I have a friend working with TAT, you may know him – he’s a well-known expat and writer. He’s been working with them to try to dispel the myth that Thailand is unsafe at the present time for visitors because of the political situation. He’s helping to create videos for them and marketing to Europeans, Japanese and everyone else that Thailand is safe for visitors as we start the regular visitor high season.
I’m a member of a few travel boards where people regularly ask questions about whether it’s safe to go here or there. Lately everyone is asking the same question – is Thailand safe to visit now?
Is Thailand safe for visitors now?
Here are a few reasons I think it’s safe enough for visitors:
1. I’m completely unaffected by anything happening in Bangkok. If people are dying in clashes there with police – that doesn’t have a trickle down effect causing the rest of the country to be unsafe. In fact, I’d say only if you’re taking part in the demonstration in Bangkok, are you at risk of injury or death. If you’re coming here to visit you’ll be OK. If you’re coming to revolt against the government and incite Thais to rioting on a mass scale, you might be in danger.
2. The entire country – outside of Bangkok is unaffected by anything happening in Bangkok. The rest of the country will continue to remain safe – even though Bangkok might get tense.
3. This is a Thai political problem. Thais have nothing against foreigners. They love you. They want you to come. They don’t want you to have problems once you get here. You will not be accosted to confess your political beliefs about the current system, Taksin, or anything else. You’re not involved in any way. This has nothing to do with the terrorists in the south.
4. Even at the height of the airport protests in the few major airports there really wasn’t a problem with violence at all. Airports were blocked. So, you extend a few days. That’s the extent of the issue in areas outside Bangkok. Nobody is going to throw a brick at your head if you go near the Phuket Airport during a demonstration. Thais are afraid of the police and military. As a group they very rarely get violent first, they have quite peaceful demonstrations.
Is Thailand safe to visit during this political instability?
Yes. That’s the right answer with a few qualifiers…
Don’t take part in demonstrations.
Don’t spend your vacation in Bangkok – get out and see the rest of the country which is infinitely more enjoyable than Bangkok’s crowded streets anyway.
Stay away from the deep south. Krabi, Lanta, Trang are all fine. Thais say that even down into Songkla is fine. I wouldn’t say that, but down to Trang is perfectly fine.
Recently 10 countries issued fresh warnings about traveling to Thailand during this time including UK, Sweden, Germany, Canada and others. (Not USA). I think you’re fine to come, AND bring your family. Mai pen rai the whole thing – it’s not affecting the country as a whole. If it does- then delay your trip. Right now – business as usual everywhere outside Bangkok.
If you’re really concerned about visiting or staying in Thailand long term – get the ultimate Thailand Guide: