The current situation in Bangkok, which turned from Martial Law to a military coup, leaves many people wondering whether things are resuming as normal. Some travelers have decided to change their tickets or leave the country due to the unstable situation in the country. However, those living in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand feel that there is little difference in daily activities. The most extreme difference would have to be curfew, which runs throughout the nation from 10pm to 5am every night of the week for the time being.
It is natural for people to hear the word ‘coup’ and picture streets full of military and fights. But the truth is that Bangkok is relatively normal for the time being. Malls, shops, markets, offices and businesses are still running their usual hours, with the exception of nothing being open from 10pm-5am. The curfew has caused shops that usually open until late, or throughout the night (such as Pratunam wholesale market), to close by 8pm.
Many restaurants and bars are closing early as well. It is surprising that even 7-11, which is typically open 24 hours a day, closes by 10pm. Public transport can be found as usual, in accordance to the curfew law. BTS, MRT and Airport Rail Link systems cease to run at 9pm and open again at 6am. Saen Saeb public ferry services operate until 8.30pm.
Locals have said that transportation is more crowded during busy times such as early morning and before curfew begins. Flights and airport services are not affected by the coup and operate as usual. Those that arrive or leave during curfew hours are permitted to travel from and to the airport. It is best to have copies of their travel itineraries and passport at all times.
Wholesale markets in the Pratunam area start to open shop at around 6am and begins to close up at around 7pm. It is best to visit the markets after 8 or 9am so that you arrive when most, if not all, of the shops are open. Those that only have time to visit in the afternoon should aim to leave the market area by 8 at the latest (if shops are still open at that time). While there may be some military presence in the area, there is nothing to be alarmed of as they are there to watch for protestors and unusually large gatherings.
It is best to leave the area if you notice a protesting event or large group gatherings begin to form. It is also advisable to keep an eye on the time and to plan transportation before curfew begins.
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