58 responses

  1. jmayel & sacha
    May 24, 2014

    I can relate to this on many levels. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post. I really enjoyed reading it. 🙂
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    • paradise
      May 24, 2014

      Thank you!

      Reply

  2. Darryl
    May 24, 2014

    I have around 40 people coming to Thailand in July and August and they are obviously very concerned about the goings on over here. This Blog you have written was exactly how i feel about the situation so I shared it with my tour group hoping it will out their mind at rest.
    Cheers and well done

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 24, 2014

      Thank you so much, Darryl!

      Reply

      • TomJ
        May 29, 2014

        The issue you are forgetting is that this situation means that it is more difficult to get Travel insurance.

        Reply

      • paradise
        May 29, 2014

        Believe it or not, Tom, there people traveled before there was travel insurance!

        Reply

    • Mary
      May 30, 2014

      Tearing up while reading… Thank you.

      Reply

  3. Victor Tribunsky
    May 24, 2014

    Thank you for the truth, Valen.
    Victor Tribunsky recently posted…Koh Samui, Thailand. Not the Maldives, but Still Paradise!My Profile

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  4. Aphiradee Chawaldit
    May 25, 2014

    We need this changes! Please bare with us.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 25, 2014

      Aphiradee, you have my support!

      Reply

  5. Chris @ One Weird Globe
    May 25, 2014

    Let’s get a few things clear here, so this sugar-coated, rose-colored glasses view doesn’t get out of hand.

    Coups are no playing-around matters. Those soldiers everyone’s getting cutesy selfies with aren’t holding water guns. A curfew that threatens you with two years in a Thai prison is no laughing matter. Those Thai folks might not be complaining because saying anything bad about the junta is a no-no. At best, it’s a nervous smile, now that virtually every major politician has been detained or relieved of their job. The power of the country – and all those guns – rests in the hands of one guy. The ambassadors didn’t go because they didn’t want to give the junta legitimacy – in their eyes, this is the military overthrowing a democratically elected government. There are some parallels to Egypt here as well.

    Yes, Bangkok is probably safer than before, and it’s probably nice to not deal with protests. Those were somewhat predictable, however, and confined to fairly well-known areas. Anti-coup movements are popping up elsewhere, and there’s no way to know how the junta will respond to them.

    If you’re coming to Bangkok (or Chiang Mai from what I’ve been hearing and seeing), be aware more than you usually are. Avoid the protest sites, whether established or not, and take care to avoid anything that might be perceived as an insult. The curfew of 10pm, while not strictly enforced, is not something I’ll be playing around with.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 25, 2014

      Chris, not every Thai person is against the coup, that was my only point. Just go look at the number of likes for this article on Facebook. Most of them are Thai people. Many want the change. I don’t think they are “liking” my article because the government is making them like it.

      Reply

      • tintin
        May 26, 2014

        There are two maybe three sides to most things no ? Your point of not everyone is against the coup further reinforced the notion that things can get out of hand rather quickly when you least expected it to. It’s nice to see and know that there are still peaceful and safe but it’s irresponsible to indulge in the notion that all is good and safe now and please come visit and bring in the tourist dollars to help the beautiful people there.
        The coup now is real and the gun they carry is real, and you are wondering if this is will be a gentle rain or a thundering storm.
        Just my thoughts, sorry if anyone is offended.

        Reply

      • paradise
        May 26, 2014

        Um, Thailand has had more coups than any other country. A coup in Thailand is much different than one in Africa. (Most of their coups have been a gentle rain.)

        Reply

      • LadyP
        May 28, 2014

        Gentle rain? There have been som horrible military gouverments in Thailand. as well as som more lenient.

        This coup is totally differnt from the one 2006. Much more strong rules and all the tools for democracy are gone. Thay arrest and detain people, they search houses and threaten people. The people who have been realeased from military custody aren’t allowed to speak about politics. Some are still there, including a reporter who had the guts to speak against the coup. Other reporters have been threaten because the dictators dont like what they write and what they ask.

        And you happily conclude that people love the coup, because they dont protest. Well, if the military says: You are against us, you will have big problems. And your family will have big problems” Maybe, just maybe – you are to scared to protest.

        This article of yours is sweet and positive. Unfortunately the reality for the thai people are NOT and the future for Thailand is very dark under Prayuth. Since you are in Thailand you are under heavy cencurship so you dont see the negative news. I hope thats why you are so naiv.

