Currently, Thailand is under martial law, but what does it actually mean for us Australian tourists?
Tourists are unlikely to notice any difference to their holidays, as travel safety expert Phil Sylvester from Travel Insurance Direct notified, and there are no changes to insurance coverage as a result of the development.
He urges travellers to stay away from protest areas and kep their eye on developments.
What’s actualy going on in Thailand?
At 3am local time this morning, the Thai army imposed martial law across all Thailand. Insisting it is NOT a coup, the generals said they simply want to restore law and order after a six-month long politcal crisis that claimed 28 lives.
They’ve even said the protests can continue as long as both sides stay put, no more marches. And the caretaker government, put in place after the Constitutional Court sacked the Prime Minister, also stays.
Will it affect your holiday?
As a tourist, you’re very unlikely to notice a difference. Still, you might see a few armed soldiers on the streets guarding buildings and TV stations, you may run into checkpoins if you’re going anywhere near a known trouble spot.
Where are those trouble spots?
There are two main protest sites in Bangkok. The pro-Government Red shirts are at Thawi Wattana District in the outer west of Bangkok. The anti-government, Yellow shirts, are at Rachadamnoen Road, near Government House. This is the only one to worry about because it’s in central Bangkok and not far from popular tourist spots. Stay away.
Am I still covered by my travel insurance?
Usually the imposition of martial law, or the usurping of power by the military, would invoke an exclusion clause in your policy – all bets are off. But what’s happened in Thailand today is a bit different: the aim of the army is to restore peace and order, they’ve left the caretaker government in place, and have explicitly stated it is not a coup – so has power been usurped?