Southeast Asia Eco and Adventure Travel Experts » In the UK call 44 (0) 845 123 2844

Thailand Curfew

May 23, 2014 – 12:12 pm

At 16:30 on Thursday afternoon, 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.

The curfew applies to everyone in Thailand, including tourists, and will take place nightly across the whole country until further notice.

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.

However, what the army did not make clear is how travellers (and others) that do not have their own transportation should get to or from the airport, or place of work, during the hours the curfew is in place. All public transport closes down during the curfew, and it will be very hard, if not impossible, to find taxis as they are also supposed to be under the curfew.

Flights are operating as normal at all airports, though if this situation continues for too long there are likely to be numerous flights cancelled. There were also unconfirmed reports last night, that some land border crossings were closed very soon after the coup was first announced.

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 last night that said, “the airline 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.”

In its travel advice for Thailand, the UK Government says 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 your accommodation.”

Already, 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. Many more of such warnings are to be expected.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has issued a statement 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 insurance.”

So, in light of these latest developments, should you still travel to Thailand? The likelihood of you getting embroiled in any nastiness – especially outside Bangkok – remains very low so long as you make a point of staying away from the potential flash points… however your insurance company may disagree. Best to check with your local government travel advisory, call your insurance company to find out what status you will have if you still travel, call your airline and hotel see what the status is with regards to cancelations, and also decide whether you want to travel to a country where you are not allowed out between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Post a Comment