        Reply

      • paradise
        May 28, 2014

        Dear, since I am in Thailand, I am the news. Just read all of the comments of the Thai people in this thread, and you will see that I am reporting the truth. When you walk into a shop and the owner starts saying, “Red Shirts bad” and you haven’t even asked what she thinks, well that is the sentiment here. That is not my sentiment, that’s just what I’m hearing. I feels sorry for you that you choose to believe in a media that likes to sensationalize things and make them more dramatic than they are. Thailand either has a coup or election every few months. People are used to it.

        Reply

    • he man
      May 27, 2014

      well said!!

      Reply

  6. Chloe of beyond blessed blog
    May 25, 2014

    Agreed. While the coup is a big deal and should not be taken lightly, the Thai’s in our city are quite glad this coup is happening. Everyone is carrying on as if nothing is happening. The curfew is the only difference in our day to day. You do see a few more military men, but everyone is safe and enjoying life as usual. We actually had some visitors this weekend. Absolutely safe. Be blessed!
    Chloe of beyond blessed blog recently posted…Thai Coup UpdateMy Profile

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 25, 2014

      Yes, it’s amazing to me that the few who are against it are getting much more media play than the ones who are for it. People have written me and said the Thai people just must be afraid to say they don’t like it. But, after having over 100 Thai people like this article on my Facebook page, I think that proved them wrong. Blessings to you, too!!

      Reply

  7. Greer
    May 26, 2014

    The ambassadors who didn’t go are an insult to democracy if that’s what they really pretend to stand for, rather than just the money-grubbing western view as usual.

    As an adult, if I disagree, I make my point clearly, there is no need to act like a spoilt brat and throw their toys out of the pram. Kerry is unpopular and I can see why many think of her as a complete bitch – she just proved it again.

    Any government that thinks that the previous bunch of criminals was “democratically elected” are playing with themselves!

    Reply

  8. Punch
    May 26, 2014

    This is the best article from non-Thai I’ve ever read so far. Thank you so much for sharing your thought with the world. Your article is exactly what’s on my mind and you’ve made my day! Thanks again 🙂

    I came across your article only because a British guy ( friend of friend) commented on your article (in negative way) , in which, his friend (also non-Thai) shared from his FB. I’m Thai, live in BKK since I was born, understand perfectly both Thai and English. I’ve been frustrated on negative criticism on current situation from both Thai & Non-Thai medias, individuals, and that is included this British guy who lives in Chiangmai, understand “some” Thai words, surely can’t read Thai. So, I’m certain that he can’t understand all the “fact” as much as I do. Yet, he has been acting as “Mr.know it all” on current sensitive situation in Thailand. He commented on you as a “naive author” , said that your article is “a bit misleading and somewhat condescending! This is not included many negative comments he has been saying about Thai Military on Thaicoup. Of course, he has the right to express his opinion in anyway he’d like, but he should bear in mind that, he is British, never live in BKK, can’t read Thai as well as making his living in Thailand, he will never know the entire situation like Thais do, and if what happens now, is such a bad thing, why doesn’t he just go back to England and make his living there.?

    Anyway, sorry for too much complain, just want to get something out of my chest. All I want to say is, your article has shown the “positive” side of our current situation and I, as Thai, can confirm that it is the actual fact. I’ve never seen the positive side of Thaicoup in other local and foreign medias. CNN&BBC keep reporting on a group of protesters who’re against military, repeatedly. There’re plenty of supporters but never been on the news. They never report the news on how happy our farmers are, to get paid so quick, only 4 days after military is in charge.

    I’m not against Democracy and do not support on the coup. But, I do agree that in this current situation, Democracy doesn’t suit Thai as only minority really understand the meaning of it. Majority use it as “freedoms” to speak, write, to provoke the opposite sites, and the action from this so-called freedoms causes Thais to hate others more and more. This is why Thailand is falling apart. Many Thais need “peace” and so when Military stepped in and can provide some, that’s something we should appreciate. Of course, we might have been taken away some freedoms, such as being on curfew, limitation on what to say in publics (including social media) . But for me, comparing to living in the city where anti-gov and gov supporter, fighting every single day. The current situation with the coup is so much better and of course, peaceful.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 26, 2014

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Punch. This meant so much to me. I was just trying to report what I personally was hearing without taking sides. Thanks to you and to so many other Thai people for showing me your kindness and for letting me have the opportunity to visit your beautiful country. I only hope to show everyone kindness, love, and respect!

