Saturday, 18 September 2010

Bangkok revisited

Monday 13: The Indonesian embassy is closed today. I'd forgotten about, Idul Fitri, the two-day holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan - no doubt, much eating, drinking, smoking and frolicking goes on around the Muslim world.
So, I take the canal bus to Golden Mount temple with views over Bangkok. I can stroll back to the Merry V from here via Wat Ratchanatdaram and Bangkok's iconic Democracy Monument. At night, Kao San Road is alive with people eating, drinking and being entertained. Locals come in hoards to look at foreign tourists, who themselves are the main tourist attraction for the visiting Thais.
Tuesday 14: The Indonesian visa section tells me I need proof of entry and exit (tickets, in short) in order to get a sixty-day visa - it would be far easier for me to get a thirty-day visa on arrival, then extend it as and when. I knew this, but I really wanted a sixty-day visa that I could further extend rather than a thirty-day one. No matter.
In the afternoon I take in the whitewashed Phra Sumen Fort and The National Museum. I've not been in the museum before (probably because inside photography is not permitted) but it's better than expected and does pull a lot of the historical sites I've seen together as a Siamese whole (and I squeeze in a few photos).
In the evening an e-mail alert from the Foreign Office reads:

" Thailand . . .There is an increased risk of violent incidents, including further bomb attacks around the time of the anniversary of the 2006 coup on 19 September. In response to this, security has been boosted in Bangkok with troops positioned at key locations, including Skytrain and underground (MRT) stations. Riot police will also be deployed in Bangkok to control events commemorating the anniversary.

Probably a storm in a tea cup, but I'm off . . .
More photos of Bangkok.

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