Photo: Almost Maldivian at Ao Noi, Ko Kut.

Thailand forum

Current Situation in Bangkok/Thailand?

Posted by esocha on 4/8/2010 at 20:19

Am planning a trip to southeast asia arriving this late October...Seeing that there is still around 2.5 months before I arrive I'm just curious of the protest situations in country now?
Especially for those of you in country, or expats- do you foresee there being any return of major protests or discord like in this past spring?
Thailand seems a rather safe and enjoyable place to travel and so I don't foresee cancelling my journey there- but, if things seem too tense I would be happy to change my destination to India-where I have travelled extensively and can continue to delve deeper into that vast sub-continent.
What do folks think on this matter?

#1 esocha has been a member since 14/7/2010. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by Captain_Bob on 4/8/2010 at 20:40

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1072445/1/.html
Following a recent bomb blast there have been warnings issued particularly for the downtown Bangkok Silom and Rajprasong vicinity which was the scene of most of last April/Mays protests. However since the crackdown on May 19/20 the protests have more or less disappeared and I'd say it's very unlikely we'll see anything like that again in the forseeable future. Also noteworthy that almost everywhere else in the country there was little effect, especially regarding tourists and tourist areas. I live in Chiang Mai and there was only one scary day (May19) with an outbreak of protest near the Kawila Army base, but it was pretty quickly dissolved. I would have very few safety concerns travelling the country now or in the months ahead but of course keep an eye on any developments. If The King, er um, "goes to heaven" for example, that could invoke serious unrest for the country. Let's wish him a long life!

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,873


Posted by MADMAC on 4/8/2010 at 21:03

I think everything will be OK until the next elections. After that I anticipate trouble again.

#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by esocha on 4/8/2010 at 21:05

So, when are the next elections? I may be in southeast asia for a while.

#4 esocha has been a member since 14/7/2010. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by Captain_Bob on 4/8/2010 at 21:41

Elections probably not this year. Maybe next Spring earliest and next November (2011) the absolute latest.

#5 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,873

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 5/8/2010 at 13:54

<b>Snip</b>

I had no idea there was a "recent" bomb blast. Somehow that didn't make the headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald, or I missed it. There's no way I'm leaving Bangkok off my list of destinations, so news of explosions makes me a little wary, but I guess I'll just keep an eye on the local papers/websites when I'm just about to venture there.

PEACE!!

#6 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
 Website 

Posted by MADMAC on 5/8/2010 at 16:57

Cranky
Best to leave all discussions of the king alone. Here on this site or especially in Thialand.

As for bombs, there's the occassional hand grenade or home made pipe bomb, but it's a city with excess of 10 million people, so even were you here when such went off, the odds of it affecting you are... well the odds of winning the lottery are better.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 6/8/2010 at 12:45

Well Madmac, in the interests of international diplomacy, I respectfully withdraw my quip about the king.

If you and Captain Bob are right about the chances of civil unrest being low until elections in late 2011, that puts my mind at ease.

#8 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
 Website 

Posted by Captain_Bob on 6/8/2010 at 19:38

If you have Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/ThaiVisaNews
Good way to get relevant news feeds without overloading your "wall".

#9 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,873

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/8/2010 at 20:02 admin

Cranky,
I've just snipped the pertinent bit in your post above -- due to the LM laws in Thailand, we prefer just to bar the topic all together.

Cheers

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,507
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 7/8/2010 at 08:49

*Reads up on Lese Majeste

Oh... wow. Right.

#11 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
 Website 

Posted by Risha on 8/8/2010 at 21:26

For the past while there haven't been any protests of interest whatsoever in regards to the political situation. The opposition Pheua Thai party and the Red shirt movement haven't said a thing about protesting, but as mentioned, perhaps there may be some activity after the results of the next election. That's a long way off, in the meantime things ought to stay very quiet indeed. Don't even think about it, just pack those bags of yours and go.

#12 Risha has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 20

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 9/8/2010 at 08:47

Way ahead of you, Risha...

Flight leaves Wednesday.

#13 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
 Website 

Posted by luketendo on 10/8/2010 at 00:01

guess everything will be alright, will be in bangkok late Oct too..