      Reply

  9. Lillie – @WorldLillie
    May 26, 2014

    So interesting and inspiring. Thanks for your on-the-ground report!
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  10. Mark
    May 26, 2014

    Actually, a HUGE number of Thais in Phuket ARE complaining about the curfew’s effect on their business. In fact, the Governor of Phuket has appealed to the army to have the curfew in Phuket quashed. An island that relies almost exclusively on tourism is dying on it’s feet with 10pm lockdowns. Rest of the article is pretty good. For those people thinking of cancelling a holiday to Thailand – don’t. Thailand is a very large country. The media will play up pockets of problems – most of them in Bangkok.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 27, 2014

      Good, I’m glad to hear that people are starting to complain. My point was that just because people aren’t complaining doesn’t mean that things aren’t hurting them, and we need to do all we can to support them!

      Reply

  11. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    May 26, 2014

    I have to say that I haven’t been too up-to-date on the protests in Thailand (Spain only reports on Europe and the US these days), but think it’s refreshing to have a different idea of the scores of factors that go into any civil unrest. You make a strong point about tourism and the effect that negative press has on it. I met so many wonderful people in India last month who were ashamed at how poorly they are viewed worldwide, and think the same likely happens for the Thais who depend on tourism or a similar sector. While I agree that one should always exercise caution while traveling (coup or not), a bit of democracy/freedom of speech/exercising civil rights in action isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
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  12. Di
    May 27, 2014

    We lived in BKK in 2006 when the coup was on as well, ad it was as exactly as you have described in your article. Good to know it’s not as bad as the media have made out.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 27, 2014

      Yes, I know it could get worse, but so far all is peaceful!

      Reply

  13. Mei Ling
    May 27, 2014

    Thanks for a wonderful article showing a different side of the current situation. It’s great to see people going about their daily lives and smiling. My family was concerned, but now I think they can get a sense of relief. It’s lovely to see another side of things!

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 28, 2014

      Yes, of course, everyone is wondering what will happen next, but for now, all is safe and for many, it’s business as usual (except for having to close early). Hopefully, they will stop the curfew soon.

      Reply

  14. Enya Chen
    May 28, 2014

    Thank you for your truly understanding. We are Thai, this coup is not bad as others think.
    We are pleased for this situation. After this situation for 2-3 days, no people die no violence no cry. Thai farmer who did not get money back from Yingluck’s Government will be ern their money within next 2 weeks. This coup is different from yesterday because Thai military just wants to stop violence which is made by red and yellow shirt. Thank you again for your blog to make foreigner knows our country now.

    Enya Chen

    Reply

  15. Backpacking Bella
    May 28, 2014

    Beautiful post – thank you x

    Reply

  16. Casey @ A Cruising Couple
    May 28, 2014

    I really appreciate hearing your opinions. Someone today actually just asked me if I thought Thailand was safe or not, and I referred him to your post. It’s always good to hear both sides of the story. Thanks for sharing!
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  17. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com
    May 28, 2014

    I was in Bangkok when the protests started last year and a lot of people I know wanted to cancel their trips. I had to work really hard to convince them not to. The media paints a different picture but those of us on the ground experience things differently. Thanks for the timely info!
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  18. Gran Canaria Local
    May 28, 2014

    Stimulating post, Valen. Although we find it a tad depressing that it’s the army who are bringing “peace”. And regarding military coups, we’re really not in favour. Especially living in Spain and knowing this country’s history.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted…Las RosasMy Profile

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  19. Jennifer
    May 28, 2014

    Thank you for this post. I understand that the curfew has now been extended to midnight from 10:00 PM today, which will hopefully help those night markets and other evening/nighttime shops.
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  20. Noy
    May 28, 2014

    Honest I support Yingluck. But not rice scheme. But after read ur story seeing photo I feeling happy seeing Thai people happy. I change mind and seeing military very good for family in Isaan. but pls don’t shoot us like last time. last time uncle there sit at mob because we voting people give us food and future for family. I want good future for family and young bro go unversity bangkok study make money next time bring back isaan give family so mum ok. I hope all friends see ur story and be happy and so easy. beutiful Thailand for future, Tks u you for nice story. Every one come Thailand pls, Isaan also. all similing all ok.

    Reply

  21. Noy
    May 29, 2014

    Tks u again for ur nice story and for listening me. Today I telling my uncle who sit at mob last time ur story and showing him ur photos thai people similing. But he angry me. he say this not true because many people in Isaan voting Yingluck but now what is happening to thailand and people not happy. he feel sad most becos he still want voting for choosing good future for family. But now future not for thai people choosing he say and also future not good for thai people. Not saying thai people in bangkok, but thai people in Isaan and other thailand with no many schooling, but still wanting good future for family, working hard, seeing doctor ok, food and taking care family and good future for children. People no more voting now he telling me. I say uncle, no, many fighting now and military will stop fighting and take care situation all ok, but he think I not know many things and so easy believing people saying. he say he scare will worse because many people now not happy more than in bangkok and we cannot see. i scare too but i believe seeing your photos and reading ur story people are ok and similing. Nothing scare all ok chai mai? Thks u very much. i will talking to uncle again tomrow so he seeing beutiful Thailand again. i hope so he will.

