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> Security Alert for Songkran-Thailand
wakingdream
post Apr 10 2007, 01:28 PM
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There has been a nationwide security alert for Songkran.

Bangkok Post Article

Everyone's opinion will differ, but hyped up media alert or not, all in the area: take care and stay alert. unsure.gif


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Paul
post May 6 2007, 04:06 AM
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Songkran has been and gone. No major incidents as far as I know.

The rubbish in the very South of Thailand continues, but rarely affects tourists.

There was a very small bomb in a phone booth in Bangkok yesterday. Injured a guy. Who knows what idiot set that up. Didn't seem very strong.

Overwhelmingly Thailand is a very safe place. I imagine for most readers it is safer than your home country. But it has some problems and it is better to be safe than sorry, so do keep an eye out for warnings like the above one and consider them
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wakingdream
post May 7 2007, 07:29 AM
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QUOTE
Songkran has been and gone. No major incidents as far as I know.


Very good to know. Wish I could've been there. It's so fun! yes.gif


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thellie
post May 16 2007, 08:46 AM
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i would like to say security was tighter than a duck's backside, but it wasn't - both ends of khao san road were cordoned off and heavily guarded by police and army. everyone in was being checked and bags searched.. great, except that if you walked down parallel streets, there are a welter of little alleys to get onto khao san. i did this when i was prevented from bringing in my big purple and yellow watergun smile.gif

and i would also say that if there were bombs next year or the year after, it wouldn't prevent me from revisiting this wonderful experience. trawling around the streets gently stroking flour/water paste onto people's faces, and having massive water fights was a blast to behold... do it, do it one and all!
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wakingdream
post May 16 2007, 11:03 AM
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QUOTE
and i would also say that if there were bombs next year or the year after, it wouldn't prevent me from revisiting this wonderful experience. trawling around the streets gently stroking flour/water paste onto people's faces, and having massive water fights was a blast to behold... do it, do it one and all!

Awesome! Glad to now you had a great time! I feel the same way as you, infact, I'm planning on getting back quite soon. My only regret is missing Songkran. There just nothing that compares to it! Are you home now Thellie?


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Paul
post May 24 2007, 11:32 PM
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Security and political instability update:

All OK right now, but on 30 May, the constitution court will hand down findings on the behaviour of the two main Thai political parties (Thai Rak Thai and Democrats) regarding their behaviour last election. One possible outcome of that is that one or both parties will be found guilty of fraud (or similar unethical behaviour) and they may be disbanded by the courts. This may bring about a short period of instability as those parties will then stir up trouble and pay people to protest and complain. And they'll cry and be sad and have a little tantrum as they won't have power - which politicians seem to lust over.

Mainly shouldn't affect tourists, but just be aware from 30 May onwards for a couple of weeks, there may be protests and other stupidity.

(Hmmm, IF, it was Thaksin supporters that did the bombs in Dec, then maybe they'll do something similar again in this period of instability to further their ambitions of making the current government look bad. But ??????? I don't know if it was them or who?????)


My opinion for what it is worth - if the parties are found guilty (seems quite possible) they deserve to be disbanded. The political parties here, like in other parts of the world, seem to spend at least 90% of their time and effort trying to get power by whatever means necessary. They seem to spend less (perhaps much less) than 10% of energy on trying to help people and the country and the world. So screw them. Their continual idiotic b!$@%ing and fighting hurts Thailand and creates divisions and is pointless. In the end if they are disbanded, most of the same politicians will simply form new parties and they'll be back anyway, but at least they will be back having had a small lesson that they can't treat the people so poorly and can't do anything they please in their pursuit for power.

All seems a great shame that the average Thai person who is good, friendly and hard working, has to suffer these foolish "leaders".
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thellie
post May 27 2007, 03:32 AM
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i would be very surprised if the parties are not found guilty, and subsequently disbanded. not because i have an in depth knowledge of either thai politics or these parties, but one of common sense - if the judges who are ruling, find them innocent, then the entire coup and therefore everything that has happened since would be deemed, at the least, unwise and quite possibly illegal, giving thai raak thai and taksin all the legitimacy, popular and political muscle to move back into government. talking to locals, up and down the country, it seems to be fairly split as to whether he is a positive force or not...

as for where i am - i have another 3+ weeks at mirror art foundation (near chiang rai), then 5 weeks in s. korea, back to thailand/vietnam/cambodia for a few months before pootling home across canada/northern usa over a month or so. then back out after a couple months breather seeing family, friends and doing a little work. hopefully the next trip out will be a more constructive one in the sense of looking to stay on a more permanent footing... we'll see... you can read my journal here: http://www.travelpod.com/members/thellie
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Paul
post May 27 2007, 08:39 AM
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Hi Thellie, I was going to write you an email, but I will just use this public forum to talk to you instead (how lazy am I?)

