Red Shirts & Water

Trip Start Sep 30, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, April 9, 2010

Mo's and Mikeīs Entry

Sometimes things don't go as planned and you feel thwarted!  Time to take a deep breath and go o.k. what next?  We arrived in Bangkok on a Friday night and had to wait over the weekend for the Myanmar Embassy to open so we could apply for our visas.  We did notice political rallies as we came into the Khoasan area filled many people in red shirts. The Red Shirts are asking for a new election and are protesting against what they feel is a military backed government. 

We managed to get to the King's palace and a mueseum on that Saturday and on our travel we saw a large military and police presence.

The next afternoon we decided to head to the down town area to do some shopping. We ended up taking longer downtown than we planned so we decided to eat in the area. While we ate the televison in the restaurant was tuned to a news broadcast and we saw some of the days events going on between the Red Shirts and the authorities. All the locals were glued to the TV as well as us and our waiter in broken english did the best he could to explain to us what exactly was going on with the red shirts.

We knew something else was up when we left the restaurant because when we asked several taxis to take us to the Khoasan area and they said no too dangerous. We finally found a taxi who was willing to take us near to Khoasan area for an extra 200 bhat. It turned out to be a lucky move to go downtown that day and eat there as well because while we were away from Khoasan road there had been a violent demonstration, a clash between the Red Shirts and police. Several people were killed and many injured...the area had even been tear gassed.We came back to the sound of ambulance police fire engine sirens. Police blockades were everywhere and most of the shops in the Khoasan area were closed and boarded up. When we started walking towards our hotel just past the southend of Khoasan we can't remember feeling scared, it just felt a little unreal. When we were walking by Khoasan road we were asked by a policeman where we were going. We said our hotel a block down the road. He let us pass. We noticed the charred remains of a motor bike lying on Khoasan road. The demonstrations were escalating. We went back to our hotel to see if we could watch what we had missed that day.  

We headed off on Monday for the Myanmar embassy to find it shut. What do we do now? Letīs go to the Laos embassy we can go to Laos first than to Myanamar. Off to the Laos embassy. It was shut as well. Twarted again. We wondered if the embassies had closed due to the violence but it was because Thai New Years had started, meaning most things would be closed.  It also meant time to dunk everyone with water....In the Khaosan area the celebrations and the waterdunking were in full swing and that unreal feeling came back here were people smiling drinking and getting wet the day after all the violence. Itīs as if nothing happened the night before. 

When we checked our Laos lonely planet we found we could get a 30 day visa on arrival and there was a Myanamar embassy in Vientianne. Suddenly we found ourselves buying plane tickets for Laos and before we could catch our breath we were on our way.Little did we know it was New years time in Laos as well. That thwarting feeling was following us.
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