Thai military leader and Red Shirt sympathizer Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol was shot in the head today. Have peace plans been foiled, beyond repair?
LOL. Was Thailand ever safe? I think not. In fact, I'm willing to bet that more foreigners die just on motorscooters travelling around that crappy road in Koh Samui than in any other country in the region! Bangkok's probably safe by comparison, especially if you keep out of the 4sq km under siege.
At least we could avoid the motorscooters. I'd heard that a lot of accidents happen with them, but when I was waiting for the boat to leave Koh Pha Ngan, I was amazed to see just how many of the foreigners also waiting were bandaged on various body parts. It was around 2 thirds of them.
Things are looking really bad in Bangkok now. A Canadian journalist has been shot and the US embassy has been shut. Is this ever going to end...
Deadly clashes as police besiege Bangkok protesters
The British Embassy is closed too. Not good, for US and British citizens that may need help, while they are in Thailand.
Are the embassies going to function from some other building, or are they completely shut and pulling out?
And, some of TravelBlogs bloggers are bringing us the news from the ground.
Greetings from Bangkok, formerly the "Land of Smiles", now "War Zone" as the caption on BBC world says. It's bad. But it's not all that bad. Sure, we have been hearing the crack of gunshots and the occasional grenade from our apartment and there is currently a road block outside our apartment but, we're quite safe up here - Lucy's reading her book in the bath, I've just watched qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix and am just waiting for the FA Cup Final to come on the telly. No doubt Portsmouth will get stuffed.
What are those landing in Bangkok today doing? Are there easily available flights to get them out of Bangkok right away? Or maybe busses which bypass the city?
This has really messed up our plans of going to Thailand. We have been away for 2 months in Malaysia & Borneo and are meant to be meeting family there next month but we have decided to stay 2 nights at a hotel near BKK Airport and then fly to Cambodia when our family arrive. I dont think its worth the risk. We have visited Thailand before and it is such a beautiful country I was so looking forward to showing my mum the sites we saw 2 years ago, but it just sounds bad and not getting any better. Hopefully it will all be sorted out soon, as we would love to visit again.
What is going to happen? I heard from someone in Thailand that they have arranged a re-election date but not for a couple of months.
I'm in Chiang Mai right now and there's a curfew in place after the capture of the red shirt leaders who are being treated as terrorist's by the Thai authorities. However the leaders just as they where arrested have asked that the remaining red shirts go home.
It seems that this is what then triggered the curfew as some renegade splinter group went on a bit of a rampage (they've been on one for the last few days/weeks actually) and set fire to the Channel 3 tv station with the staff still in it and one of the major shopping malls in Bangkok. Some fires where set to a town hall in Udon Thani and one in Khon Kaen was wrecked.
As for the general vibe here in Chiang Mai at the moment...I've been here for the last few months and although it's mostly red shirt up here, everyones watching this and the feeling is that it just needs to end soon. The Thais are losing alot of money from tourism up here and it's not hard to see why people aren't travelling to Thailand with this mess going on. I would like to say though that up here in Chiang Mai, even with the curfew in place, everything just feels normal and noone feels under threat. Not to say things can't or won't escalate but as of this moment, if you didn't see it on the TV you'd not know that there were any problems at all.
From what I've gathered the main airport in Bangkok is operating as normal so if anyones flying into Bangkok, it's safe enough. If you don't feel comfortable staying in Bangkok, come to Chiang Mai. Lots of stuff to do here.
the south is also safe as well, we're on Ko Lanta right now, it's low season so it's pretty quiet here, not a lot of tourists, it's winding up to be a bit of a bonus as prices are very low for accomidations etc. (we're paying 300 baht for a private bungalow, private bathroom 20 feet from the beach). I think pretty much all of the islands in the south are the same right now. it's just a pain in the butt if you want to get somewhere and need to go through Bangkok.
that being said, we just checked the Canada foreign affairs website and they said to avoid all travel to Bangkok (this does not include the airport, if you have a layover there for example you will be very safe), and avoid all non-essential travel to Thailand. I think the last bit is only because so many of the provinces are being affected by this.