Phuket life; Coup d’etat in Thailand 2014

Today is the third day of the coup in Thailand. There are a lot of stories going around on Internet and television on what’s happening in the country. At this moment we have the following information here in Phuket: in a television announcement, Gen Prayuth declared that the National Peace Keeping Committee was formed to seize power. The coup was necessary to protect the life of the people. This Committee exists of the Thai armed forces, the Royal Air Force and the police. The army has taken this control to restore order and push through political reform.

Immediately after the coup was announced on television, we noticed some changes. All the cable channels and radio stations were all off a sudden broadcasting the military radio channel, the television screen is set to only show the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council logo’s.

01. TV

Broadcasting the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council – Military Radio all day long…

Besides that, all schools {public and private} nationwide are closed for the time being, except for the students who have scheduled final exams. The schools are set to re-open on May 26.

Furthermore the government has set a curfew for everyone in Thailand, which prohibits people from being outside their residence or hotel between 10pm and 5am. The curfew will definately affect Phuket and all other tourist destination in Thailand.  No people, including tourists, are allowed to leave their residence or hotel unless given specific permission by government officers. However there were four groups of people who are exempt from the curfew, being:

  • Anyone departing or arriving in Thailand (by plane, car or bus);
  • Shift workers (such as those working in factories and hospitals);
  • Anyone transporting perishables, dealing in the import or export of products with a short shelf life or products that can be damaged due to delays;
  • People in emergency situations (patients and emergency response professionals).

This night curfew is going to be in place until further notice…

So yesterday we left the house and went into Phuket town to do some grocery shopping. We did not notice any unrest or anything out of the normal. The only thing we have to be careful of is the night curfew and stack up on DVD’s so that we don’t have to listen to the military channel the entire day.

Even though we don’t notice a lot of this coup. There are major disadvantages for the tourism industry, mainly for the nightlife, such as here in Patong. Patong is known for its nightlife, go go dancers, bars, ping pong shows and many more. As the curfew bans anyone being out of his residence from 10PM-5AM, the streets of Patong are empty. The businesses are affected tremendously, and this will last until the curfew will be listed.

Photo by Willy Thuan - from Phuket 101

Photo by Willy Thuan – from Phuket 101 

Beside that I am very sure that many tourist and business travelers will keep avoiding Thailand due to the unrest going on. Hopefully this coup will have a positive effect on the political reforms and that order will return back to normal soon.

We’ll see what will happen. For now – I am going to the pool and soak in some sun, later in the afternoon I will go for some grocery shopping and later tonight out for a nice dinner with Ruben. And I will make the same promise I did as when I was 16 years old and be home by 10pm tonight. {This time I will make sure to follow the rule, as I’m a bit more scared for the Thai army then my parents 😉 }.

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