My main task for today was to apply for my Myanmar visa. The Embassy of Myanmar was only a few Skytrain stops from my hotel, but I had put off going there as I was anticipating long lines and bureaucracy.
I arrived at the embassy around 9:00 a.m. to find a crowd of Thais and foreigners waiting for the doors to open. After two hours of waiting in line I submitted my forms, photos and passport, paid the fee, and left with my voucher in hand for a next-day pickup.
Nearby the embassy was the home of the late M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, a colorful figure in Thai politics, arts and letters. I decided to pay a visit, as I had no other plan for the day.
The son of a princely family, M.R. Kukrit served as Prime Minister in the 1970’s during a turbulent period in Southeast Asia. He was a staunch defender of democracy against a strong military known for frequently intervening in Thai politics, as well as an advocate for traditional Thai culture in the face of increasing Westernization. Until the end of his life he lived in his classical Thai teak house, surrounded by a peaceful garden.