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Thailand’s Military Junta Lifts Curfew in 10 Tourist Resort Areas

Jun 09, 2014 3:00 pm

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In related news, democracy has not been lifted in the rest of the police state.

— Jason Clampet

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There are now ten islands and coastal districts where the nationwide curfew, effective from midnight to 4am each day following a military coup, will not apply.

These are Phuket; Ko Samui; Pattaya; Hua Hin district; Cha-am district; Krabi province; Phang Nga province; Hat Yai district; Ko Chang and Ko Phangan (including neighbouring island Ko Tao).

These islands and resorts are some of the most popular destinations for tourists who come to Thailand for a beach break.

Bangkok, the capital, remains under curfew however. Chiang Mai – a popular destination for trekking and visiting tribal villages in the north – is also still under curfew, as there have been some political protests since the coup on May 22.

Thailand’s Tourism Association made a plea to assure visitors that tourism remains unaffected since the National Council for Peace and Order took over the country, with all airports and tourism-related businesses and services remaining open as usual.

Visitor numbers to Thailand have been down since May 22 however.

In Bangkok, five-star hotel owners in the city told Lee Cobaj that they were running at about 30 per cent occupancy. “They’ve also had to close some of their restaurants as they just can’t fill them,” she said. “The curfew is really hitting the hospitality industry hard up here.”

The military has banned political gatherings of five or more people.

The latest advice from the Foreign Office warns British tourists to be wary about making political statements in public.

The Foreign Office’s website advises: “It is illegal to criticise the coup and you should be wary of making political statements in public. Some anti-coup demonstrations are taking place in Bangkok and some other cities. These could become violent.

“You should exercise extreme caution and remain alert to the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in your accommodation. You should avoid all protests sites, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches.”

Authorities have advised that the curfew does not apply to those travelling to or from airports, but departing or arriving travellers should have their passports and tickets with them for presentation.

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