Traveling to Thailand Today Amidst the Political Uncertainty
The world was watching when the Royal Thai Armed Forces enforced martial law in Thailand on May 22nd of this year which is necessitated by the entire situation in the country, according to the Army chief, following six months of political turmoil and mass rallies. Shortly after this declaration, many protest sites and important intersections in Bangkok were stationed by the military and a night-time curfew was then imposed in the country.
This ruling consequently prompted travel advisories from different governments all across the globe and, thus, somehow stirred up tension to many. A number of countries broadcasted strong alert on the coup and urged their citizens to shelve trips and cancel unimportant visits to Thailand. As a result, the hard-pressed Thai tourism was threatened to experience yet another blow.
Thailand now in actuality since the martial law was invoked
In contrary to what the others are anxious about, the situation in many parts of Thailand has been very safe and secure since the imposition of martial law. What others predicted as a potential threat to the welfare of the general public actually turned out to be quite the opposite. During the thick of unrest in the politics, majority of Thai locals have remained spirited and most establishments in and outside the city of Bangkok stayed open and carried out their businesses as usual. What’s more, transportation means in all parts of the country stayed almost unaffected at daytime and until before late night during when curfew was just initially started.
While the plan to revoke the martial law in place may still be indefinite at the moment, the conditions in Thailand had been observed to have returned to normal. And on the 13th of June 2014, the junta decided to lift the enforcement of curfew in the country.
Planning to travel to Thailand now?
Thailand has been a favorite getaway by the westerners and many foreign travelers as the country never fails to offer culture, retail and great tourist spots. Consider the following reminders if you are planning to take a trip to Thailand or are already inside the country.
To avoid the hassle in the immigration when you arrive in Thailand, make sure that you have prepared all travel requirements beforehand. This may include any or all of the following:
- Airline or travel tickets
- Sufficient money or funds (At least 10,000 baht per person)
- Hotel bookings or proof of accommodations.
Once you are inside Thailand, always remember that a valid passport or a travel document must be carried at all times when you are traveling anywhere. Keep in mind the validity of your stay by referring to your visa or the immigration stamp (if you are exempted for a visa) on your passport to avoid overstay consequences. (See the list of countries under visa exemption rule here.)
Do not take part in public gatherings which are illegal under martial law. Although demonstration sites may appear to be relatively calm, it does not eliminate the possibility of a violent crackdown bursting out for whatever reason, and you would certainly not want to get trapped in such situation when that happens. So as much as you can, try to avoid those sites and nearby areas.
Always be in the know. As a tourist, it is still necessary to pay attention to the media reports on what’s going on especially in the political situation in Thailand. To ensure safety in the course of your travel to the country, I would suggest not to take travel advisories lightly.