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Paul
I am in the process of writing a travelpod about the New Year bombings in Bangkok. It will be at http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/modify_en...008618595548737
I hope that it is informative about the mood here, about what is going on and the likely consequences, and the likely guilty party.

Hope everyone is well and no one was hurt in the bombings which were quite silly and sad and pretty shocking to the Thai people - although comparatively to much of the world they were small events.
wakingdream
I watched alot of news around the new year, and was also very saddened to see this. It seems every year it is one thing after another! I wondered if now instead of looking forward to the new year, in due time will we all be cowaring at home as bombs and bomb threats go off one after another all around the world?
Paul
Bit of an update on the situation here- nothing dramtic, just a bit of a shame.

I noticed the other day at the entry to the car park to the local shopping mall was a sign telling people to open their car boots for inspection (for bombs). Today when I drove my motorbike there I was stopped and had to open up the seat to be inspected. All done really politely and quickly. But unfortanately that is the state of Bangkok at the moment. It is still a very relaxed and happy place to be, but a little less so due to these bombings.



Another sad bit of news - related to the Southern violence - the young Northern teacher who was beaten by Muslim .......so and so's and has been in a coma for about a year, has died. She was the epitomy of an innocent victim, someone that was only in the South to teach and help people of all faiths and ethnic background.

This is the bit that makes Thailand Thailand: Her parents immediately came out and said they forgive the people that did it to her and they wish that her death and their suffering will be the last and that there will be peace in the South.
z e n t o
How incredibly sad and inspiring. I am not familiar with the story but the family's response is not something we hear everyday. And who says forgiveness is Divine?
rbisset
I'm just wondering why you chose a picture of a smiley face to go with the headline about bombings......

Not good news for Thailand sad.gif
Paul
Oh, I did too. I dunno? Habit? It certianly isn't good news for Thailand.

But smiling is still the order of the day here, so maybe it is appropriate in some way. But to be honest I just did it without thinking too much.

Hmmm, I still wish to put a smiley face here. Why? Because generally most interactions between humans here involve smiles. Even in sad situations people smile so as to give warmth and hope to others. Bt certainly I am not happy about the bombing console.gif
wakingdream
It's true though, the Thai's smile in the face of aversity. I remember the times after the tsunami, and how people kept their spirits up so well considering. I was amazed by it, and definitely learned from it as well. yes.gif
Paul
Hmmm, further update - I have just been into town again and even went on the underground. There are bag searches at the entrances to shopping centres and the underground. Done really politely, humbly and efficiently (with Thai smiles) and it is not an inconvenience, but:
1. It is amazing to see that here in Thailand - it is normally such a relaxed place
2. It is good to see the Thais have implemented this so quickly and efficiently

I hope this doesn't last too long - and I am sure everyone is the same. Seems like there is a real threat that another bombing or incident will be tried, but everything reasonable is being done to stop it.
Hmmm, I still wouldn't go around changing travel plans - even if a bombing occurred it'd be small and you'd be pretty unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - but I have to admit, it feels like that possibility exists at the moment.
Paul
More of an update on the feelings here:

Things have definitely calmed down and got back to normal in Bangkok now.

On Chinese New Year though there was some more bombs and violence in the 4 Southern Most provinces. The Muslim criminals there are violent on most days, but they made a concerted effort to hurt many people on Chinese New Year.

Hmmm, I am definitely making sure my family avoid crowded places during Thai New Year. I think it would be a good idea for people to avoid places like Khao San Rd and the main bus terminals during Songkran (Thai New Year). I think it seems likely that some of the Muslim lunatics and their supporters will want to use this time to hurt people and I think more and more it seems likely that they will try to hurt Westerners and get media attention.

None of this is definite, but it is just the feeling I am getting. Hopefully it wont happen.

The airport and such places - although I am sure the criminals want to do something there, I suspect it is all too hard. Crowded and busy places where they can leave a bomb, get back into the crowd and have a reasonable chance the bomb won't be found before going off are the places they seem to like.

Bangkok seems a likely target as the Thai government is Bangkok and so it is a symbol of the people they don't like (the people that feed them and give them schools and hospitals and things). Also there is enough stupid, uneducated Muslim males in Bangkok that they will find some support there. It is also possible that they could try somewhere like Chiang Mai or Ubon, as there are big crowds there also and the Military won't be expecting that.

Pretty sad stuff. This is a small group of violent idiots. But they can cause a lot of trouble and inconvenience and sadness. Most Muslims in Thailand are very good and nice people, but I hope they can see that some others of the same religion make Islam seem very evil and cause much suffering.

Anyway, take or leave my warning. Hopefully these things don't happen. But if you are traveling with children, maybe you will want to be safe during 12-15 April and avoid likely targeted areas. frantics.gif
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