#14 luketendo has been a member since 19/7/2010. Location: Singapore. Posts: 8

Posted by khunwilko on 10/8/2010 at 10:35

A state of emergency is still in force in about 10 of the Northern provinces - the govt is engaged in a clampdown of opposition parties and has closed several radio, TV and newspapers...it has also blocked 20,000 web sites.
They will tell tourists that travel is fine but then insist on military rule for much of the country.
It is not certain whether CRES the current ruling body on this matter will lift these restrictions or not by the time you arrive.

If an election date was announced it might result in further clampdowns ,curfews etc.

Having said all that, the average tourist will be completely unaware of what is going on in Thai politics.

Keeping an eye on how things develop over the next months is your best bet and if you stay away from politically sensitive areas you should be fine.

There are some other possibilities that will thrown the nation into chaos or \despair - but you can't talk about them in Thailand.

#15 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Remedy on 10/8/2010 at 13:47

Quote:
Keeping an eye on how things develop over the next months is your best bet and if you stay away from politically sensitive areas you should be fine.

This begs the question, which areas political sensitive? The department of foreign affairs in Norway advises against travel to the provinces Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla. Are these the ones you're referring to or are there others?

#16 Remedy has been a member since 25/7/2009. Posts: 31

Posted by Thaiman on 10/8/2010 at 14:18

The 4 Provinces you have named are the 4 most Southerly of Thailand where there has been a Muslim insurgency for the last few years.Khunwilko is probably talking more of areas such as Government House,Municipal offices etc.in Bangkok and other Provinces.

#17 Thaiman has been a member since 12/11/2008. Posts: 201

Posted by MADMAC on 10/8/2010 at 14:43

"A state of emergency is still in force in about 10 of the Northern provinces - the govt is engaged in a clampdown of opposition parties and has closed several radio, TV and newspapers...it has also blocked 20,000 web sites.
They will tell tourists that travel is fine but then insist on military rule for much of the country.
It is not certain whether CRES the current ruling body on this matter will lift these restrictions or not by the time you arrive."

The "state of emergency" still in efect in the north has no practical meaning to tourists traveling here. I live in one of those provinces. We have no curfew, no unusual security practices... no Army presence whatsoever. So when "they" tell tourists that travel here is fine, "they" are correct.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by khunwilko on 10/8/2010 at 21:33

There should also be a warning of the presence of overweight aging farangs living in these areas with little or no knowledge of their immmediate environment - largely due, i guess, to the inordinate quantities of alcohol they consume to pass the i time in their vacuous lives.

#19 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Captain_Bob on 10/8/2010 at 21:42

Yes by all means if you actually live in Thailand don't attempt to assess the Thai political situation as you clearly can't see the forest for the trees. "ka-chik!" (opens beer).

#20 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,873

Posted by khunwilko on 10/8/2010 at 21:45

THere is an intermittent insurgency in the South, contrary to what the Thai govt would have you believe it is a separatist movement.
In the north it is a struggle for what they believe is a democratic election.

as I said....
"Having said all that, the average tourist will be completely unaware of what is going on in Thai politics. "

the CRES - the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation - is the main power in the country at present and if they consider it necessary will move armed forces to any part of the country instantly if they feel it is needed - with the current emergency powers they have, they can do that at will.

THe "authorities" - (predominantly the police) in the North are traditionally opposed to the Bkk centered governing coalition and so the govt is keeping the area under emergency rule - no presence is required but they have powers to do just about anything they want in the name of "Law and Order"
Traditionally it the Army sees itself as a source of law and order in Thailand and whilst frequently attacking it's own countrymen is seldom involved in anything more than skirmishes with other countries.

in the event of any unrest in Thailand real or perceived the army would be sent in at the wink of an eye.

I doubt that it presents a real danger to tourists, but there has been no "reconciliation" that the govt keeps talking about and until and maybe even after there is a general election the situation in Thailand remains in crisis.

#21 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by MADMAC on 11/8/2010 at 11:09

"I doubt that it presents a real danger to tourists, but there has been no "reconciliation" that the govt keeps talking about and until and maybe even after there is a general election the situation in Thailand remains in crisis."

You are obviously using a different definition of "crisis" than I do. Somalia is in crisis. Darfur is in crisis. Thailand has some serious political tension, and some limited violence, but where this leads remains open.

I drink, but still workout and at 165 cm and 60 kg, I don't think anyone would describe me as overweight.

I find it interesting that someone who doesn't live in the "Northern Provinces" and hasn't been there since the last "crisis" knows more about what's going on here than someone who lives here and keeps his ear very close to the ground.

