Bangkok Protests & Coup d'état March 5th, 2014

The End Of The Bangkok Shutdown


The shutdown of downtown Bangkok Shutdown ended a couple of days ago with the protest sites in the heart of Bangkok dismantled and the protesters relocated to Lumpini Park.

With the protest sites at Asoke, Rachaprasong, Silom and Patumwan gone, traffic downtown is flowing again (at least to the extent that it flows in Bangkok) and those parts of town which were inaccessible can now be reached.

There 2 primary concerns for tourists were inconvenience and danger.

The inconvenience caused by the difficulties getting around downtown Bangkok is over and life in the city is basically back to how it usually is. Where some hotels couldn't be reached by public transport, they're now accessible. Most businesses which closed during the protest period have reopened, although it seems a few smaller operators haven't leading one to think they may have gone bust.

In terms of danger, there is no danger at any of the protest sites because they've all gone!

It should be noted, however, that with the protesters now relocated to Lumpini Park, that becomes an area to be avoided. As nice as Lumpini Park is – and it's one of my favourite spots in the city – I would not go for a morning run or afternoon stroll there at this time.

Of course there is also the ongoing and unresolved issue of farmers who have not been paid for their rice under the rice-pledging scheme and they are getting vocal. There is always the possibility of protests from them, which is a different issue to the protests which shutdown downtown.

With this change in situation, there now seems little reason to delay or cancel travel to Bangkok.

What should be noted, however, is that the ongoing political dispute has not been resolved. The protesters continue to protest, it's just that they're not doing it in such a grand or public fashion. There may still be protest marches through parts of the city – and when that happens traffic is brought to a standstill. And there may well be more random attacks against protesters at Lumpini Park or against the property of protesters or those connected to the protesters. What this means is that one should be aware of their surroundings and what is going on. Don't be greatly concerned though.

The purpose of this section of the site was to provide on-the-ground updates of how things are for those considering visiting and those merely curious. As it seems things are now basically settled, I don't plan on doing any more updates until / unless the situation changes significantly.