Chaos in Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Blog

 › entry 34 of 37 › view all entries
 We got into Bangkok this morning at around 8 and checked into the Mango Lagoon. Tammy and I knew we had to head back to the tailors for more fittings/alterations, so we spent a bit of time there, then headed to MBK for some last minute shopping. Apparently in the past few days, Bangkok was declared to be in a state of emergency from the political protesting. From what I understand, the “red shirts” stormed the government building and threatened the Prime Minister's' life. Obviously this was a cause for concern, but it didn't seem as though there was a big concern for tourists still. When we left MBK, we got into a tuk tuk, and after we started driving away, realized he had a red flag tied on the front. We figured it probably was okay and kept on our way. Our opinion changed when our tuk stopped at a road that was closed and blocked off my trucks parked along it. He told us that we had to get out and walk, abut we had no idea where we were, and the language barrier was too great for us to get him to explain where we were. Some other people stopped there talked to him and pointed our driver into a different direction, so he started going again, and brought us right in the middle of the red shirts protest area. Again, we came to a road blocked by vehicles and he told us to get out and walk the rest of the way. We still didn't know where we were, and were now surrounded by the red shirt protesters so we weren't really comfortable with it. One of the protesters came up and was talking to our driver, and then told us we needed to walk. He spoke English fairly well so we could communicate a bit better, so we were trying to explain that we didn't know where to go. That's when we noticed people started to run around quickly and pouring water on their faces, and he said “Not safe, tear gas”, and then we heard and saw the military helicopter flying overhead. That was enough to get us moving, so we just hopped our, basically threw money at our driver and started walked the way they were pointing fr us to go. Luckily, we were at the end of Khao San Rd, which is a really touristy backpacker area, and is fairly close to our guesthouse. Luckily we got out unscathed ��" itchy watery eyes was about the extent of the damage, but it was definitely a scary experience. Later in the day we learned that there was also shootings on Khao San Rd, and that the government allowed for troops to come in and take all actions necessary to end the protests. We decided it wasn't a good night for us to be going out and partying on Khao San Rd (plus most places were closed from what I heard). We went for a group dinner then met with the other group at Bombay Blues, where we drank and hung out for the night. A few people had gone to see the protesting, and apparently there was blood everywhere. There was a sniper on a rooftop shooting at people, grenades were being thrown, and people everywhere were getting injured. Really scary stuff. After we left Bombay at about 1:30, Bertus and I walked over to see if there was anything still going on, but the streets were clear. We went back to Wild Orchid, where everyone was continuing the drinking, and stayed there til very very late (or early).
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photo by: Deats