So after our latest visa run to Vientiane (more to come on that later) we arrived in Bangkok on the night train. We didn’t get much sleep and we had two options. Hang in Bangkok for the day and then take an uncomfortable night bus, then ferry back to Koh Tao tonight. Or, stay at a luxurious hotel in Bangkok for one night before embarking on that horrible journey back home tomorrow.
We chose the latter.
It is very odd though. We’re staying at our favourite hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, in the heart of Siam, and the whole intersection has been blocked by protestors. There are hundreds of little tents scattered around and the main road has been converted into a shopping market with a large stage in the middle. The upside is that the Holiday Inn Expres is 500 baht cheaper than last time we stayed here!
We get electronically scanned and our bags are checked by the protestors when we leave the sky train station at the National Stadium. We also get our bags checked every time we enter our hotel, and there’s a few security guards minding the front entrance. Everyone is super friendly though and usually just peek into our tourist backpacks as a precaution. Today they found a whole roll of toilet paper and our Olympus OM-D camera. Standard traveling essentials!
From Bangkok train station we also traveled through Silom station and that intersection has also been closed down by the protestors. The other day there was an incredible eight year old boy belting out a really catchy Thai song. We very nearly got carried away with his singing and would’ve stayed to enjoy the concert if we weren’t in a bit of fear of all of the bombings and gun fire that’s been happening lately…
And we are in a bit of fear. In the past few days some civilians, including young children, have been killed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even our hotel had left a note on our made up bed suggesting that guests don’t leave the hotel after midnight and to leave ample time to get to attractions or the airport due to blocked roads.
The 7-11 near our hotel even has a big note in Thai and English advertising ‘Hot News.’ The hot news being that the protest security have banned the sale of any alcohol for the time being. We couldn’t even get a beer to enjoy back at our room!
We do think this is a good thing though. I can imagine there might be some bored protestors, camped outside, who decide to entertain themselves with drinking and then perhaps cause some trouble. Luckily it’s been fairly peaceful so far around here.
I am so looking forward to getting back to our cockroach infested bungalow on Koh Tao however. It definitely feels like the only real home we’ve had in a year which is a good sign, considering we’ve just received our double entry Thai visa and plan to stay for a few more months!