Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Q&A Time, Plus an Emergency Decree

I've received questions from a few of my US coworkers who are planning to travel to our factory in Thailand in the coming days and weeks.  I sent personal emails back to those of you that contacted me, but as others may be wondering the same things, so I'll answer a few questions here as well.

Q: Is it safe to come to Thailand right now?
A: Yes.

Q: Is the airport safe?  
A: Yes.  The airport is not in Bangkok.  Political violence has been contained to protests in Bangkok and Nonthaburi provinces.

Q: Is the factory in Ayutthaya safe?
A: Yes.  Ayutthaya has seen some small pro-government demonstrations, but nothing large and no violence.

Q: Should I cancel my trip to Thailand?
A: That is up to you, but I do not see any reason to cancel a trip right now.  On a side note, we're currently experiencing the most pleasant (cool) stretch of weather that I have ever experienced in Thailand.

Q: Is it okay to rent a motorbike, ride to Bangkok, and join the protests on the weekend?
A: No.  Driving a motorbike here is very dangerous.

Other news:
The government declared a state of emergency starting Wednesday Jan 22, effective for 60 days.  The decree covers all of Bangkok, and parts of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan provinces.  This gives the government the power to impose curfews, censor media, detain suspects without charge, ban political gatherings of more than 5 people, and declare parts of the capitol off limits.

Q: What does this mean for people coming to Thailand?
A: It's best to stay out of Bangkok.

Q: What does this mean if I'm traveling to Ayutthaya or other parts of Thailand?
A: Nothing, besides stay out of Bangkok

Q: What does this mean if you live in Bangkok?
A: I'll let you know tomorrow.

Last but not least, I like to include pictures in my blog posts.  So here you go.  Bangkok's dumbest tourists:

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