    Reply

  22. Noy
    May 29, 2014

    Madam, tks u. Today I talking to uncle again but he saying me and scolding me again. making me sad, he saying me looking at so many many army blocking victory monument yesterday. all these people no want coup, want govurnment by thai people again, not army people with guns and shooting thai people like last time in 2010. looking at south thailand he telling me. many army and many fighting and violence. no good. army not fixing problem, How they can be govurnment he saying me. I mai kao jai too. I thinking now the photos of thai people similing in your nice story not true. is it really like this in bangkok? i know many thai people not happy what happening to thailand. why ur photo people all so happy? pls i scare now i scare things get bad. u think things get bad mai? i hearing and reading some people say many bad things about some people calling bad names and animal names to people, why people doing that? making me sad i hearing that. but every time i feel sad i coming to your story and reading and seeing photo of thai people similing and all ok. i happy seeing beutiful Thailand again. tks u. i hope things staying this way like ur photos and story, can buying ice cream, can buying pad thai, can buying beer, can chicken laying eggs, can people similing and thai rice farmers are happy, so beutiful. tks u for nice story thailand again.

    Reply

    • paradise
      May 31, 2014

      Noy, I talked with several police officers today in Ayutthaya and people who work for the tourism board. They seem to think it is mostly foreigners who are against the coup, and locals who know that this will, in the end, bring peace. And, yes, people are smiling and happy in Bangkok. Of course, not everyone agrees, but in life, not everyone will agree on everything. What is important is the inner peace and attitudes we bring to what happens around us. Blessed be!

      Reply

      • Theodora
        June 7, 2014

        Noy is drawing your attention to a large street protest by Thais, and how unhappy Noy’s uncle and other Thais are at the loss of democracy to a military government. Why don’t you talk to some protestors, rather than representatives of the junta and the tourism board? Or are you not allowed into those areas?

        Reply

      • paradise
        June 7, 2014

        Theodora, I am disappointed that you just assumed who I talked to for this article. I didn’t speak with anyone from the tourism board before I wrote this article. I spoke with locals who I dined with in their homes, their mothers and grandmothers, too. I spoke with taxi drivers, and shop owners, and friends that I made. And, FYI, I’m not sure where you are getting your news, but Facebook was never blocked here.

        Reply

      • Theodora
        June 7, 2014

        Hi Val,

        You actually state in a reply to a different comment that “I talked to several police officers here in Ayutthaya and people from the tourism board”. Did you talk to any protestors? I’d be fascinated to hear their perspective if you did. Police officers and government tourism employees would seem an odd choice to get an overall view.

        One stated element of the blogger engagement programme is to make the junta seem more acceptable by communicating that Thailand’s safe 0– http://diasiaawards.com/about/blogger-matchup — this smacks very much of this comms programme, I’m afraid.

        That said, you’re unlikely to hear opposition from ordinary citizens. Why? Expressing opposition to the current government is punishable with years in a military prison, even if it wasn’t agents of that government who set up the home dinners.

        Facebook was blocked briefly in Chiang Mai. Noy mentioned it being blocked elsewhere in the country, in a separate comment. I’m aware it’s not currently blocked in Bangkok. But you won’t be getting accurate news in Thailand because the government censors everything — particularly the newspapers you photograph in your post (there are hundreds of journalists in military prisons). So I find it a little ironic that you’re questioning where I’m getting my news from while republishing junta propaganda as fact…

        Reply

      • paradise
        June 7, 2014

        Yes, that was after I wrote the article that I spoke with the tourist board when I took an Ayutthaya trip.
        . No, I didn’t talk to protestors, as they are the ones setting off bombs. The citizens that I spoke with warned me to stay away from them, and it is because of them there is a coup in the first place. The citizens I have spoken with told me they feel much safer under the coup than they did before. It is also very safe here at the moment. Do I personally agree with the coup? I don’t know enough about Thai politics to form an opinion. My article is just letting people know that Thailand is safer than ever for tourists at the moment. I had over 100 Thai people like this article on FB. I don’t think the government forced them to like it.

