Thailand’s Martial Law Not in Tourists’ Favour But You Can Still Travel Safe

Thailand’s Martial Law Not in Tourists’ Favour But You Can Still Travel Safe

The declaration of martial law -and now the coup - is not exactly welcoming if you’re planning to visit Thailand. However, travelling to Thailand can still be safe and enjoyable if you follow these travel advice.


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Update, May 23:

Two days after declaring the martial law, the military announced on the military-controlled television broadcast that the army is taking over the country. This coup arose after peace negotiation talks with several key figures, including the two parties leaders, Suthep Thaugsuban and Jatuporn Prompan, failed.

The military leader, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha has since appointed himself as the new Prime Minister. The good news is, despite the escalating tension, Thailand has survived its first night under a curfew in peace.

The embassies in Singapore and Malaysia are calling their citizens to re-consider travelling to Thailand during this unpredictable time where situations can take a rapid turn for the worst anytime.


The Thailand army declared martial law at about 3.00 am on May 20, in an attempt to keep the country in “law and order”.

If you don’t already know, martial law grants the military army a wide array of power that overwrites even the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. This means that the army is practically free to do whatever they think can restore peace in Thailand. That includes detaining citizens.

Although the military has reinforced that the safety of the public is in good hands, we recommend you to take all precautionary measures to ensure your own safety should you be travelling to Thailand for business or simply have to go there to shop and eat. Here is some travel advice to help you avoid getting into sticky situations.

Avoid gatherings and protest marches


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Don’t get yourself into unnecessary trouble. Bear in mind that people carry firearms and explosives at these marches, so stay away from the protest sites and the surrounding areas.

Take note that if you get involved in any political gathering or march, you are at risk of facing deportation back to your home country.

Avoid wearing anything red or yellow


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Wearing clothes or accessories that are red or yellow is a trouble-inviting magnet. In Thailand, to put on these colours is to show your support for the different parties – red are worn by Thaksin’s supporters and yellow by the opponents of Thaksin and Yingluck’s government. Therefore, it is best to double check (and even triple check if need be) your outfit before stepping out the door.

Purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance


If a business trip insists that you travel to Thailand, take all the necessary precautions you need. Get a comprehensive travel and medical insurance to give your family peace of mind and to enjoy a safe trip.

Register with your respective embassies


Before you visit Thailand, register and inform your embassy when you are arriving and departing the country. This way, you remain contactable should need arises, and the embassies can also arrange transport to bring you home safely.

For Malaysians, you can register with the Malaysia Embassy online or in person at the embassy.

Malaysia Embassy in Thailand
33-35 South Sathorn Road
Sathorn Road

Operational Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8.00 a.m – 4.00 p.m
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday: Closed

+66-2-629 6808 (for Consular matters during working hours)
+66-87-028 4659 (after office hours and on weekends/public holidays)

Email: [email protected]


For Singaporeans, you can register with the Singapore Embassy via its eRegister.

Singapore Embassy in Thailand
129 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120

Operational Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 12 noon and 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday: Closed

Telephone: 001-66-(2) 286-2111 (during office hours)

Email: [email protected]

About Author


Angela is a History enthusiast who indulges in exploring the whirlwind of events happened during the two World Wars. The one place she wouldn’t miss in her travel itinerary is to visit the Historical monuments. Her favourite movie, Schindler’s List, fuelled her desire to one day visit Schindler’s enamelware factory that eventually rescued over a thousand Jews.


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