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Curfew in Thailand: Should you still go?


At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 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 10 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.

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 travelers 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 travelers (and others) who 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 on Friday were 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.

Travelers 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 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. Japan and Hong Kong are 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 traveling 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, do we recommend you to still travel to Thailand? When the demonstrations in Bangkok were ongoing, we suggested that you visit other areas of Thailand, such as the north or south, and save your trip to Bangkok for another time. Now the situation has again changed, and this curfew affects the entire country. We would recommend you 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 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

© Asia Travel Tips

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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@vernie: They gave you the wrong word. People travelling to airports are NOT affected as long as they are carrying ID and documentation.

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TokyoGas I think it would be wise to consider that the curfew is for the whole country, not just areas where you spot a military presence. It's too much of a risk to be caught outside, thinking that you are safe. This affected my friends in Phuket and they are a long way from Bangkok. They gave me word that if you have an early morning flight leaving Thailand, you must go to the airport before 10 pm the night before and prepare to stay inside the airport all evening.

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Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are the new Thailand. I'd go there for now.

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As long as tourists stay away from areas where the military are stationed, everything should be fine. Along with the curfew, and the things that go with that (7-11 closing early etc) another kick is that in many areas the regularly scheduled television broadcast has been replaced with patriotic songs along with the occasional news update. They have decided not to cut the internet during this time so at least people can get some news and entertainment.

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I have some friends who have been in Phuket for the last few days. They say it sucks because they can't leave the hotel at night. This is the notice posted on their doors at the Phuket Renaissance Resort and Spa hotel:

A Curfew has been declared by the Military Government from 10pm until 5am tomorrow morning. We like to advise all guest to observe this. Going outside will be at your own risk. Guest departing with early flights are advised to check with their airlines. Please contact your Duty Manager for further advice.

I am glad they are heading to Singapore tomorrow for the rest of their holiday.

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What we have in Thailand is a dictatorship of the ruling business class. This is in fact class warfare that we ate seeing. A lot of Thailand's oligarchs depend upon tourism. Do not go and wreck there businesses. Do not go until the military scum that brought on this coup are tried for treason and executed.

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No. Go somewhere else.

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Absolutely do not go. To send a message to the military creeps and for your own safety.

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Western democracy (a.ka.k "democracy") works fairly well in many countries, including India

Thai is constitutional monarchy. Political system can not based on populist theory (majority rule) according the downfall of populist government. Current General is corrupted. Opposition is corrupted. Former government is corrupted. Almost everyone in Thai politics is corrupted. If we compare Thai and Less democratic HK and Singapore, city states are more successful and less corrupted. Some Thais in poorer region want to choose their destiny as Scotland referendum. In the future, Thai may become North and South as US civil war.

India has many religions and secular society. Being democratic nation is making India is more disorganized and backward. Neighbor Pakistan has been democracy as India too. There were curse of Bhutto family.


Matured democracy is fairer, sustainable and tolerable. It have not still existed in Asia including Thai.

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Should you still go? Why not? Those interested in the cultural aspects of Thailand's temples eg. Wat Po, Wat Arun, et al can still enjoy themselves during the day. Those intetested in having a ''massage'' can take advantage of happy hour.

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A curfew sure doesn't sound like fun! Now Thailand has very hot and rainy weather....I'll take a look at going in November!!!

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There should be some good deals there now, especially after 9pm

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Western democracy does not work in Thai. As you know Thai has countless military coups and lawless mobs for kicking out the elected leader, there is no points for making elections more. Northern Thais have brave hearts as Scottish Hero William Wallace. They will follow the way of liberation of Scotland from UK. Nothing is going to stop them for fighting injustice. Hope Wallace will smile from heaven!

Western democracy (a.ka.k "democracy") works fairly well in many countries, including India. Why do you think it cannot work well in Thailand? Obviously it has problems with its democracy, so I am interested to hear why.

I am not quite sure why you are talking about William Wallace. Scotland voluntarilly merged with England 400 years after William Wallace's death. You are choosing a very inappropriate comparator.

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There should be some good discounts and after nine some very good all nght deals.

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I bet all the mingers on Sukhumvit Road are peeved!

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Zilch I

Western democracy does not work in Thai. As you know Thai has countless military coups and lawless mobs for kicking out the elected leader, there is no points for making elections more.

Northern Thais have brave hearts as Scottish Hero William Wallace. They will follow the way of liberation of Scotland from UK. Nothing is going to stop them for fighting injustice. Hope Wallace will smile from heaven!

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Just sad news...

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The food is one great reason . And you can still party just stay on the hotel property .

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Just talked to my brother who lives in Bangkok. The latest talk is that the curfew will last for 3 days but who knows.

All the main bar areas in Bangkok will be closed tonight.

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So there goes the nightlife for now, not really any point in going there now is there?

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