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lly
01-09-2008, 11:27 AM
We bought the MAS zero fare some time ago and will be visitng Bangkok in a few days. Can forumers who stay in Bangkok or have recently visited advise the situation there? Is it ok to go?

We intend to shop and eat... any recommendations?

sinleong
01-09-2008, 12:59 PM
i have friends in bangkok now and they called me 2 days ago and asked for my advice. i checked with some local bangkokian friends and also with the embassy of malaysia there. the situation is calm in most parts of bangkok including the shopping and eating areas of rajprasong, silom, sathorn, sukhimvit and siam. you won't notice there is trouble just a few km away and the suvarnabhumi international airport is business as usual.

however, overall situation is a bit volatile now and no guarantee that the military will not stage another coup. and this time, i am sure the government will not let go so easily. my advice is, if you have kids and elderly with you, don't go. if you are a couple of adults, it is OK to go.

geordie
01-09-2008, 01:34 PM
We intend to shop and eat... any recommendations?

Well, it all depends on where you will be staying and the kind of shopping you are after.

Typically, Suan Lum Night Bazaar is a safe crowd pleaser. We prefer that to Jatuchak. A large outdoor food centre (look out for the seafood corner with first class green mussels) and all the street shopping under one banner. If you're staying around the early Sukhumvit side, cab fare should be around 50 baht.

Food is generally good anywhere in BKK. From street stalls to food courts and proper restaurants. Few excellent pig trotter noodles and sharks fin and bird nest soup at Yaowarat but getting there from CBD is a pain.

Shopping. If they are in the midst of a sale, you can get some very good deals in swish departmental stores like Central (Chidlom branch is our fav) and Emporium. Siam Paragon is good for a look-see (we love the household outlets there).

I don't reckon the protest has caused any uneasiness among our expat friends in BKK as of now. I wouldn't hesitate to go back in a heartbeat.

CS Chua
01-09-2008, 02:56 PM
Try Chinatown for food. Many authentic Teow Chew food around especially the back lanes.

For shopping, areas around Siam Paragon should be safe. MBK is relatively cheaper than the other up-market shopping centers. For sight-seeing walk around the Grand Palace area. There are a few touristy things to see there. Be careful of touts. They always tell you the Grand Palace is not open even if you are a few meters from the main gate. Do not listen to them.

Just avoid government buildings for the time being. Most of the previous coups are bloodless but stay from the demonstration nevertheless unless you want some photographs for memories.

HTCHONG
01-09-2008, 03:18 PM
I just came back from Thailand last Friday night. When I was in Thailand, I was advised not to go near to any government buildings, the Prime Minister Office and the Grand Palace (which is one of the tourist attractions). Also, I was advised not to wear Yellow T-shirt (Pro-opposition) or Red T-shirt (Pro-Government). Later on, I was told that even the Pro-Government camp was wearing yellow T-shirt too which symbolize loyal to the King. On the way to Suvarnabhumi international Airport was peaceful.

Not too sure if you are wearing red and yellow stripes T-shirt…may be get whack by both sides. .. :D

lly
02-09-2008, 08:46 AM
Thanks for all the advice. Will look out for the situation next few days before flying on Fri. Please update us here if there are any new issues especially those who have friends in Bangkok.

geordie
02-09-2008, 11:08 AM
State of emergency just been declared in BKK after 1 fatality :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7592942.stm .

However, from my grapevine, it is business as usual, BTS still running as usual, Sathorn and Sukhumvit still busy with traffic albeit a tad lighter than usual but not much. Lots of speculation as to how long Samak will stay in power. There's a restriction in place of gathering of 5 people or more (sounds familiar?).

The expats in general are not all too jittery (hey, this is Thailand, get used to it!). If the ****e hits the fan, they expect His Majesty to step in and appeal for calm ... During the last coup, the only sign that things were not 'normal' were the long lines of queues outside the ATM machines !

