Is Bangkok safe for tourists at the moment after the military coup that just happened?
This is a post I had no plan to write. I knew that for the most part life would go on and was looking forward to some good Thai food, having been away from Asia for a month, and my first visit to Thailand in 8 years.
But after arriving into Bangkok on the day of the military coup, I shared a taxi from the airport with several other travellers. What some of them said had me worried that other travellers could be thinking the same thing. One of them said she felt a little scared while driving in the taxi late at night passing through military checkpoints. Another said she was only allowed to visit by her family if on a tour, and not backpacking around by herself.
So I decided to write a quick write up on what I have seen here in Bangkok in the last two days.
First of all for those of you who may be a little worried, let me say this. Thailands economy relies heavily on tourism. The government knows that, the military knows that, and the people knows that. Even if there was any trouble you would be looked after. The people here for sure don’t want to drive the tourists away.
Second of all if there was trouble, just listen to the news and avoid the hotspot areas. Again the protesters and military have no intention on targeting tourists.
The last two days I have visited some of the main areas that people would go here, and I can tell you that life is pretty much going on the same as before, albeit with everything closing down early at night because of the curfew. Speaking of the curfew in Thailand, that is generally the biggest annoyance to a visit in Bangkok. The city is great at night, so with everything closing down and going quiet at ten is not good.
That being said you can still go to the main nightlife areas like I did tonight (24/5/14), and still have that great nightlife vibe of street food and the hustle and bustle of people moving around everywhere. Just go earlier than maybe you would normally.
I have seen many tourists around Bangkok and plenty of expats as well. From backpackers down Khaosan Road, to the more wealthy shoppers around Pratunam , and a mix of both around Silom.
The military coup and what it means for the country in the future, and wether the Thai people see it as good or bad is not the meaning of this post. This is just to let you know as a tourist:
It is safe to visit Bangkok!
Naturally listen to the news to keep up to date, and if something really bad was going to happen you would know about it.
A good source of local news is Bangkok Post. Listen to the big news channels as well like BBC etc.
So I am back in my hotel now as the curfew comes into effect in 30 minutes, and wanted to let you all know that as of this post, it is perfectly fine to still come to Bangkok and Thailand.