crazy.gif On the topic stuff - I wouldn't be surprised if they (the political parties) were found guilty also, but mainly because I suspect they were guilty. But I also wouldn't be surprised at almost any outcome - I think I am getting used to the way things work like that here. I don't reckon the judges feel the need to back up the coups by handing down a guilty verdict. The coups had a few reasons, and without doubt it occurred at a time when Thai society was divided - one of it's reasons was to ease that division and it has achieved that - but perhaps only temporarily?????? Another reason was that Thaksin was seen as corrupt and going too far. His own actions with the sale of the telecommunications business to Singapore and then the paying no tax on that have shown that, and I suspect other court cases will at least point to some shady deals. So I think the coups has happened and the reasons are apparent to the Thai people. The constitution court I reckon will simply do its job as it sees fit.


offtopic.gif Off the topic stuff - I was reading your travel pod today (which I recommend to others). I liked your stuff mentioning the people in BKK. I have often meant to do something similar, because it is those human encounters that are so special on a trip. WOW! Getting invited to someone's apartment in BKK is a privilege, it is probably more typical to meet up to chat at a restaurant or something. She must have thought you were a decent bloke. Ha ha - sorry I made fun of your ant situation - I hadn't realised it was that bad. I recently had a similar experience in Nepal with bed bugs that made me have a very bad few days.
I'd be pretty keen to catch up with you at some stage. I am sure I must have something useful to say about your future plans regarding Thailand. Maybe it will have to be after you come back from Korea though. Good luck. Thanks for all your help at Mirror Foundation. angel1.gif
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wakingdream
post May 27 2007, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE
as for where i am - i have another 3+ weeks at mirror art foundation (near chiang rai), then 5 weeks in s. korea, back to thailand/vietnam/cambodia for a few months before pootling home across canada/northern usa over a month or so


Where abouts are you thinking in the Great White North?


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Paul
post May 27 2007, 09:43 AM
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Will it still be white when he gets there? Or has all that melted?
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fourloves
post May 27 2007, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE(Paul @ May 27 2007, 09:43 AM) *

Will it still be white when he gets there? Or has all that melted?

Yeah, the global warming thing has really been affecting our parliament building, which is largely composed of ice. Looks like the gov't is deciding on air-conditiong options to slow the melting, as, ironically enough, all the major canadian decision on policies like global warming prevention made there are slowly being overshadowed by the loss of said building...

Hope you get there while you have the chance.


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wakingdream
post May 27 2007, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE(fourloves @ May 27 2007, 05:10 PM) *

QUOTE(Paul @ May 27 2007, 09:43 AM) *

Will it still be white when he gets there? Or has all that melted?

Yeah, the global warming thing has really been affecting our parliament building, which is largely composed of ice. Looks like the gov't is deciding on air-conditiong options to slow the melting, as, ironically enough, all the major canadian decision on policies like global warming prevention made there are slowly being overshadowed by the loss of said building...

Hope you get there while you have the chance.


laugh.gif Is there even a parliament building anymore? Catastrophe struck! It's just that we're too embarrassed to mention it. That's why you haven't heard anything. What are we if we're not The Great White North? The Great Plaid North? Hahaha, oh those stereotypes again....


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thellie
post May 27 2007, 09:49 PM
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so offtopic.gif , it's scary devil.png

QUOTE

Where abouts are you thinking in the Great White North?


the timing all depends on whether some work i'm planning on doing, back in the uk, pans out for nov/dec or not. i can't find out until august or so, which may alter things a little.

as for the where... i'll fly into vancouver. i have a friend and her family in grande prairie who i'd like to visit, also a friend in olympia, washington, but i think that's a no-go as her boyfriend has 'issues' about me smile.gif maybe get to edmonton if carmella is around ...then at least part of the way across canada using the train, maybe all (depends on cost - which looks expensive to me) the way. i also have a good friend in new jersey (read my new york journal) who i'd like to catch up with, and a new friend via cyberfriends, who lives with her family on a horse ranch on long island. she's invited me to stay for a few days if i get to that neck of the woods.

then home, work for a month or two, then back out to thailand and look to the next stage of my life on the road... smile.gif

paul... i reckon it's likely that we'll not meet before i return next year. mind you, saying that, it could happen after korea if i stay in bangkok to wait for my friends. there's only 6-8 days in between, but i'm quite keen to check out lopburi and ayuthaya at least before i leave this time.
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wakingdream
post May 27 2007, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE
but i'm quite keen to check out lopburi and ayuthaya


