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.

Thailand-Coup-Broadcast

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!

 

13 thoughts on “Coup Deux – Come Visit

  1. I can testify to the truth of what you are saying…having lived through a coup or so myself when we lived there in the 1970’s. It wouldn’t have affected ME at all except my husband was the advisor to the Army Unit who was LEADING the coup…lol. I have already spoken up on behalf of the Beautiful Land of Smiles to someone who said they would never visit because of the coups…I will be an ambassador for you!!

  2. It was interesting to see it unfold and this time round it seems to be a bit stricter than at the last one. Let’s see how it goes, but I don’t think political movers do their country a favor (referring to the economy of Thailand). If there is no coup, no riot, then there is a flood or some other mayhem.

    • Well, I’m not sure if the continuing protests and violence were very good for the economy, either. I think this is the “peel the bandage off quickly” approach.

  3. I heard that when we hit 20 everyone in the country gets a free set of steak knives! Here’s hoping…

    Agree with your sentiments, Chris. Can I reuse your Keep Calm image above?

  4. It’s a beautiful Sunday here. I’m reading this on my laptop cradled on my lap (which I know will probably lower my sperm count), watching F1 racing in Monaco and sipping my 3rd cup of coffee. I wish I could do this forever.

    But I’m glad mai pen rai is the approach to take. I saw pictures of civilians taking selfies with soldiers which struck me as very odd. I guess work is still pretty hectic?

  5. If we hear any one speak badly of coming there we will certainly correct them.
    The entire world seems to be involved in political wars and even more in rebels and violence.
    Sad situation all over.

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