Thai military has taken control of the country to prevent the conflict from escalating. The preemptive move came after talks between representatives of opposing sides and top officials failed to reach a common ground. A nationwide curfew has been announced from 22.00 – 05.00 hours effective Thursday, and martial law is to remain in effect until further notice, the army announced. Businesses and public services are adjusting their operating hours to comply with the curfew.
All airports in Thailand remain open, and air passengers with arrival and departure flights scheduled during the curfew can travel to and from the airports at any time as usual. However, tourists with arrival and departure flights during the curfew are advised to prepare all travel documents when travelling to and from the airports.
Travellers arriving at Thailand during the curfew should experience no difficulty finding taxis to their destination. However, in another preemptive move, a CIP lounge has been introduce to offer a comfortable wait for those who desire to make their commute after the end of the curfew at 5 am. Travellers may also contact the Suvarabhumi Airport call centre on 1722.
Tourism officials claim that all offices and businesses are functioning as usual and all the tourist attractions are welcoming visitors. Life in Bangkok is running smoothly and everything is on track. Set haphan Buddhani, director, Tourism Authority of Thailand says “This is a preemptive move aimed at preventing any damage to property or any escalation of the protest. Tourists can continue to enjoy the kingdom’s renowned hospitality and exciting attractions. However, we advise travellers to avoid rally locations and adhere to the curfew. I underline that those with flights to catch may go ahead as usual, but must keep documents handy as they journey to the airport.”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also says that it is closely monitoring the situation, and will be providing more updates as soon as there are further developments. Tourists looking for information on-the-go may contact the TAT Call Centre on 1672, the Tourist Police Call Centre on 1155 and the Traffic Police Call Centre on 1197 for information and assistance.
Whereas, CNN reports that for international tourists looking to visit Thailand for a seasonal winter getaway, it’s hard to be blase about the situation. Street protests, grenade attacks, martial law and military coups just aren’t part of their daily vernacular and the recent months of political conflict have taken their toll on Thailand’s tourism industry.
Though some Bangkok tourists CNN spoke with say it’s easy to avoid the protests by keeping abreast of the news, in recent months many opted to follow the advice of the dozens of countries that issued warnings to its citizens about the situation in the Thai capital and avoid it altogether. Instead, they’re heading for the country’s other popular destinations like Chiang Mai, Koh Samui or Phuket.