24 May 2014

  • Coup Deux – Come Visit

    Thailand is a country that likes its “collect stamps” cards. Patronize a business ten times and get a free coffee, or the like. When it comes to coups d’etat, it seems to have a similar proclivity. Depending on your count, this is the 17th, 18th, or 19th coup since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. For me, I have collected two “coup stamps”. After my fifth, I get a free t-shirt.


    The last coup was in 2006. A link to some of my entries about it is here. As for why Thailand has so many coups, there is an interesting article here. And if you want some insight into what is going on and what the next steps may be, the Economist has a useful article here.

    As soon as the coup happened, and even when martial law was announced two days earlier, I was flooded with messages from friends who were worried for my safety. Thank you to everyone for your concern, but I’m afraid the important message is this:

    Keep Calm

    The words “coup” and “martial law” seem to prompt a visceral response, aided and abetted by the media showing close-up photos of soldiers, protesters, and political violence. In reality, the political violence over the last six months has been limited – only 28 people killed. Not to minimize the importance of that loss of life, but we regularly have bus crashes on the road here that take that many lives.

    Considering the size of the country, and even the size of the city, political violence in Thailand is not sufficient reason to be alarmed or for governments to issue travel alerts warning their citizens not to travel to Thailand.

    The last thing this country needs is for its economy (which is teetering on the edge of recession) to be further damaged by tourists staying away. It is an excellent time to visit the country – the weather in the early summer has cooled a bit from the Songkhran highs but the full monsoon has not yet arrived. Plus, hotel prices are amazingly low because… well, because of the political unrest.

    I would ask you to help me be a de facto ambassador for Thailand. As you hear people talk about the country, let them know that your friend Chris lives there and assures them it is okay to visit. And, if anyone you know is considering travel here, urge them to come! They can always contact me for recommendations!


Comments (7)

  • A woman I used to work with in Geneva had to go to Bangkok for work; she, of course, had a WONDERFUL time (apart from the work she had to do), despite the number of concerned postings to her Facebook wall. It’s good to know that people are safe and there isn’t so much craziness while the government is disorganized.

  • Good to know – that you are safe and Thailand is still a must see destination! I just wish I could start my world tour now – but it looks like another 5 years at least!

  • Glad to know you are ok.

  • I remember you had a dog for the weekend. LOL
    they are work but they do give you so much love.
    we don’t know what a coup is here. I just barely remember from my high school and jr. college days

  • I have thought about you and knew that you were doing okay from the past posts that you had on Xanga.

  • I take it coups little affect normal life there. Cool. I’d go for the low hotel rates.

  • i certainly hope they won’t cancel or postpone that business meeting we supposed to have later in july. the japanese tend to be overly careful and may decide to relocate for the meeting, as they have done many years ago.

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