Thai-Asia Blog

Thai-Asia Blog

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Before the Weekend

ThailandPosted by Soren Wettendorff Saturday, October 11 2008 11:56:15

Bangkok is back to normal, and all the doomsday journalists must look elsewhere to support their hunger for blood. I have received mails with the predictions that’s the Tuesdays episodes in the streets of Bangkok, was the end of Thailand as a travel destination – we wait and see. Funny enough, those statements about political crises in Thailand are all from outsiders looking in, and views are based on CNN and other medias.

Also there are people guessing that the military will take over and ”there will be blood”. Actually it’s what many people are hoping for basically because the Chief of Amy have shown his political ability, and from his and the army’s side the whole situation has been handled very professionally. Sorry to say – but when the current government can’t get things together it could be time for a strong hand guiding them, and no one better at this time than Khun Aungpong.

Many people get scared when the hear the words “State of Emergency” and “Marshall Law”, because they confuse them with the violent dictators which the world has been “blessed” with though times, but the perception here is different. Actually it just means to authorize the military to intervene in case they need it, and they are not running around doing strip searches and detaining innocent people like the case is in Africa and Latin America.

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End of Vegi. Festival

Vegitarian FestivalPosted by Soren Wettendorff Thursday, October 09 2008 12:53:10

By the way, it was much more peaceful in Bangkok than this!

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Phuket vegi. Festival

Vegitarian FestivalPosted by Soren Wettendorff Thursday, October 09 2008 12:42:22

Beginning of October every year is the month of the famous Phuket vegetarian festival, and it takes strong nerves to be there. I have posted a few pictures taken by a friend – Erik, who lives in Phuket and always joins the festival. I been there once and never again – see why!

Don't know if it hurts, but I wont give it a try.

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Pattaya at night

Tourist in ThailandPosted by Soren Wettendorff Thursday, October 09 2008 12:08:03

If there’s on spot in Thailand a lot of people will agree to be a black spot, then it’s Pattaya.

Why?

Mainly because the press for decades have pressured stories about the “underworld” there, with sleaze, and countless stories about the wild sex life there.

It’s true, it’s there, like at any popular tourist destination people are there to relax and having a good time, and for many a good nightlife, restaurants & shopping is a most. Just back from a pleasant weekend stay at the Amari Orchid – Ocean Tower, I can confirm that the city is rocking. After a superb dinner at the Amari’s mantra restaurant, we headed towards the Pattaya walking street to hook up with friends for an evening out. Turning the last stretch of the North Pattaya road into a walking street is just a perfect idea. Imagine being able to walk and window shopping without having the constant fear of being run down over you head. Some cozy bars there along with what’s Pattaya is famous for as well – the Go-go’s, and we went in.

You can and will find the perverted once, if you are looking for it, but the once we had time to visit were fare from that, if not to say quite tasteful decorated, and a lot of dressed girls. The crowd in there a mix of, of cause single males but a surprisingly high number of middle-aged couples, having the experience of their life and what seems to be a good time to. By the way me and my wife had a good time too.

To be continued…..

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Thailand Oct. 2008

ThailandPosted by Soren Wettendorff Thursday, October 09 2008 11:13:49

09.10.08

Dear Friends and Partners,

I’m really concerned about the almost hysterical worries, I read between the lines in some of the mails I’m receiving during these days. To make things clear – yes there’s been some incidents on Tuesday the 7th in Bangkok. Two people has been reported dead, but it’s really to question if it’s caused by direct involvement in the confrontations as one person was trapped in a exploding car, when a bomb he was carrying exploded, which points more to a gang or mafia related incident. The other dead, a younger woman seems to have a big chest wound properly caused by a ping pong bomb.

It’s never nice to hear and see when things are getting out of hands, and specially when people start to fight each other or the police in the streets. But let me put things straight, what’s happening here is nothing compared to what, specially the Europeans are facing almost weekly, after local and international football matches, which after the match (as I can see from the news here) often erupts in street fights, burning cars and broken windows around town, and so fare we have not seen anything similar here yet, and I doubt it will happen.

There was quite a few injured people! This is correct, but most not serious at all, and I do not count the cunt running around with a home made bomb into them, as he have only himself to blame that he lost his leg, as well as the guy with a bomb in his car. The cultural behavior is also reflected in the number of injuries, as Thais are more likely to seek medical assistance than any other people in the world, and even minor brushes are to be treated at the hospital, when an European more likely would just go home, clean the wound and go to bed.

What I also can feel from the questions I got by mail is that people are chocked that demonstrations here turning violent. Unlike the French, Danes, Germans etc., who on regular basis turning the streets in to burning war zones when expressing their dissatisfaction, it’s very uncommon here that Thais are fighting Thais, and the question here between people are; “why are they doing this?”, and please again note that it’s a small crowd numbering no more than 10 thousand in a city of around 15 million inhabitants.

This is not to downplay what’s going on here but please be aware of the real dangers here – the TRAFFIC.

08.10.08

Being a high volume tourist destination, nothing happening here goes unnoticed in the world press, why I will try to explain the current situation as well as I can, from the information’s I have obtained and received until today.

First, then the situation seems to be come this morning, and there has not been reported any clashes during the night. Anyhow things got out of hand yesterday, where about 430 people with 73 still hospitalized – police as well as demonstrators, are reported to be injured – some serious, and two people are reported dead, one after direct confrontation with police and the second in an unexplained car explosion.

Police have fired several rounds of teargas against the Mob (as the demonstrators are called here) but no live ammunition has been used against the Mob, and the only once injured by shots are police officers which regrettable indicates that certain elements amongst them are carrying weapons. One of the demonstrators was serious wounded due to a bomb he was carrying exploded – unintentionally (can we only assume).

As with the demonstrations last month, the affected areas are still around the Government House, which are not a touristic area and only houses very few hotels mainly used by locals. Passing by less than a kilometer from this area yesterday, while the fighting’s were at it highest (I didn’t know then there was any - actually), nothing unusual was to be seen.

The Mob assumed to consist of around 10 thousand people, and they are in general viewed as troublemakers – by the general public, more than serious political motivated crowed, as they are against but are not offering any alternative solutions of the current political crises, why all of the established political parties, including the opposition, are distancing themselves from the Mob. Some indications that the Mob counts several professional demonstrators who are paid to attend are also given, an information I don’t have from the media but from a personal pretty reliable source (I think).

Last Sunday we had the election for Bangkok Governor where the current – Khun Aprirak was reelected with a waste majority. After casting his vote, one of the (if not the) main figures behind the PAD (Peoples Alliance for Democracy) Khun Chamlong was detained by the police on accusations of disturbing the peace. He is the 2nd leading PAD member to be detained and still in police custody, and the detaining of him could be seen as one of the main reasons for the past days riots. Khun Chamlong himself a former democratic elected Governor of Bangkok, who also sought election in 2004, but ended fare behind Khun Aprirak who was then elected. He was also one of the front figures in 2006 which caused the ousting of the Former PM Thaksin.

Best regards from Bangkok,

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