        Reply

      • Theodora
        June 7, 2014

        And, here’s one link on the censorship activity – http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/thailand/2014/06/02/thailand-coup-update-for-travellers-june-2-2014/ – note that, like most major news sources, they’re not telling anyone to cancel their holiday. Google “Is Thailand Safe” and you’ll find a tonne of authoritative online news sources saying, to precis, the tourist zones are fine if you’re a foreigner, most danger is to Thais, but you’ll need to get new travel insurance.

        Reply

  23. Ryan
    May 30, 2014

    I really like the flip side of everything in this. I had the same experience when traveling to Haiti and everyone warning me not to go because of things the media states. I will say it is nice that they took into custody both sides of the politics instead of just one which makes a lot of sense. I for one don’t think people should cancel their trips, just to be prepared that things won’t be AS easy in terms of late night markets, or being able to grab a drink late. Though there have been so many coups in Thailand’s history, hopefully this one has a positive impact. Some of my Thai local business owners are relieved that the fighting is over, but struggling to keep their doors open with this going on deterring tourism during slow season. Great outlook!
    Ryan recently posted…Arriving in Rome: a childhood dream fulfilledMy Profile

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    • Noy
      May 30, 2014

      Tks u ryan, positive impact I hoping too, but seeing many people no want coup at many protest, and army catching unversity teacher, newspaper writing people, many other people, and wanting blocking facebook and line and news, I hoping postive can showing soon. Uncle saying coup happening because some people cannot winning election. If some ur country people cannot winning election maybe coup also welcome and ok in ur country. Uncle saying 15 million thai ppl voting yingluck govurnment. But no more yingluck now. I thinking no more similing for more ppl in thailand than just bangkok. I no know what better for thailand. I hoping thailand be better soon like this story many beutiful thailand photo, can buying and eating things and all similing all ok so easy. I hope so no more coup in any country, hope so not in ur country too.

      Reply

      • Theodora
        June 7, 2014

        I quite imagine that most people wouldn’t want that in their own countries, Noy. I wouldn’t want university teachers and journalists arrested, Facebook blocked and news censored, and I can’t imagine many people here would want that in their own countries either. The problem is that the government is paying bloggers with flights and hotel stays and sometimes money to say that everything is safe in Thailand and everyone is happy with the new government, and from what you’re saying, it seems like this isn’t true. I do hope everything works out well for your country, and that Thais can be as safe in their own country as it appears that visitors are.

        Reply

  24. Bethaney – Flashpacker Family
    May 30, 2014

    I’ve been in Thailand during protests, coups, elections and for a royal funeral. Nothing so far has had any impact on my experience as a tourist…. except almost missing my flight when the airport got shut down for 10 days. Luckily mine was the last flight out and I made it back in time for work!
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    • paradise
      May 31, 2014

      Well, that would be inconvenient! But, yes, for most people, it’s business as usual!

      Reply

  25. Laura @Travelocafe
    June 1, 2014

    We miss Thailand and we hope to back there soon.
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  26. Mary @Green Global Travel
    June 3, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It’s very easy to get caught up in the news and the fear-based messages. I appreciate you sharing what it is like for ordinary people in Thailand. Because in the end, we all want ice cream and peace.
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    • paradise
      June 3, 2014

      It’s true isn’t it? Hmm, maybe the name for a new blog? Ice cream and peace…ha ha!

      Reply

  27. Samantha
    June 4, 2014

    I really wish I found this post two days ago! My boyfriend and I were deciding between Malaysia and Thailand in September and went with Malaysia because of all we had read on the internet about the coup. Thank you for writing this post and clarifying how it really is on that end of the world. I should know better than to fall into the fear trap. Hopefully we can visit in December after our time in Taiwan. I want to eat authentic pad thai!
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  28. Heather @ TravelingSaurus
    August 18, 2014

    We are headed to Thailand in two weeks…I sort-of live under a rock because I don’t read anything that says “don’t go to Bangkok”…pretty much on purpose, because it annoys me 🙂

    I just wrote about a week ago regarding our trip to Egypt which coincided with the burning of the American flag. Yea…nothing was going on, except in a small one block radius of Cairo. People were extremely pleasant, and particularly thankful for the tourist dollars.

    Sure…there are some places I definitely wouldn’t choose to visit right now, but Thailand isn’t one of them. I’m glad there are so many comments which share the sentiments that you express in your post.
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    • paradise
      August 18, 2014

      So glad you don’t let negative media stop you!! Jave fun in Thailand. Let me know if you make it up to Chiang Mai!

      Reply

  29. Dana @ Karon Beach Resort Phuket
    September 5, 2014

    I’m amazed on how apparent your love for Thailand is. Some people just believe and accept what they hear and see on the news. Your post is an eye-opener. I enjoyed reading your article.

    Reply

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