CS Chua
02-09-2008, 11:10 AM
Just heard over the radio that the situation has deteriorated drastically overnight. 5 protesters said to be dead but apparently from stampede. Emergency has been declared and gathering of more than 5 persons are illegal. Not sure how they can enforce that.

I called a friend in BKK who said that nothing has changed. Situation is normal. I guess it depends on which part of the city one goes.

HTCHONG
02-09-2008, 11:15 AM
lly, following is the travel alert I received this morning from my organization. Situation doesn't seems to look good but if you have planned your trip then just be cautious when you move around in Bangkok. ;).


Thailand: Update: Protest supporters threaten public transportation, flight disruptions
01-Sep-2008 08:44:05 PM (GMT) BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ State workers threatened Monday to cut off water, electricity and phone service at government offices and disrupt flights of the national airline in support of protesters trying to bring down the Thai prime minister.

A coalition of 43 unions representing workers from state companies including water, electric, phone and the national airline said they would cut off services to the government starting Wednesday. They are already disrupting rail service and plan to cut back public bus transportation as well.

"The government has beaten protesters, and that justifies our retaliating by stopping water, telephone service and electricity to some government agencies," Sawit Kaewwan, secretary-general of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation, or SERC, told a news conference.

The labor federation said 200,000 members would stop work from Wednesday in support of an alliance of right-wing protesters who have occupied Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's office for a week, trying to bring down the government.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a rowdy crowd of about 500 Samak supporters - some carrying sticks and wearing helmets - began making their way to the Government House compound. They were traveling on foot and by motorcycle, scuffling with police along the way.

The mob was hoping to rout the People's Alliance for Democracy from the compound but appeared to have been stopped short of their target by police, as well as their rivals.

The alliance claims the government is corrupt and too close to ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and recently fled to Britain to escape an array of corruption charges. The same group organized the massive anti-Thaksin demonstrations in 2006 that helped spark the bloodless coup.

The group and its sympathizers - monarchists, the military and the urban elite - complain that Western-style democracy with one-man, one-vote gives too much weight to Thailand's rural majority, who protesters say are susceptible to vote buying that breeds corruption. They have proposed a system under which most lawmakers would be appointed rather than elected.

The prime minister has repeatedly insisted he will not bow to pressure by resigning or dissolving parliament to call new elections.

"I am sure that I love this country as much as anybody," Samak said at a joint session of the upper and lower houses of parliament convened to debate solutions to the deadlock. "But I love democracy much more, more than anyone who told me to resign."

Sawit and others laid out plans for the work stoppage by state employees but did not say how long the action would last.

Public bus workers will halt service on 80 percent of Bangkok's 3,800 buses, with the remainder running for free, he said.

Workers for state-owned Thai Airways plan to delay flights Wednesday, said Somsak Manop, deputy chief of Thai Airways International labor union.

Hundreds of employees from the State Railways of Thailand continued a strike Monday that has halted service on 93 train lines, cutting off most long-distance service between Bangkok and the far-northern and southern parts of the country, said spokesman Phairath Rojjaroenngam. More than half of the 76 cargo trains scheduled Monday were also not running.

There was no schedule for restoring service, which has been disrupted since the strike started Friday.

Three airports in southern Thailand were also forced to close by protesters this weekend.

"If they continue to defiantly hold on to power even after the general strike on Sept. 3, the alliance will have no choice but to step up the pressure on them," Suriyasai Katasila, one of the protest leaders, said of the government.

Protesters began occupying the prime minister's office on Aug. 26 and have tried block streets in the capital. The alliance has been able to call out as many as 30,000 supporters, according to an early government estimate, to besiege Samak's office and blockade other public areas.

Sondhi Limthongkul, the senior protest leader, said he liked the idea of shutting down public services even it might anger and inconvenience many Thais.

"I think it's one way of putting pressure on the government," Sondhi told reporters. "At the end of the day, they will see whether it's me who is the problem or Mr. Samak. All we want is Mr. Samak to go. When Samak goes, we stop."

