UK
22/05/2014 18:06 BST | Updated 22/05/2014 18:59 BST

Thailand Coup Night Curfew Hits British Holidaymakers

Hundreds of British tourists in Thailand will have to observe a strict night curfew following the military takeover there.

Around 800,000 Britons visit the country every year and those there at the moment will need to be indoors between 10pm and 5am under the terms laid down in Thursday's bloodless coup.

thailand coup

The military has imposed an overnight curfew after its bloodless coup

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice for Thailand when martial law was declared on Tuesday but the main tourist areas were considered safe.

An FCO spokeswoman said that it would monitor the situation and that travellers should check to see if there was any update to the travel advice.

UK travel organisation Abta is also closely following events. An Abta spokeswoman said: "Thailand has grown in popularity with Britons in recent years although this is one of the quieter times of the year for visitors from the UK.

"While backpackers often go to the capital Bangkok, package holidaymakers typically travel to the coastal resorts of Phuket, Phangnga and Krabi in the south. The demonstrations that have been going on have been aimed at the government."

At present, the FCO is advising against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border.

The FCO advises against all travel to the Preah Vihear temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area on the Thai-Cambodian border due to the presence of troops in the area and the risk of outbreaks of fighting.

The FCO advice said that political demonstrations were continuing in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand.

The advice added: "There have been indiscriminate attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and at protest marches causing casualties and deaths. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.

"Protest action has caused significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected."

The FCO said tourists "should take extra care and avoid all protest sites, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches".

Later, Abta said: "Although the curfew is nationwide and applies to tourists as well as locals, all political demonstrations have to date taken place in Bangkok with no reports of any incidents affecting tourists in the region, and the FCO has not changed its overall advice relating to Thailand, meaning that travel arrangements to the country continue as normal.

"Abta will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the FCO. We are advising all holidaymakers in Thailand to adhere to terms of the curfew, avoid any local demonstrations and follow advice from their tour operator.

"Independent travellers are advised to check local advice and follow the FCO travel advice. Although around 800,000 British nationals a year travel to Thailand, current visitor numbers are relatively low as it is the low season for British tourists."

The Tourism Authority of Thailand said: "Businesses and public services are adjusting their operating hours to comply with the curfew.

"All airports in Thailand remain open, and air passengers with arrival and departure flights scheduled during the curfew can travel to and from the airports at any time as usual.

"We are closely monitoring the situation, and will be providing more updates as soon as there are further developments."

Thailand has been in an almost constant state of political upheaval in recent years, with this being the 12th coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

The governmental ups and downs have had little or no effect on tourism from Britain, with the country providing good-value, sunshine holidays to those keen to get away from inclement British weather.