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Bangkok and east Thailand shutting down, south looks fine

Latest on Thailand: Some hotels closing, trains coming to a standstill, Bangkok transport frozen, bombs killed one foreigner and at least 3 Thais, south remains ok
9 years ago, April 22nd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #109384  
Bangkok and East Thailand are beginning to shut down. Four (so far) recent bomb blasts have killed one foreigner and several Thais.

The violence here that began more than three weeks ago with a festival type atmosphere is beginning to devolve into something more serious.

The Red Shirts have dug in in central Bangkok, erecting barriers of tyres, bamboo, and barbed wire. The Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental yesterday closed their doors and evacuated their patrons to safer areas.

A grenade attack on the BTS (sky train) which is the most dependable transport in Bangkok shut it down. I also heard unconfirmed reports that the underground (MRT) was also closed. The attack on the BTS killed at least one foreigner and one Thai, while three other explosions assumed to be grenades have put at least 50 in hospital.

Within Bangkok, the violence is very localized, mainly at Siam Square. It's generally easy to avoid the violence, but transport around Bangkok is becoming increasingly affected.

Outside of Bangkok, most transport remains running, including air. At this stage it looks very unlikely that the international airport will be affected. However, several train routes that are used to transport troops to the capital have also been closed down by the Red Shirts, making transport in the north and east a tad more difficult.

To date there hasn't been any suggestion of problems in Pattaya and south of Bangkok to Koh Samui and Phuket. Local problems in Bangkok are political in nature and unrelated to violence in the south, which tends to be more religious in nature.

Helicopters are flying over head, people a bit nervous. It looks like further violence is likely in Bangkok. I wouldn't characterize it as dangerous (more people die on the roads in Samui), but Bangkok looks a bit inconvenient right now. Phuket, on the other hand, seems ok. Reply to this

9 years ago, April 24th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #109525  
Wow this is a bit a scary, we are in Malaysia at the moment and heading to Thailand at the beginning of June to meet up with my parents and some friends. Will have to keep a close eye on developments there, if it gets worse should we cancel the trip and plan to go somewhere else? We are going to be visiting Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai and Kanchanaburi. Reply to this

9 years ago, April 25th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #109561  
Looks scary, yeah. But calmed down a bit since the grenade attacks.

Road transport in Bangkok is still fine (you can circumvent the trouble spots by taking the expressway for an extra $2). Air is still fine. The only thing I'd recommend is that you don't plan on using trains (overhead, underground, and intercity). Alternatives such as planes, taxis, and buses seem unaffected.

For Bangkok, just make sure you are staying well away from the main problem areas. (Find the Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental hotels on the map, and you know where NOT to go). Reply to this

9 years ago, April 29th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #109826  
Anyone in Bangkok now? The news from yesterday looks bad. At least the violence seems to be out in the suburbs, rather than in places tourists are likely to visit.

Thailand violence flares
One soldier has died and at least 16 people have been injured after Thai troops and a convoy of hundreds of red-shirt protesters clash on the outskirts of Bangkok.
: :
Along Vibhavadi-Rangsit road, riot squads fired into the air to push back protesters but several tried to remove the razor wire, prompting troops to level their rifles and shoot directly at protesters who fled into oncoming traffic. Police huddled behind riot shields, while soldiers wielding rifles took up positions behind concrete pylons.

Quotes from Soldier killed in clash near Thai capital

Here in Germany, warnings have been issued against making unnecessary visits to Thailand.
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9 years ago, April 29th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #109830  
Here is a blog from somebody who is in Bangkok, posted yesterday.

We have been in Bangkok for couple week trying to get earlier flight back to Texas. Red Shirts have been blocking roads everywhere, But we have not been affected as we try mot to travel much.
: :
Not too many red shirts around in day time... mostly just people setting up to sale RED Shirt items, such as sandles with face of the prime minister, etc.

Quote from RED SHIRTS
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9 years ago, April 29th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #109845  
The latest news is not looking really good: The Centre for the Resolution to Emergency Situations (yes, just having one of these is a bad sign) claims to have "uncovered a plot" to overthrow the monarchy, with the Red Shirts in the thick of it.

If you are familiar with Thailand, you'll be familiar with the draconian Lese Majeste laws that make a serious crime out of anything even perceived to be against the monarchy. A plot to overthrow the monarchy is more than enough to justify the government forcing the red shirts out of Bangkok or arresting them en masse.

They now have the tools and the legal justification. To me, it looks like it's now just a question of when. Reply to this

9 years ago, April 29th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #109849  

...A plot to overthrow the monarchy is more than enough to justify the government forcing the red shirts out of Bangkok ...

Where would they force them to go to, though? And, how would they keep them out of Bangkok? And, if they stop wearing their red shirts they can enter Bangkok again en masse. Whatever they come up with will likely make travel more difficult for tourists. Somehow, arresting them seems unlikely. The prisons there are already ridiculously over crowed in Thailand. They simply would be no room for so many.

To me, it looks like it's now just a question of when.

I havent tried to change my flights. But, I suppose if it gets really bad, we will just take a taxi to the bus or train station and then take the next night bus south, and then out of Thailand. And, then I have to reenter Thailand, and do the same mad dash to the airport, so missing out on enjoying Thailand completely, probably...

Yeah, I know I could fly to KL from Bangkok, but Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe might be safe enough to hang out on...

But, I am not going until the end of July...

Just speculation: But if the Red Shirts get desperate and frustrated, then maybe targeting tourists could become part of their protest, if all other options run out. They seem to be getting crazy enough to try anything.

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9 years ago, May 3rd 2010 No: 8 Msg: #110097  
Thanks for the suggestion Fah. 😊 I prefer to travel overland, but would fly if the political situation becomes too dangerous for overland travel. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 3rd 2010 No: 9 Msg: #110106  
S Posts: 12
Happy to be useful 😊 Mell, I live in Trang which is the middle way between Krabi and Satun so if you decide to visit that time. I'm super glad to help with the info you need. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 3rd 2010 No: 10 Msg: #110108  
Thank you Fah 😊

Have you seen any political trouble in Trang? Reply to this

9 years ago, May 3rd 2010 No: 11 Msg: #110113  

...definitely get good deals for the hotel.

That is good news at least.

Thanks for the private message, Fah. 😊
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9 years ago, May 3rd 2010 No: 12 Msg: #110115  
I deleted 2 posts, on request of the poster who made them. (S)he worries they will encourage tourists to visit Thailand.

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9 years ago, June 11th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #112943  
Hope it is safe to go to Thailand now? Reply to this

9 years ago, June 16th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #113325  
shouldn't be any problems now!! Reply to this

9 years ago, June 26th 2010 No: 15 Msg: #114137  
We are planning to visit Bangkok this August. I'm glad to hear that things are getting quitter there.

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9 years ago, July 6th 2010 No: 16 Msg: #114942  
Glad to hear that too! We're going there end of this year. Reply to this

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