At the prime minister's residence, several thousand protesters spread out across courtyards, gardens and park benches, cheering and clapping as speaker after speaker called for Samak to resign.

Flanked by the Thai national flag, huge photos of the king and queen and "most wanted" posters of Thaksin and his wife, protesters said they had no grand scheme to reinvent government. They just want the current government tossed out.

"The Cabinet must resign and they all must be imprisoned," said Thiwa Thongkaew, a 43-year-old office worker from the tourist resort of Krabi.

sinleong
02-09-2008, 11:17 AM
yup, bangkok is so huge you sometimes don't notice anything happening unless you are right where it happens. when the last coup occured, the tanks were rolling in and out of the army intelligence HQ in sathorn soi1. i lived just 3km down the road and as if nothing is happening.

AllUrban
02-09-2008, 11:39 AM
Well, it all depends on where you will be staying and the kind of shopping you are after.

Typically, Suan Lum Night Bazaar is a safe crowd pleaser. We prefer that to Jatuchak. A large outdoor food centre (look out for the seafood corner with first class green mussels) and all the street shopping under one banner. If you're staying around the early Sukhumvit side, cab fare should be around 50 baht.

Food is generally good anywhere in BKK. From street stalls to food courts and proper restaurants. Few excellent pig trotter noodles and sharks fin and bird nest soup at Yaowarat but getting there from CBD is a pain.

Shopping. If they are in the midst of a sale, you can get some very good deals in swish departmental stores like Central (Chidlom branch is our fav) and Emporium. Siam Paragon is good for a look-see (we love the household outlets there).

I don't reckon the protest has caused any uneasiness among our expat friends in BKK as of now. I wouldn't hesitate to go back in a heartbeat.I believe the Suan Lum night bazaar (the one just off of the Lumphini Park, iirc) has been closed, it is going to be redeveloped.

You will have little or no problems in Bangkok. Just limit the time that you spend along the east side of the river near the government buildings...stay near Sukhumvit Rd. or Silom road areas...use the river taxi if you want to get to Wat Arun on the other side of the river.

Cheers, m

geordie
02-09-2008, 11:55 AM
I believe the Suan Lum night bazaar (the one just off of the Lumphini Park, iirc) has been closed, it is going to be redeveloped.

You will have little or no problems in Bangkok. Just limit the time that you spend along the east side of the river near the government buildings...stay near Sukhumvit Rd. or Silom road areas...use the river taxi if you want to get to Wat Arun on the other side of the river.

Cheers, m

Not as of 3 weeks ago. The lease was supposed to revert back to Crown Property Bureau just before Easter last year but they had some sort of a reprieve. However, the CPB won a court case in March 2008 ordering Suan Lum to close but it is still operating. No news of the new dateline. The ferris wheel has been taken down middle of last year though.

Rocky19
02-09-2008, 11:59 AM
things are pretty normal in Bangkok be it coup or emergency rule.Only place to stay away is govt buildings and that is where the action. Been there during last coup, it was bis as usual for the thais.

if you are going weekends, try the weekend market Chattuchak. Otherwise MBK, Siam Square good place to shop. Pratunam is good for clothing related shopping. MBK you get everything. Their sale period is over, so forget about Siam Paragon etc.

Stay in Sukhimvit area, near BTS/Skytrain station and you should be pretty safe. not sure of your budget. I can recommend based on your budget. and wearing yellow means you support the King thus it will not cause you to be picked out.and there are so many people wearing yellow.

xaviers
02-09-2008, 12:17 PM
Better postpone the trip... keadaan huru hara sekarang

AllUrban
02-09-2008, 01:15 PM
Not as of 3 weeks ago. The lease was supposed to revert back to Crown Property Bureau just before Easter last year but they had some sort of a reprieve. However, the CPB won a court case in March 2008 ordering Suan Lum to close but it is still operating. No news of the new dateline. The ferris wheel has been taken down middle of last year though.Oh, wow, that is great news then.