Of course, you always think you know more than anyone else about everything. It's your trademark.

#22 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by khunwilko on 11/8/2010 at 13:30

"keeps his ear very close to the ground." - I bet you do!

#23 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/8/2010 at 21:44 admin

"There should also be a warning of the presence of overweight aging farangs living in these areas with little or no knowledge of their immmediate environment - largely due, i guess, to the inordinate quantities of alcohol they consume to pass the i time in their vacuous lives."

Come now -- I'm not that overweight and I don't even live in Thailand at the moment -- though I confess to having a vacuous life at times ...

Let's keep it civil and avoid cheap shots please.

Thanks in advance.

#24 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,507
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by MADMAC on 12/8/2010 at 00:20

Somtam
I guarantee you, he won't.

#25 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by changgarden on 14/8/2010 at 09:45

I live in the northern most part of Thailand (Chiang Rai) for 3,5 years now and can tell you from experience... NOTHING scary here!! I have seen one time a few cars with some red shirt demonstrators just driving around, blocking the main road for half an hour... that's it for the entire time that the media was informing about the 'serious' situation in the North.

In Bangkok there are a few areas you might want to avoid (especially the district around the Royal Palace / KSR) but other than that, it is safe to travel. Listen to the locals, they will warn you when something is about to happen.

So to my opinion, just come and enjoy the Land of the Smiles.
You will love it.

Astrid.

#26 changgarden has been a member since 14/8/2010. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 14/8/2010 at 12:14

Good advice from Chang - but he's probably just a fat, drunk farang with no real sense of his environment.

#27 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by neosho on 14/8/2010 at 19:10

Isn't it funny how they always portray us Madmac. I guarantee I do not drink as much as the local Thais in my village.
To add to the thread...come on, October will be starting the rice harvest. A time of celebration, not protest. I'm planning a trip for my older, fatter, drunken sister in January. I wouldn't do that if I did not think Thailand was safe.

#28 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 15/8/2010 at 16:44

I'm thin and relatively fit 6'3", 83kg, and I want to keep it that way. Anyone know a gym in Patong that has a cheaper one day price than 150thb? The gym near the Paradise building is good, but I'd prefer to save my sheckles a bit.

Off topic I know, koh tote khrup.

#29 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
 Website 

Posted by MADMAC on 15/8/2010 at 18:50

Well I am sure Wilko will have a reason to determine that you don't know what you're talking about. Just as Neosho doesn't, and Cranky doesn't - basically only Wilko knows. In his self image, he is wise and experienced and anyone who disagrees with him on any subject is either stupid or naive or ignorant or some combination of all of those traits.

#30 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by wanderingcat on 15/8/2010 at 19:48

was more than glad for the help i got from a Thai lady & her young & fit-looking farang partner when i couldn't find the new bus station in That Phanom town :)

& have come across overweight aging Thai men in Isaan (sounds like a perfect description of many local politicians & higher-ranking policemen/officials) who were too busy drinking (or already drunk), so i never got to find out how much or little they know about their immmediate environment :P

back to the topic...pattern appears to be: whenever the time for the State of Emergency (SoE) order to be reviewed draws near, there will somehow be a bomb blast somewhere in BKK that will then serve as the reason for the SoE to be extended.

personally feel that anything can happen anytime. but the country is big, not every single one of the 76 provinces is covered in English language guidebooks. even when things flare up outside of Bangkok in the provinces, not every area is affected. there are transport connections between neighbouring provinces - again not all options are covered in guidebooks. so if one keeps abreast of the news, is flexible & doesn't mind changing plans & going a bit off the beaten track if the need arises, should still be possible to have a safe holiday in Thailand. doesn't hurt to always check with your hotel/guesthouse staff for latest updates (& have their contact number handy) before heading out.

changgarden: your website is marked as a 'reported attack site' by my anti-virus programme...

#31 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
 Where has wanderingcat been?   Website 

Posted by exacto on 15/8/2010 at 23:13

Let's keep it civil and avoid cheap shots please.

Somtam
I guarantee you, he won't.


John, I know you are an intelligent and fair-minded guy. I've defended far too many, including you, from wilko's cheap shots in the past. But in this particular case, it isn't wilko who has kept it going. Maybe it is time to let this one go, don't you think?

#32 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,632
 Where has exacto been? 

Posted by MADMAC on 15/8/2010 at 23:20

Exacto
Fair enough.

#33 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.