Sunday, February 23, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
However, the travel warnings and restrictions issued by some foreign governments incorrectly dispel this fact. Tourists have never been a target in the protests and to this end all airports in Thailand...
... These unnecessarily severe travel advisories are now having a major impact on the livelihoods of Thai people across the country.
...If there were demonstrations in Washington or Paris, would tourists be advised not to visit the entire country? Would travel warnings ever be issued? "
It is a fact that tourism numbers are down and companies in Thailand are suffering from this (my wife works in the tourism business, so I know how it is).
So what did the embassies say:
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the potential risks of travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest...Demonstrations, primarily in the greater Bangkok area and occasionally elsewhere in Thailand, are continuing, and there have been regular incidents of violence. ...Some protest sites are located near tourist attractions and popular shopping malls, which at times have closed or shortened business hours unexpectedly. Protests may occur in other areas with little or no prior notice."
German Foreign Ministry Travel Advice:
Since 01/13/2014 Government opponents block several transportation hubs in the inner city of Bangkok. The streets most affected lie within the catchment area of large shopping centers such as the Phatumwan intersection (MBK / Siam Paragon), Ratchaprasong intersection (Central World), Asoke junction (terminal 21) and Sala Daeng intersection (Silom, Patpong night market). There will be some significant disabilities. The Thai government has started on 14.02.2014 with the evacuation of single occupied sites and buildings in Bangkok. It has the 18.2. Where deaths and injuries.
It is also advised to avoid demonstrations and large crowds throughout the Bangkok city area.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border. See Terrorism.
The FCO advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border due to the presence of troops in the area and the risk of outbreaks of fighting. See Cambodian border.
There is a high threat of terrorism. See Terrorism.
Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Some of these have been violent, including the use of firearms, and there have been casualties and deaths. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.
Aussenministerium Österreich (Austria)
Erhöhtes Sicherheitsrisiko für ThailandHohes Sicherheitsrisiko für BangkokBangkok ist nach wie vor mit Großdemonstrationen der Regierungsgegner konfrontiert.
Im Rahmen der Kampagne „Shutdown Bangkok“ haben die Regierungsgegner wichtige Straßenkreuzungen Bangkoks besetzt, sowie die öffentliche Verwaltung teilweise blockiert; öffentliche Verkehrsmittel und die Flughäfen wurden ausdrücklich ausgenommen und bislang nicht blockiert. Das ursprünglich befürchtete Verkehrschaos sowie eine eingeschränkte Versorgungslage sind bis dato nur teilweise eingetreten.
I can't see any warning that they advice against traveling to Thailand, but they do give a assessment about the situation of certain areas. And there is a certain risk of the conflict spreading - we have seen spontaneous protests in other parts already.
But we have some nice places in Samut Prakan as well. One is a recently opened local garden style steak restaurant next to the BTS Bearing station, on Lasalle Street. They are only open in the evening hours, and serve just a few dishes: pork, beef, fish and chicken steak in different styles and with a few side dishes like fried eggs, french fries, sausages and chicken nuggets. Only beer available is Leo in a can. A steak is about 60 Baht, comes with french fries and salad, so this is a good deal.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
These people are in queue for.... no, not voting. They want to buy Gerretts popcorn. It is totally overpriced and nothing special, but it's a foreign brand, so it's a must have for the urban people. Later they may have a walk through the walking street behind what is actually a blockade by protesters. It doesn't look serious in Thailand as long as there is a queue for popcorn it seems. But the problem is there and it's serious: The state is in deep crisis. Sales dropped at all shopping malls and in areas where the protesters where blocking streets. Hotels are empty, Tourist arrivals are down, automobile industry sends warning, GDP growth will be lower then expected. And less and less government institutions are working anymore. Government can't govern anymore, has basically no control over police and of course not military. Can't even pay debts anymore. This is far from over... as a foreigner, it might be actually a good idea to get some popcorn, switch on TV and twitter and watch the events from your sofa.