I wanted to go there again...was lamenting that it was closed.

Hmmm...how come the newspapers mentioned that it would be closed but never mentioned that it was still open?

Cheers, m

xweird
02-09-2008, 03:29 PM
incidentally, any idea where has suan lum moved to?

geordie
02-09-2008, 04:39 PM
The alternative site proposed was one near Jatuchak. And then there were talks of Jatuchak will be fully a/c'ed !! Nobody knows for sure ... But it is sad to think that Suan Lum will be bulldozed to make way for another Bayoke Plaza or whatever they are going to call the "tallest shopping mall" in BKK. :(

HTCHONG
02-09-2008, 04:45 PM
Singapore Government advised Singaporeans to postpone their trip to Bangkok. see link below....

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20080902/tap-242-singaporeans-advised-postpone-tr-231650b.html

lly
03-09-2008, 04:49 PM
At the moment we are kind of inclined to go. Will decide tomorrow. Looks like the demostrations are confined to certain areas. Just worried if there are strikes and public transports like BTS/airport down, then will be stranded. Thanks for all advices. Please keep the news coming if any changes.

Zipper
03-09-2008, 07:23 PM
Just got back yesterday from Bangkok. I was there over the weekend with wifey and staying over at Partunam area. Everything seems as usual. Chatuchat was good for shopping but hot and sweaty. Food in the shopping malls' food courts are relatively cheap averaging around rm3.50-4.00 for a bowl of noodles.
Book yr hotel thru the internet coz the prices are much higher upon arrival. If you are on budget, First House hotel is decent enuff approx rm 100. Avoid friendly strangers offering to help with directions as they have ulterior intention in directing you to buy gems.

CS Chua
03-09-2008, 08:33 PM
I am also leaving for BKK next week for a conference. I called the BKK people and they said the situation is not dangerous. However the government may impose curfew and the protesters may try to close the international airport. If either of these happens, I am not going. I do not want to be stuck there.

usjfly
03-09-2008, 09:56 PM
We are supposed to go for a holiday in Krabi next Sat, just wanted to get some opinion - do you guys reckon Krabi would be ok, compared to Bangkok where most of the protest seems to be reported at?

Still considering whether we should go.

Thanks in advance...

HTCHONG
03-09-2008, 10:36 PM
We are supposed to go for a holiday in Krabi next Sat, just wanted to get some opinion - do you guys reckon Krabi would be ok, compared to Bangkok where most of the protest seems to be reported at?

Still considering whether we should go.

Thanks in advance...

Outside Bangkok shouldn't be a problem. :)

cskok8
03-09-2008, 11:31 PM
Can't be sure. Last week, Phuket, Krabi AND Hadyai airports were closed by demonstrators.

Sato
04-09-2008, 02:17 PM
i already booked in advanced 3 months back family tour package for this 1st October holiday trip to Bangkok & Pattaya, do you guys think is advisable to go or not to go?

Rocky19
04-09-2008, 06:31 PM
i already booked in advanced 3 months back family tour package for this 1st October holiday trip to Bangkok & Pattaya, do you guys think is advisable to go or not to go?
I'd say don't worry but you can give it a couple of weeks before you decide.

usjfly
krabi - I'm not sure. Krabi airport was closed due to protester. and the distance from airport to down town is quite far. so you may want to check with the hotel or people there. which hotel are you staying at?

lly
09-09-2008, 04:27 PM
We are back! Everything was as per normal ie lots of people shopping and lots of traffic on the road. Wouldn' have known about the unrest if have not read the papers. Bring an umbrella if you are visting Bangkok. Rains most evenings.

Sato
09-09-2008, 10:59 PM
Yahoo! I m going this 1st October, friends just back from Bangkok, he told me whatever reported in the news all "exageration"!

