So we're leaving for our trek across southeast Asia this Friday. Our last 7 days are scheduled in Thailand, with 3 of them in Bangkok, and the rest in Phuket. Considering the news, do you think we should bypass Bangkok and head straight to Phuket or should we avoid Thailand entirely right now? We thought we'd ask an experienced traveler. Thanks! - Angelica (Guest)
That said, do take note that the anti-government protesters are going ahead with their rally this weekend, despite the military's instructions. They plan to stage the rally from May 23 to May 25 on Sukhumwit Road -- so it's best not to stay in any of the hotels in the area. On Monday (May 26), they plan to gather a million people on Sanam Luang next to the Grand Palace. I don't know whether their plans will push through but it's best to avoid those areas.
I wouldn't worry about the martial law. I don't think it will affect tourist safety in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or the rest of Thailand. I was searching for information on this a while ago and saw pictures of tourists taking selfies with tanks and soldiers! I also emailed a Thai contact and she assured me that everything is normal.
I agree with Rina. There seems to be no threat to tourist safety despite the martial law. I myself am planning a trip to Thailand in June and started going to different forums and reading news articles about this, and so far all I've seen are happy tourists taking selfies with the military. Gotta love Bangkok!
"It's overblown in the media. It's safer now that the protest groups are contained. They can get a selfie with a tank!"
Walking around yesterday, we did see a few armed soldiers guarding buildings, plus some checkpoints near trouble spots. Use your common sense. Avoid the trouble spots and you'll be fine. Here's a map you can look at. Stay away from the red zones:
View Protest Sites in Bangkok in May 2014 in a larger map
It looks like things have taken a turn for the worse. A nationwide curfew is now in place -- you can't be out on the streets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The Thai army maintains that it will l ensure the safety of tourists / foreigners, but is advising everyone not to take part in any public gathering. IMPORTANT: No more than five (5) people are allowed to gather in public places (including Khao San). If you’re traveling as a group of 6 or more, you might raise a red flag.
If you're going to Thailand, you are required to register with the Canadian embassy in Bangkok or online: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
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