Update 14 June 2014:
Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order has lifted the
curfew from the entire country. The whole of Thailand remains
under a state of martial law. End of
Update 7 June 2014: Less than a week after Thailand's National
Council for Peace and Order lifted the
curfew in Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, four more popular
Thai holiday destinations now have their own reason to celebrate
as the curfew has also been lifted in Cha Am, Hua Hin, Krabi and Phang-Nga.
End of update.
Update 3 June 2014:
Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has lifted
the curfew on the popular tourist islands of Phuket and Koh Samui
as well as Pattaya city to the south of the capital Bangkok. It
remains in effect from 00:00 to 04:00 for the rest of the country.
End of update.
Update 28 May 2014:
In a somewhat surprising move, Thailand's National Council for
Peace and Order (NCPO) announced on Tuesday evening that from
today (28/5), the hours the curfew are in place would be shortened from 22:00 - 05:00 to
00:00 - 04:00. While it is not entirely clear what purpose the
curfew serves, the shortened hours will not only make travelling
to and from airports much easier, but should return a sense of
normality to the lives and businesses of those in Thailand.
End of update.
At 16:30 on Thursday, 22 May 2014, the Thai
military staged a coup that, among other things, dissolved the
caretaker government, suspended the constitution, banned
gatherings of more than five people, and issued a curfew across
the country that starts at 22:00 and ends at 05:00 (these times
have since been revised to 00:00 to 04:00).
The curfew applies to everyone in Thailand who
is not in Pattaya, Phuket or Koh Samui,
including tourists, and will take place nightly until further
Exceptions to the curfew
will be allowed for travellers that need to leave or arrive in
the country through airports, along with select groups of workers that are needed
for night shifts, such as those in the aviation, hospital sectors etc.
While most shops and malls will now resume their
normal operating hours, public transport, restaurants and bars are
all expected to close between 23:00 and 00:00 to give their staff
enough time to close shop and get home before the curfew begins.
Travellers should give themselves plenty of time
to travel to or from the airport, make copies of emergency numbers,
and prepare all necessary documents in case
they are asked for them at a military or police check-point.
AirAsia issued a statement on 22 May that said,
highly recommends its guests to allocate no less than 3 hours of
travel time to the airport and to stay up to date with traffic
news to ensure they do not miss their flights. AirAsia wishes to
remind all guests that check-in counters will be closed 45 minutes
prior to departure time."
And Bangkok Airways has said it is waiving "fees
for rebooking and refunding for all passengers who wish to amend
their travel plans or cancel flights. Rebooking flights or refunds
can be processed without charges for passengers holding Bangkok
Airways tickets for travel up to 31 May 2014."
Some countries have increased their
travel warnings about Thailand.
Hong Kong is warning visitors to
Thailand to adjust their travel plans, and avoid non-essential
travel to the country.
In its travel advisory for Thailand, the
UK Government on 22 May wrote the following, "There is a
risk of a violent reaction to the army’s announcement. We
recommend that you exercise extreme caution and remain alert to
the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in
The U.S. also issued a
statement on 23 May, and it includes the following advice: "The
U.S. Embassy in Bangkok recommends that U.S. citizens reconsider
any non-essential travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to
ongoing political and social unrest and restrictions on internal
movements, including an indefinite nighttime curfew."
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
statement on 23 May that says, "Singaporeans should seriously
reconsider visiting Thailand at the moment. The situation is
unpredictable and volatile, and may evolve quite rapidly ...
Singaporeans who are travelling to Thailand should exercise a high
degree of caution and take all necessary precautions for personal
safety, including purchasing comprehensive travel and medical
So, in light of these latest developments, do we
recommend you to still travel to Thailand?
When the demonstrations
in Bangkok were ongoing, we suggested that you visit other areas
of the country, such as the north or south, and save your trip to
Bangkok for another time. After all, there are now plenty of
direct international flights to places such as Chiang Mai and
Phuket, Samui etc., and each of these popular tourist destinations
have all the attractions such as shopping, restaurants, nightlife
that the capital offers.
Now with the curfew and martial law in place, we recommend you
check with your government's travel advisory, call your insurance
company to find out what status you will have if you still travel
to a country under a coup d'etat,
and call your airline and hotel to see not only what the status is with
regards to cancellations, but very importantly what happens to you if the situation
worsens while you are in the country.
The situation is extremely unpredictable, so if you do come to Thailand, do not try and
get a few extra "likes" on Facebook, more "views" on
YouTube, or additional
on Twitter by taking pictures of any protests, or the soldiers.
Just stay away from those areas (which are currently mainly in
Bangkok), and enjoy the areas which do not have the
potential to erupt into deadly violence at a moments notice.
Either that, or visit one of the many other beautiful and exotic
gems that Asia Pacific has to offer.
How did the recent political demonstrations affect the Four
Seasons Hotel Bangkok? Exclusive HD video interview with the
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