I loved Auyathaya. I spent the entire day there, from early morning into the evening cruising around. Me and this dog. It's beautiful. I befriended a 19 year old Thai girl there who insisted on taking me back to her dorm and putting me up for the night. She took me out for dinner and introduced me to her friends. She even made up her bed for me! She was so cute and gracious. Worried about me and all. Thai people are so nice. yes.gif


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Paul
post May 29 2007, 03:27 AM
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On the topic stuff:
I reckon / hope tomorrow will be calm. But just to be safe (or for those that don't want to be safe and have there cameras ready to film any silliness) the Nation newspaper recommends avoiding:
Sanam Luang, The Royal Plaza, Democrat HQ off Rama VI Rd, TRT HQ at Navasorn Blg on Rama III Rd, and the Constitution Court at Chakra Phet Rd.

The Constitution Court will have 900 police and an unspecified number of soldiers around it, so if you are a foreign journalist and want pictures and a fake story about the military govt pushing people around that is probably the place to be. Perhaps you could even pay some nearby Thai student to protest to the police - so you can get a good picture and sell more copies.


offtopic.gif Woops - think I have already started heading off the topic, so will continue.

Thellie - so what approximate date does that put you in Thailand again? Ayutthaya is pretty close. Could drive you there if you happen to pick a rare date when I am actually at home. It is worth seeing. Lopburi - I have only quickly seen also - but like any Thai town that doesn't get a big write up in the LP, it'd be worth going to - checking out the monkey hospital?
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thellie
post May 29 2007, 05:13 AM
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QUOTE(Paul @ May 29 2007, 08:27 AM) *

Thellie - so what approximate date does that put you in Thailand again? Ayutthaya is pretty close. Could drive you there if you happen to pick a rare date when I am actually at home. It is worth seeing. Lopburi - I have only quickly seen also - but like any Thai town that doesn't get a big write up in the LP, it'd be worth going to - checking out the monkey hospital?


i fly back from B/P*usan sometime on the 26th july,so will be safely ensconced in soi rambuttri on the 27th. first thing is an oil massage at noknok's before i contemplate anything else. wavey davey the space cadet arrives on august 2nd and wants to ship out to cambodia asap. however there is a fly in the ointment, which is my love of bangkok, so i may not even leave the city for those few days... i'll play it by ear, as a good traveller should... if i fail dismally to go forth and meander the hour or three necessary to lopburi (i chatted to the night porter on my train as we passed it, and he was full of praise - not surprised as the place pulled at me just from the station), then my next time in thailand, which will probably be around early/mid september will definitely include there and the others, probably on my way up to chiang mai.

*delete according to choice
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thellie
post May 29 2007, 05:16 AM
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QUOTE(Paul @ May 29 2007, 08:27 AM) *

recommends avoiding:
Sanam Luang



careful people, as this is not much more than a stone's throw (hopefully not an apt choice of words) from khao san road...

paul, sorry - rude of me not to say thanks for the offer! i'll let you know a bit nearer the time, but those are my rough dates at least smile.gif
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Paul
post May 29 2007, 06:56 AM
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offtopic.gif Hmmm, I am enjoying using this forum as a personal message board for us - probably not what it is meant to be, but a good way to organize some travelling arrangements.

Ummm, although Sanam Luang is near Khao San, and although there is the (small?) chance of protests which could become riot like, I wouldn't be concerned that the riots would enter Khao San Rd- that isn't the way things work here. BUT, you are right in that tourists staying in Khao San Rd should be aware of where they are going for their morning stroll and if they see an interesting gathering, OK, maybe have a quick look and then leave - NOTHING TO SEE HERE. Please don't join in the protest if you have no understanding or strong interest in Thai politics. Leave it to the locals.

Thellie - all those dates seem bad for meeting you. July, I will be at Mirror and Sep in Australia doing Army stuff (or in Indonesia on my way to Australia). Hmmm, bugger. I thought a meeting would have somehow fallen into place (despite my lack of planning for it). Sorry I haven't come up to Chiang Rai to see you - two things seem to be in short supply this year (like most years) - time with my family and money, hence I have opted to stay here and not come and say hi.

Anyway, keep in touch. Something will surely eventuate in the future.
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Paul
post May 30 2007, 06:27 AM
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Update on Constitution Court:

So far the Democrat Party has got off. No news of TRT yet. No signs of trouble so far.



Hey Thellie: when do you go. Khun Moo just asked me to come up and help out with a group on 17th June. (I think I have agreed although I'd rather spend some more time at home with family and learning Thai). Will you still be there then?

Did you know Cartoon is leaving?

Hey, in the office there is a book written in English about medical issues and how to treat them in Thailand. It can be gotten off the web for free. Can you send me that link. I want to mention it in here for people.

Paul
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