Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bangkok Bombing

We thought it would be different to usher in the new year in bangkok..and since it was year end, with the bonuses and all, it would be fantastic to shop there :).

Central World - a couple of nites before the bombing

We had good fun with the eating and shopping for the first few days and come new year eve, we were excited to join the huge street party at Central World Shopping area.. It was rather early in the evening after dinner and we decided to pop over to Siam Paragon for some shopping (yup, at the food section ;p) to while away time before the party. SL and P started receiving sms on some bombing at Victory Monument, but we thought, hey, thats pretty far, so we continued our leisurely walk in Paragon.

I was yakking away with WF while browsing through racks of thai produce when we heard an announcement that Siam Paragon's Countdown party has been cancelled. We stopped talking.. and the announcement continued, saying that Siam Paragon would be closing it's stores soon due to some unforseen circumstances and customers are advised to return to their hotels immediately. Knowing that its dangerous to stay in Siam Paragon already, I went to search for SL, P and SM.. and the scene I saw was rather frightening.. All the aisle entrances were blocked by staffs, while some staffs were running and pushing customer's shopping cart to the counters. I turned and the auto gates were sealing some entrance/exits points already..Customers were running to the exit points and everyone had fear etched on their faces..

We quickly got out of Siam Paragon and the BTS was packed.. never seen it so packed before.. We went across the road and tried hailing for cab.. The road were also packed with tourists and locals, trying to get transportation of out this area. Some people panicked, as most roads were sealed for the new year street party, cabs and tuk tuks were scarce. We were lucky, we managed to get a cab and were safely back to our hotel by 10+. The last we heard, Central World's street party was cancelled and there were 2 bomb blast there too. Was quite freaky as we were there at 5+ that day. Although it was a quiet new year eve in our hotel room, but we are safe and that's all that matters.. By 12 midnight, we could see from our hotel the fireworks at Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha was beautifully lighted. That's the only place which continued with the new year eve celebrations.
At that time, 2 were reported dead and there were 26 injured. It is really sad to see this happening to Bangkok, to usher in the new year in such a manner :(
One of the main roads to Siam Paragon, taken at 12 noon, new year's day.. all empty No one and no traffic at Siam Paragon, 12 noon 1/1/07 Took this picture at Central World on 1/1/07. Park and BTS near empty. Security checks before entering Central World. Was extremely quiet..

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