Sugarfree
09-09-2008, 11:16 PM
i already booked in advanced 3 months back family tour package for this 1st October holiday trip to Bangkok & Pattaya, do you guys think is advisable to go or not to go?i say, no. postpone the trip. don't subject your family to danger. it's just not worth it. ok, people may say, it's nothing but you'll never know. better be safe than sorry, mate.

patrick
10-09-2008, 12:35 AM
things are pretty normal in Bangkok be it coup or emergency rule.Only place to stay away is govt buildings and that is where the action. Been there during last coup, it was bis as usual for the thais.

if you are going weekends, try the weekend market Chattuchak. Otherwise MBK, Siam Square good place to shop. Pratunam is good for clothing related shopping. MBK you get everything. Their sale period is over, so forget about Siam Paragon etc.

Stay in Sukhimvit area, near BTS/Skytrain station and you should be pretty safe. not sure of your budget. I can recommend based on your budget. and wearing yellow means you support the King thus it will not cause you to be picked out.and there are so many people wearing yellow.

Agree with Rocky. Just stay away from where the action is and you should be ok. You may see soldiers with guns...but no fear. Tourists are normally well regarded.

SummerEve
10-09-2008, 12:35 AM
My friend just came back two days ago. She travel with her whole family and said she didn't even notice any trouble at all. Everything seems very peaceful over there. So I guess ... no worries.

vsat
10-09-2008, 07:54 AM
I'm going there this Friday and the rest of the weekend for work. I'll report the situation to you guys once Im back.

usjfly
10-09-2008, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the replies. We are actually staying at one of the island, Ko Lanta, think about 2-3 hours drive from Krabi airport.

We have more or less decided to go but still monitoring the situation esp. on Fri, which supposedly the sacked PM will be nominated back by his coalition.


I'd say don't worry but you can give it a couple of weeks before you decide.

usjfly
krabi - I'm not sure. Krabi airport was closed due to protester. and the distance from airport to down town is quite far. so you may want to check with the hotel or people there. which hotel are you staying at?

vsat
15-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Just came back from Bangkok last night after a weekend there. Not a single problem. Businesses were open. Tourists everywere. Patpong, MBK, State Tower, etc. Nothing to worry about. It's all hyped up by the media as usual.

usjfly
16-09-2008, 09:04 PM
Hi,

Just got back from Ko Lanta, Krabi...we had a lovely holiday there. Everything was peaceful and fine, except the waves were abit strong. We strongly recommend the place if you're looking for a place to unwind and relax to get-away. Thanks..



Thanks for the replies. We are actually staying at one of the island, Ko Lanta, think about 2-3 hours drive from Krabi airport.

We have more or less decided to go but still monitoring the situation esp. on Fri, which supposedly the sacked PM will be nominated back by his coalition.

xweird
14-10-2008, 02:57 PM
I'm planning a trip to Bangkok early December, was wondering what's the situation like over there currently. I heard that the Thais are planning to force Somchai's stepdown...

Nikki 2
14-10-2008, 06:20 PM
Got a gf leaving for shopping trip there 2moro...
Will let u guys know if she survives... :D...from spending too much Baht...binging on too much tom yam or suffering at the hands of the Thai masseaus... :p

patrick
15-10-2008, 10:59 AM
I'm planning a trip to Bangkok early December, was wondering what's the situation like over there currently. I heard that the Thais are planning to force Somchai's stepdown...

They may plan to force Somchai down, but they wont force the tourists away! ;-)

xweird
10-11-2008, 11:12 AM
Hi forummers... any latest updates on the situation in Bangkok? Safe to visit?

daniella
10-11-2008, 08:39 PM
Was in BKK 2 weeks ago...maybe I was busy shopping :D didn`t notice anything..if there is any...

Just got back from Phuket...also too busy having fun, food and massage... :D
No trouble at all...!!

xweird
26-11-2008, 05:16 PM
the protesters have caused the airport to be closed! air asia has canceled flights there!

i wonder if there will be any semblance of normalcy in the coming week...