Now is not the ideal time to be in Thailand.
On Tuesday, Thai officials declared a state of emergency in Bangkok due to political protests that have been going on since November. The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert too, warning citizens to avoid “large gatherings” in the greater Bangkok area.
The demonstrations in Thailand have been mostly non-violent thus far, as people have marched and rallied in a call for their prime minister to step down. But last week bombs went off at two separate protests in Bangkok, resulting in one death and dozens of injuries.
Things could calm down after Thailand's political elections, scheduled to take place on February 2. But given the current state of things, nobody knows if the elections will happen for certain or if they'll truly stop the protest frenzy.
The State Department's travel alert expires February 14.
If you’ve got a trip to Thailand booked for the meantime, follow these tips to stay safe during your visit.
- The bulk of protests have occurred in Bangkok-- while you should stay cautious in other cities, this is the place of most concern. The State Department recommends staying away from "tourist attractions and popular shopping malls," where protests have been known to take place. Redditors are quick to point out that these are just a few spots in a massive city-- many areas of Bangkok are comparatively very safe, they say.
Happy Thai travels!