Travel in Post Coup Thailand: Same Same but Different
Looking around Bangkok today, it would be hard to see that anything out of the ordinary at all was going on. That being said, there has been. Most of it, however, is going on backstage and doesn’t really affect what happens in the day to day cycles of the city of angels. The only remnant with practical implications for tourists is the curfew, which has been eased to stretch only between the hours of 12 – 4 a.m.. That really leaves plenty of day open to do all kinds of resting and relaxing, seeing and doing, partying down and eating depending on your mood and the day’s ambitions.
What’s more, it’s not that wet yet. Drizzles here in there, exciting electrical shows with rolling drum and bass soundtracks ripping through the night sky. The day’s are as of yet relatively unencumbered by the heavy seasonal rains that are marching our way.
Despite the fact that nothing has really changed here, and there are no dangers facing travelers, residents or anyone else in Thailand, bad media coverage scared a lot of folks away. Many cancellations and so on. Being low season already, this has prompted some hotels and lodges to offer special prices to try and fill some of their empty rooms while we wait for things to look as normal from the outside as they do from in here.
As far as needing to adjust any existing plans, you don’t. More or less everything has been provided for, including the freedom to catch any flights that might take off during the yawning 4 hour curfew period. All of the sights, attractions, events and activities you wanted to see or experience are open for business as usual. If you get sick at night, no problem; you can easily get a cab to see a doc. Shops and services offered within hotels, particularly the big guys that are like their own little cities, are open and available as per usual. The curfew doesn’t apply to business hours, just when people should be out on the street. A hotel bar is inside the hotel; as long as that’s where you stay too there’s no problem.
Remember, this is Thailand. And it’s at times like this that it is easiest to see exactly what that means. Nobody here, or at least most people, are not looking for any new complications in their lives. Most people will diligently strive to go about business as usual and keep the general mood and atmosphere cheery, to whatever degree that’s possible. And here, today, it seems like it is so possible that this whole political mess can effectively be put out of any head that doesn’t really want it. In other words, you don’t even have to notice unless you want to. As is inscribed on the iconic souvenir t-shirt, “same same, but different”.
- Back to Business as Usual (bangkokbeyond.com)