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Trouble in Bangkok

Red%20shirt%20pteesters%20smashing%20car.jpgOn the 12th of April, Thailand's Prime Minister announced a state of emergency in Bangkok and nearby provinces in an attempt to control the "red shirt "protesters, after they surrounded and beat the car carrying the PM on Sunday afternoon.

The anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protesters, aka red shirt protesters, who are loyal to the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra(ousted in 2006), claim that the current government was not elected democratically, and demand that the current PM( Abhisit) resign and new elections to be held.

The state of emergency means that officials are allowed to arrest protesters without a court order, and also prohibits gathering of five people and more. Officials have been using tear gas, and warning gun shots in an attempt to disperse the protester, some injures and one kill were reported.

Red%20shirt%20protesters.jpg


Why am I writing about this?

Well, because this maybe affecting our Thailand trip plans in five weeks,if we get to take that trip at all.

The US government has not issued any warnings yet, but the Australian, British, and Hong Kong governments issued a "consider your need to travel to Bangkok" warnings to its citizens.

So far, it seems like the situation is more stable in Chiang Mai, our main destination for this trip, and I would not mind cutting Bangkok out of our itinerary and staying in Chiang Mai the whole time. However, predictions of civil war, and airport closure are in the air. And we have to fly to Bangkok to get anywhere in Thailand.

Even though, the PM said the emergency situation is temporary and will get resolved shortly,we are concerned about being able to get to Thailand on May 16th, and being safe there. We are planning on waiting for a while and see what happens in the near future. I have a week cancellation policy for our lodging to avoid a one night charge to our credit card. The only things we paid for are our airfare ,and 50% deposit to our elephant camp adventure. The later has a two-week cancellation policy. Reports say that some airlines are refunding and/or exchanging tickets to Bangkok within the next two weeks due to the situation, and I believe our trip insurance should cover this,should we have to cancel our flight.

So financially speaking, I believe we are okay if we have to cancel our trip. Emotionally though, we would be bummed to say the least. We have been looking forward to this trip. Plus, the last thing the world needs is another war. So lets hope and pray this will end peacefully very soon.

I am following updates on Thailand Tourism Board, as well as the news. Fingers crossed.

Comments (9)

Oh I hope things calm down so that you get to go!

Barb Cabot:

This is sad news on many levels. I'm glad you have insurance in case you need to cancel. Take care, my prayers are for a good resolution on all fronts.

I saw a few news reports about this the other day and my thoughts immediately went to you. I was hoping it was going to be solved soon. I am so sorry that this is happening. I have read that there has been some unrest also in the rural areas but I am not sure exactly where. I hope everything calms down soon for the people of Thailand and for you to be able to travel there safely.

I hope things calm down so you can go! I'd be very hesitant to travel into such a volatile situation. Fingers crossed...

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Candi, I'm so sorry to hear of the situation in Bangkok. I know from reading your blogs that you have been looking forward to this trip. I do hope that things will calm down and not get any worse. But it's also good to know that you have insurance just in case. Safety is the most important thing IMHO.

Thank you for sharing and please let us know how things are going. I do hope that the situation improves and so you can move on with your plans and enjoy this beautiful country.

Here's hoping for a good and speedy resolution. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, along with positive thoughts and a prayer.

News from Bangkok are better today. Bangkok post headline story reads:

The doomed defeat of the red-shirted protesters under the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) against the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has restored calm and order in the streets of Bangkok after a day of rioting that resulted in two deaths and scores of injuries.

The state of emergency is still enforced though and will be until the officials insure "complete security".

The British government no longer advices against all but essential travel, and it only advices to avoid being part of any demonstrations.

Good news! I hope it lasts!

And I am wondering, how come our government never issued any warning or alerts regarding travel to Thailand? All the other governments have. I wonder why not.

sandrac:

Candi, I've been thinking about you as I've followed the news out of Thailand in recent days. It is sounding much better today, and I really hope that everyone's sake, the situation settles very soon.

nancyhol:

Candi,

I too am hoping for a continued peace in Bangkok so that your trip plans don't need to be canceled.

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