I was in one of the worst locations in Bangkok (near Democracy Monument and Khao San Road) when the riot started. My friend Dandelion and I were getting ready to catch our bus for Khao Phangan on Saturday night when it all went down. After dinner we were walking to our hotel to wait for the bus. On our walk we noticed a lot of stores shut down and not too many people walking around Khao San Road. There were also army helicopters flying around the area. When we turned the corner to reach our hotel we ran into a bunch of army trucks and soldiers standing in form with full body shields
. About 10 minutes after we got to the hotel the riot started. Loud gun shots everywhere! Sounded like we were in a war zone! Later we found out they were using rubber bullets not real bullets and the sound was mostly coming from fire crackers. The hotel staff motioned for us to get down and run into the building. We ran all the way to the top floor. At this point Dandelion and I were super scared. Some random people staying at the hotel let us in their room. We all hung out on the bed and tried to comfort each other. I looked out the window and saw the army troops plow through the red shirts with their big shields. They were beating their sticks at the protesters. They also set off tear gas bombs. We had to cover our heads with scarfs but the gas still got us. The protesters were throwing petrol bombs that shook the earth and made the hair on my arms stand up! We hung out for a couple of hours then went down stairs to check in with the hotel. The gates were still shut making it so no one could come or leave the hotel. There was still a lot of action going on outside. Dandelion and I booked us a room since the bus was obviously not coming. After about 3 or 4 hours the riot moved on up the street. The protest went on all night. Luckily we were able to get a little sleep.
The next day we checked out and were told that our bus would pick us up around 7 PM. The ladies from the tourist shop escorted us across the main street (where all the action was) so we could safely get to the other side of Khao San Road
. The street was still covered with red shirt protesters. There was trash everywhere and all of the cars on the street were in pretty bad shape. Glass was broken, bamboo sticks everywhere. I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures here but the scene was saddening. Someone got shot and killed about 50 steps from our front door. There was blood on the street where this person got shot.
Luckily were were able to hang out on the other side of Khao San Road in peace and wait for our bus. We were still a little shaken and super ready to get out of Bangkok. Stay tuned for my adventures from the south...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y2sG7HqrpY (this one is pretty intense and really graphic)
On Saturday April 10th a riot between the red shirts protesters and the Thai army broke out in full force. It was the deadliest violence in 18 years! The red shirts are anti-government protesters fighting to get the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, out. The rally was suppose to be peace full but unfortunately on Saturday around 20 people were killed.