanoi, at this stage, is prob not necessary.
Regarding flights south, I'd be booking them now -- friends in Bangkok have said they're having a lot of difficulty re seat availability for getting out of Bangkok.
The main carriers are:
@whiff So far there have been no problems at the international airport -- so while shifting to KL would be the safest route, at this stage probably overkill... that said flight availability is drying up -- a difficult call.
@ZPeppiatt It is my understanding that the DFAT warning does not include the airport and the area immediately around it. So assumming you are at a hotel near the airport, should be ok. I'm not sure about the FCO advice though.
If you're looking at flying AirAsia to Phnom Penh I'd be booking that flight right now. Seat availability is very tight. I think you'll probably be governed by when you can get a flight rather than what fits in with your plan.
All that said, there haven't been problems (that I've heard of) on the overland route to Cambodia...
More questions, ask away, but perhaps start them in a new thread as others will see them easier then. And we'll keep this one for updates on the situation on the ground.
Whiff and Somtam,
Thanks so much for your responses. I believe that we will be booking flights to Phuket either tomorrow or Friday on AirAsia and be spending our holiday between the Adaman and Gulf Coast. Although I wanted to spend time in Chaing Mai and Bangkok this holiday, it looks like this may need to be done another time.
#172 Obrad has been a member since 19/5/2010. Posts: 5
@ Zpeppiatt - we stayed at thong ta about 12days ago, didnt see any signs of protesters, i think its out the way really. they do transfers to and from the airport as well so they will pick you up from the airport and can take you back to the airport bus station where you can get the bus straight to aranythrapat (thai border town for cambodia) providing they still run the bus services
#173 samh90 has been a member since 13/5/2010. Posts: 9
Two links to sites which have an excellent compilation of photos depicting the horrors of what is going on:
@ Somtam2000 - thanks! I would much prefer to go overland to Siem Reap, so you've reassured me. Things seem to be looking a bit calmer this morning, but the way things were kicking off yesterday I panicked a bit! Think I've spent too long on Twitter past couple of weeks...!
@ samh90 - thanks for the airport bus station tip - that certainly solves the problem of getting to the N/NE bus station! :o)
#175 ZPeppiatt has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 38
yes ZPeppiatt, things do appear to be calmer after the grim scenes yesterday when it seemed like we might be heading for all-out civil war. let's just hope it stays that way.
remember, though, that while the airport still seems to be safe as wandering_cat points out on the other thread the curfew is causing a few problems.
#176 whiff has been a member since 17/5/2010. Posts: 5
things yet to settle down in Bangkok...new reports of activity at:
- Din Daeng
- Rajprarop (Pratunam-Rangnam area) (burning tyres again)
- Victory Monument (rioters surrounding police?)
still warnings of snipers in these areas & Rajprasong too. bit harder to get updates now - some of the most intrepid field journalists/photographers are resting/recovering from wounds after yesterday's marathon, most resident tweeters from the area previously reporting on what they saw/heard from their apartments have also evacuated.
MRT & BTS remained closed today & tomorrow.
this morning's news about banks set on fire yesterday sounded like a body count...Bangkok Bank 10 branches, Krung Thai 2 branches, Siam City 2 branches, Kasikorn 2 branches, Govt Savings 1 branch.
They burned down our Jangwat as well. Idiots. No matter who governs Thailand in the future, the Jangwat will have to be rebuilt - and it wasn't cheap. That's money at least a portion of which could have gone to improvement of schools, upgrade of the water system or any of a myriad of infrastructure improvements.
#178 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Same here in Ubon Madmac. They burned city hall yesterday afternoon, early evening. Redshirts were estimated to be 1000. Today I heard 2 dead, but yesterday evening in the village the locals were telling me 5 dead. Had a friend in the city that went by last night about 9pm and again this morning to take pictures and the locals were all just sad. Tears. Asking, "Why did they do this?". Said the mood was very solem. He said the reds had threatened to come back today and burn the rest of the government buildings.
#179 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
It's a terrible situation man. I never really thought it would come to this. Now I have to arm myself and get my family out of here. I can not believe it has come to this.
#180 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
not sure if have heard the fat lady sing yet...
21 May 2010 Matichon news:
http://bit.ly/cEdO1U (Thai only)
part of it says that redshirts plan to gather on 30 May at Khao Kaenjan in Ratchaburi to show evidence of events at Phanfa (i.e. April 10th) & Rajprasong, & then proceed on to every other province. they are also planning a large rally in Bangkok from June to July. goes on to say something about distributing evidence of brutalities in order to try & persuade foreign governments to stop selling military weapons to Thailand.
"goes on to say something about distributing evidence of brutalities in order to try & persuade foreign governments to stop selling military weapons to Thailand."
Selling weapons is a buisiness and Thailand has a pretty good reputation as a decent consumer in the international market. No chance that weapons sales will be curtailed based on this.
#183 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Finally Thailand will lift emergency decree in Bangkok and 3 adjoing provinces, effective on Dec 22, 2010. This emergency decree was endorsed since April 7. This can be considere a great news for Thais and tourists who remain concern about unstable situation in Thailand.
Let's have a long holiday and New Year celebration there !!
#185 tripallure has been a member since 21/12/2010. Posts: 1
The state of emergency still existing in Bangkok had little real meaning -particularly for tourists. Let's not count our hand grenades before they explode. After next years election, we'll see how this all plays out. The game ain't over yet.
#186 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957