A coup d’état has taken place in Thailand with a military junta now running the show. As horrible as that sounds, is it safe to travel to Thailand during this time?
In a word, yes.
King Bhumibol Aduljadej has been on the throne longer than Queen Elizabeth and this marks the 12th coup of his reign. That’s not to say this latest failure in democracy is nothing to be worried about–the junta has dissolved the upper house of parliament and has banned over 200 people, mostly activists and politicians, from leaving the country. Further, a strict curfew has been established between 10pm and 5am that is being enforced by military. But coups are as common as touts in Thailand.
Airport operations at Bangkok and Thailand’s many other airports are normal and most of the country (all but Bangkok) is serenely calm. Resorts are ready and willing to welcome guests and there is no sign of disruption even throughout much of Bangkok.
The curfew takes some enjoyment out of evenings in Bangkok, no doubt, but as people instinctively cancel vacations and business trips, look for great deals to Thailand in the weeks to come. If you go, best to avoid protests (duh!), but even most protests are nonviolent. It remains to be seen what the junta will do next and how this latest coup will play out before the next democratic experiment emerges, but it seems to me rather silly to cancel a planned trip to Thailand based on the facts being reported on the ground now.