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Visiting Thailand? What Martial Law means for tourists

May 20, 2014

It’s Tuesday morning, 9:30 am in the “Land of Smiles.” Tourists in Thailand are enjoying their breakfast and are getting ready for sightseeing tours, the beach, the Sky Train, shopping, for a walk around town, a taxi ride, transportation to the airport – all of this is a daily routine, and this routine is not expected to change for tourists visiting the Kingdom of Thailand.


It seems to be a regular Tuesday morning, but the morning discussion has changed overnight with the implementation of Martial Law in Thailand. Tourists are worried a little. They’re watching CNN, BBC, DW TV, RT, and other international news channels during their breakfast and wondering what this has to do with them.

What does it mean for tourists? Will Thailand be a safe country to visit?

None of the questions had been answered on official tourism websites. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is still reporting about upcoming festivals, and the daily situation report does not mention Martial Law yet.

Most likely it means absolutely nothing for tourists. If anything, the streets in Bangkok will be safer and the traffic flow better.

Thailand will be a lot of fun as always. The tourism places will be open and operating normally, chefs at Thailand’s excellent restaurants are already preparing lunch and dinner, and the SkyTrain in Bangkok is operating like always. Starbucks is busy, and shopping centers around Thailand are opening in the next 30 minutes and offering bargains for tourists as always. The latest movies can be watched in Thailand’s movie theaters.

Nightlife on Silom Road in Bangkok will be active tonight. You can still get one of the best Thai or Foot massage in the world in Thailand. Also Thailand’s female and male sex workers expect business as always.

Tourists not only in Bangkok, but also in Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or elsewhere will have another beautiful day in the land of the smiles. At the end of the day tourists may ask: What Marshall Law?

The US-Dollar traded almost 33 Thai Baht today – tourists may want to get ready for a bargain.

The airports are operating normally, and it’s a busy Tuesday morning at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International airport. Thai immigration officers are processing tourists and business visitors from all corners of the world, and taxi drivers are ready to take them to their hotels.

Domestic flights, trains, busses – all are operating normally.

What does Martial Law mean legally?

Martial law gives military officers the power to:

– Take action against war or riots

– Use arms to suppress unrest

– Search, confiscate, or occupy any premises or vehicles

– Censor information

– Block, search, and control postal services

– Activate the military court to judge on crimes within the area under Martial Law

– Mobilize civilians to help the military

– Procure resources such as vehicles or logistical materials to support military operations

– Prohibit public gatherings, publications, broadcasting, transport, communication, travel, the movement of people or any action that the Defense Ministry deems necessary

– Enforce curfews

– Destroy, remove, or adjust any premise or location for the purpose of military operations

– Arrest and detain suspects for a maximum of seven days

– People are not entitled to any compensation for damage incurred during such military operations

– Martial law can only be ended with a Royal Decree

This is a domestic issue. Tourists had never been the target of this conflict and even in times of protests that reported some violence, tourists were never hurt.

Martial Law is expected to have the army take control over the situation. Tourism is one of the pillars of the Thai economy, and no matter on what side someone is, tourists are greeted with a smile and are protected.

Thailand based Diethelm Travel said: “The Army has insisted, that its declaration of martial law is not a Coup and is urging the public to go on with their daily lives. They stated that they want to preserve law and order in a more efficient way after the months long political crisis.

Diethelm Travel advises all visitors to Bangkok to avoid protests sites and surrounding areas, political rallies & marches as previously communicated.

All beach resorts and other destinations within Thailand have not been affected by the political situation and the airports and other transportation systems are running as normal.”

Welcome to Thailand – Tourism Made in Thailand!

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