Tourism in Post Coup Thailand: Same Same but Different!

Bangkok Travel Blog

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As you may have heard on the news, the government of Thailand recently underwent a coup that ousted the democratically elected Prime Minister and has temporarily replaced him with a military junta headed by General Sondhi - a muslim.  Despite the breathless news reports about soldiers flooding the streets and tension about the future of Thailand, I have seen remarkably little change in the city.  It is almost as though the news is about some other place.   Although the Coup occured on Wednesday night, I only first saw a soldier on Saturday, simply standing and watching the world go by under the toll road.

There are lots of tourist warnings being released about the uncertainty of the political situation and the remote possibilities for problems.  I personally am more worried about the opening of the new airport than any fallout from the coup!  The population in Bangkok is used to political intrigue and the takeover of the government seems almost normal, especially now with Royal approval.  The Thais have always gone to the King before in times of political crisis, and so his consent to the coup really confirms and legalizes the military actions in the mind of the public.  In addition, the muslim beliefs of the commanding general have also given pause to the muslim insurgency in the south, as they wait to see what actions this new leadership will take.

The bottom line for tourists is that Thailand is almost completely unchanged by these political upheavals.  The country is just as safe, if not safer now, and believe me when I say that every citizen in Thailand knows the importance of the tourist dollars.   Now that the King has formalized the change of power, there will be no protests by the population.  If you were planning to visit, don't change your tickets.

As they say here in Bangkok, things are "same same but different."
RobertZ says:
As an expat living and working in Thailand for the past quarter century, my attitude has certainly become more Thai in many respects: explaining how a coup could be seen as a positive development is one such cultural contradiction encountered in times such as these.

After months of increasing confrontation and violence on the streets, it became clear to many involved that extraordinary action needed to be taken before the situation deteriorated to a far worse state. Thus the military intervention on May 22nd was met with relief and even understanding by diverse elements of the population, despite the common regret that the political stalemate apparently needed to be resolved in such a manner.

Travelers and potential tourists living abroad are routinely exposed to what is often highly biased if not fearful perspectives on how life is on the ground throughout the Kingdom at this time. Although neither a political scientist nor a journalist, I can report on my experience of daily life in Thailand the past month, which is carrying on as normal. Work and travel throughout the country is unrestricted and functioning normally.

In short, Thailand is now safer for travel than it was before the coup, and the support and contributions that tourists make to the lives of many working people are important and most welcomed. Frankly, there’s probably no better time to visit Thailand than now: the heat has broken; the afternoon rains are typically short and refreshing; crowds are slim on the ground; and there are amazing deals and promotions to be had throughout the Kingdom.
Posted on: Jul 02, 2014
iolakana says:
have you gotten your photo with the soldiers yet? i'm headed down to get mine today!
Posted on: Sep 28, 2006
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photo by: Deats