Published: January 1st 2007January 1st 2007
Thammasat University has two campuses. This is a photo of "Bryan's" building at Rangsit Campus.
Entry 53 - Bangkok Bombs
Life in Bangkok, exotic, exciting and sometimes nerve wracking when we first arrived, had actually become pretty complacent. We were therefore astounded this morning (September 20th) to get a very unusual wake up call. As Miranda answered the phone, I could hear from her voice that something out of the ordinary was happening.
Miss Nuyy, the night receptionist, told Miranda she might as well go back to bed because we didn't have to go to work that day. "There has been a revolution," she reported.
"What?" I heard Miranda ask from my place in the shower. "Did you say revolution? Here, in Thailand? What has happened?"
When Miranda got off the phone she excitedly informed me that the whole city was shut down due to a military coup that had taken place overnight. She went into more detail, saying that the government of Prime Minister Thaksin had been overthrown. Details were still a little sketchy, but things sounded serious. Neither of us quite knew what to do.
At breakfast we were warned by the guest house staff not to go outside onto the streets. We tried to find out what was
Bryan at Thammasat before the New Year's Holiday.
going on via the media, but none of the Thai television stations were broadcasting news of the event.
O'Reilly's Irish Pub
After several hours we decided to head out to the Sala Daeng area to see if we could find out what was happening. Dropping into O'Reilly's Irish Pub and listening to the local gossip about the coup took up several hours. Later we ran into some teachers who taught at the same school as Miranda. They were as clueless as we were. Everything was just hearsay at this point.
Finally, around 5 p.m. we came across a shop selling a special edition of the English language newspaper, The Nation. Splashed across the front page were photos of soldiers and tanks near Democracy Monument. It was a shocking sight! We bought the newspaper and sat down to find out as much as we could about what was really going on.
Soldiers, tanks and personnel carriers had been placed throughout Bangkok, but there had been nothing in the way of bloodshed. The people actually seemed pleased that Thaksin was no longer the prime minister. Still, with the killing of a Canadian teacher in the south of Thailand
Miranda and Bryan enjoying the Holiday Season.
last week and a coup this week, the tourist industry and economy are bound to suffer.
Miranda and I went out for dinner at about 7:00 pm on New Year's Eve to a small restaurant about five minutes from Wendy House. As we were ordering our meal, a young Thai man asked me if he could take the remote control off my table and change the television station from "New Year's celebrations" to a news program.
When I asked why, he said that some bombs had gone off in Bangkok in four different areas and he wanted to follow the story. By the time we had finished supper, six bombs had reportedly exploded. There were varying reports as to the number of people killed and injured.
Our Swedish friend, Lisa, informed us about the cancellation of New Year celebrations. As we walked towards Siam Square, the streets were empty. I stayed downstairs at Wendy House and talked to the people who were gathering, as their party plans had been changed.
Apparently, two more bombs went off at midnight. These bombs would have killed many people, but luckily the streets were now almost deserted.
Miranda and Lisa shopping near Siam Square.
Miranda and I went to bed early, but were awakened by my mother who was calling long distance from Canada to see how we were. She told us that the attacks were mostly small explosive devices placed in rubbish bins and phone booths. In one incident a grenade was tossed from an overhead bridge.
Most people believe that the bombs were planted by Islamic terrorists, but the government will not admit it because they are worried about a backlash.
We also heard that bombs were planted in the tourist areas of Khao San Road and Lumpini Night Bazaar. Apparently they were found and diffused.
Links: Islam's War on Thailand The 21st Century: War Without End Bangkok Bombs Deaths
There are more photos below