It’s a #ThaiCoup ~ Bangkok, Thailand

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Two weeks ago we found ourselves in quite the predicament.  Do we go to Thailand in the first days of a newly announced military coup, or stay back in Singapore and play it safe??

We had a weekend of shopping in Bangkok planned for weeks, and we were desperate to fill our closets with the newest Thai fashions at bargain prices.  The political situation in Thailand has been rocky for a while now, but that didn’t stop us from going in January when things were a political mess then also.  That was until in a span of about 7 days, the Thai army declared martial law, which turned into a military coup the day before our shopping extravaganza was about to begin.

Two possible problems were seriously giving us second thoughts about this trip:

  1.  Our flight arrived after 10:00 pm, and the military had just announced a curfew of 10:00 pm – 5:00 am.  Would taxis be available during curfew or would we be spending the night in the airport??
  2. The last coup in Thailand saw closures/blockades of the airport.  Would we make it back to Singapore in time for work on Monday morning?

So, we did what hundreds or maybe thousands of people in our same situation did.  We scoured blogs and forums, read every new and updated news article, and followed @RichardBarrow religiously on Twitter looking for any information that would help us make our decision.

In the end, we said f@$# it, and decided to go anyway!  It’s Thailand after all.  A curfew at 10:00 didn’t necessarily mean a curfew at 10:00.  And, if the airport was shutdown, would a few extra days in Thailand really be so bad??

When we arrived Friday night during the curfew, immigration was a breeze and there were hundreds of taxis lined up.  No problem!!  The roads were buzzing with traffic still, minus the usual Bangkok traffic jams.  We made it to our hotel in record time, but had to skip our 7-11 ritual because it was closed!!  Our first indication that the Thais were actually taking this coup seriously.

Saturday was like any other day we’ve had in Bangkok.  We ate breakfast in Lumpini Park, took the boat down the Chao Praya river, rode the BTS all over town, and shopped like mad at the Platinum Fashion Mall.  We hit all the hot spots in Bangkok and saw a total of 3 soldiers.  What #ThaiCoup??

Then there was Sunday.

We knew things were going to be different when a flash rain storm prevented us from making our usual walk through Lumpini Park.  We took a taxi to Central World, thinking we could wait out the rain with a Starbucks frappuccino.  And that’s when we found ourselves smack in the middle of a soon-to-be anti-coup protest!

Military caught word through social media of the protest, and they weren’t about to have any of that.  200 or so troops were deployed at the “meeting point”, which happened to be the Starbucks we chose for our frappuccino.

And so, here we were in another predicament.

  1. Do we wait around for the anti-coup protest and really get a feel for what’s going on politically in Thailand right now?
  2. Or, do we listen to the countless travel advisories, and avoid all protest sites and public gatherings in Bangkok?

We chose option 1 1/2!  Here are some photos we snapped by staying around just long enough…

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Categories: Thailand, Travel Tales, Worth Sharing

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

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