Koh Pha Ngan

From: Tommy Hermansen
Date: Thu Jun 21, 2001 11:50am
Subject: Koh Pha Ngan

Hello from sunny Thailand Bay, actually from an Island just north of Koh Samui (if you should know it). Bangkok was a nice and clean experience after the previous travelling in India. Big shiny shopping centres and busy streets. Don’t bother to go on those costly Tuk Tuk Rickshaws, it’s much better to go by meteres taxis or buses. You get air-con on those! Right now I’m staying at Had Yao beach on the north western coast of Koh Pha Ngan island. Spent the last couple of nights at Had Rin beach, which is known for its fullmoon parties. Last night there was a blackmoon party here. The noiselevel on Had Rin was a bit too much, so I moved to Had Yao this morning. Met a cool bunch of travellers there!

See you soon!

Bangkok

From: Tommy Hermansen
Date: Thu Jun 14, 2001 8:33pm
Subject: Bangkok

Hey gang,

Tonight I arrived in Bangkok. I had a very pleasant flight from Calcutta with Druk Air (Bhutan). A highly recomended operator if you’re ever flying in the India/Nepal/Bhutan/Thailand area, very good service onboard and cheap too. I paid only around 120 dollars one-way – that’s with every tax included. Don’t know too much about Bangkok yet, so I’ll tell you more later.

India was great! Nepal was even better!! I hoped to stay a lot longer in Nepal; but my budget is getting low these days, and the trekking weather around Mt. Everest was not the best. Uncertainties around Maoist revolutionists in the mountains also made me go back to India.

I know I’m going back to both India and Nepal some day! It’s dirty as hell, and it helps a lot being stone deaf, but the people are soo nice/good/rude/awful/terrible (underline whatever).

Enough is enough

From: Tommy Hermansen
Date: Thu Jun 7, 2001 4:01pm
Subject: Enough is enough

Hello friends!

I’ve decided to cut my Asia trip shorter than I expected, and will head home to Europe and the summer festivals in about one month’s time. The political unrest in Kathmandu (and bad trekking weather) convinced me to leave Nepal for the scorching hot India again yesterday. I’m now in Patna – on my way to Calcutta to buy a plane ticket to Hong Kong or Shanghai.

See you around…

Utter chaos in Kathmandu

From: Tommy Hermansen
Date: Sat Jun 2, 2001 4:23pm
Subject: Utter chaos in Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon, then something happened last night, just a few blocks from our guesthouse…

The Nepali royal family was completely wiped out during a shooting incident in the Royal Palace here in central Thamel area. Allegedly Crown Prince Dipendra, unhappy about his mother’s choice of his future bride to be, stormed out during a dinner party. He then came back with a machine gun and started shooting at everyone in the room. Finally he shot himself in the head, and he’s now said to be clinically dead, but still kept on life support. Eleven people are confirmed dead including King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya. The dead bodies were paraded through the streets of Kathmandu on open stretchers this evening, and they will already be cremated later tonight. People are outraged and I saw grown men crying on the streets. Hindu people (90 percent of the population) believe the King was a reincarnation of the god Vishnu.

Nobody knows anything about what will happen with Nepal now, who will take over the throne? The berserk Crown Prince, if he should miraculously survive and snap out of the coma, or the King’s younger brother in Pokhara – Prince Gyanendra. Some hope the latter will not happen, because of Gyanendra’s son who’s said to be a murderous madman, will then eventually inherit the throne of Nepal. The future is as uncertain as ever.

I really hope things will calm down soon, so I can continue being drawn towards Mt. Everest (I dropped doing the Annapurna trek), and Trude can complete her pilgrimage to Tibet.