Soooo, It's been about a week since the last post and lots has happened since then! We are currently in Thailand where there are crazy riots in the streets! We havent been able to go out after dark for fear of getting caught in a protest! We arrived on Tuesday November 26th where we met an airport full of crazed PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) protestors. It was a mob scence! Well....actually....we made it in the country with no trouble at all, and we havent seen any protests.... BUT, it was Tuesday evening when the PAD protestors took over the airport so really we just made it in! Even though we havent witnessed any demonstrations, we are keeping up to date with the news and it is exciting being here during this politically unstable time. The demonstrators are attempting to oust the current Prime Minister (Samak Sundaravej) who happens to be the brother-in-law of former prime-minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was forced into exhile in 2006 after a military coup d'etat. Since the current PM was appointed following Thaksin's exhile, the people believe the former prime-minister still influences the Thai government via his bro-in-law. People are upset with the amount of government corruption and are fighting to have the current PM resign. The PADs move to take over the airport has certainly gained the publicity and chaos it surely intened to. Whether or not this protest will earn the result it aims to, it will certainly put more pressure on the current Prime Minister to adhere to the voice of the Thai people.
I am personally enchanted by the Thai people's determined yet peaceful protest. Since it has not affected us in our travels so far I find the situation kind of exciting. It is very unfortunate for the people who are trying to leave the country. We have come across a few indiviuals who have had flights cancelled due to the airport closures, and they are understandably upset. Arrangements are being made to move people out of the country though, and so far the protest has not been violent. Hilds and I have some flights coming up in a week and we are hopeful that things will be resolved by then.
Political upheaval aside, our Thailand andventures so far have been great! We stayed the first two nights in Bangkok in a guest house called the D&D Inn on Khao San Road. This road is a mecca for backpackers and it is really like a street circus. There are hundreds of shops and street vendors up and down this road and Hilds and I spent most of the first day shopping. At night it turns basically into a street party where many people drink until the sun comes up. There are food vendors everywhere and you can eat delicious Thai food for about $1. We mets tons of people here from around the world and it was a fun experience. However, we both found it to be a bit exhausting on the senses and were glad to leave.
We toured several temples in Thailand which were stunningly beautiful and ornate. We took some pictures which will hopefully give you a taste. (Pictures have been challenging to load so far, but we will hopefully post some soon!). We also did a long boat tour and many informal Tuk-Tuk tours. The second night we attended Calypso Cabaret, an aisan drag cabaret which was humorously entertaining.
On Thursday night we left on an overnight train to Chiang-Mai, that journey is a blog entry in itself. Yesterday we spent the day in Chiang-Mai which is such a charmingly quiet town in comparison to Bangkok. We attended the Night Bazaar last night and got our first taste of Thai Boxing. Today our real Thai adventures started with a crazy white-water rafting trip about 2 hours north of Chaing Mai. It was a wet ride, but according to our guide: "No Wet, No Fun!" It was amazing!
Tomorrow we're doing a day trek that involves some elephant riding so stay tuned for more crazy adventures!
P.S. I tried to load some pics, but no luck today:(