By now, you’re all probably aware of the military coup d’état in Thailand. Various agencies have offered travel advice – here’s a few highlights.

Firstly, there is a military imposed curfew between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00 local time. Visitors to Thailand are not exempt for the curfew, except in the case of travel to and from airports. Even then, leave plenty of time to get to and from your destination.

Bangkok airports  (Suvarnabhumi and Dong Maung) are operating normally, along with all airport operated by AirportsO Thailand.

Thai Airways have issue travel advice via their Twitter feed:

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 03.34.30

You are advised to check with your airline on your flight status.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued the following travel advice.

On 22 May the Chief of the Royal Thai Army announced that the military had taken control of government, would restore order and ensure political reform in Thailand. Martial law is in place and provides an enabling framework for the Royal Thai Army to take action it deems necessary to enforce law and order, and instructions can change rapidly. As a result there is increased military presence in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces. You should generally allow extra time for journeys, including to Bangkok airports.

A nationwide curfew has been announced 10pm to 5am. Authorities have advised that the curfew will not apply to those travelling to or from the airport, but departing or arriving travellers should have their passports and tickets. You should continue to monitor the media for information and any updates.

The Chief of the Royal Thai Army has assured the safety of all foreigners in Thailand. A number of media outlets have been taken off air and there is a risk that this could extend to the Internet. The military media channels are continuing to broadcast. As the situation is evolving you should monitor local news and social media for developments.

There is a risk of a violent reaction to the Army’s announcement. We recommend that you exercise extreme caution and remain alert to the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in your accommodation.

Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. 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 main anti-government protest site is at Ratchadamnoen Avenue with a smaller anti-government protest site at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. The main pro-government protest site is at Utthayan Road in western Bangkok.

You should take extra care and avoid all protest sites, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches

Bangkok has been reported as being peaceful so far (in so far that soliders have been posing for Selfies), but caution is advised when travelling around.

The US Embassy in Bangkok has issued similar advice  (with the US Department of State offering older advice)

This message is to inform U.S. citizens that the Royal Thai Army has announced it has seized control of the administration of the country effective 4:30 PM on May 22, 2014. Authorities have announced a countrywide curfew from 10PM to 5AM. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor media coverage. You are advised to avoid areas where there are protest events, large gatherings, or security operations and follow the instructions of Thai authorities.

U.S. citizens are cautioned that even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid protest sites, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media reports. You should allow extra time when travelling throughout the city or to/from airports. Consider using public transportation.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.

Travel in these periods requires extra care, respecting local customs and rules. Plan accordingly, and keep abreast of the situation via the media.

And more importantly – keep safe.

Posted by Kevincm | Comments are off for this article

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released it’s latest list of “Odd requests for assistance. And some of these are just comedy gold.

Here’s a few requests the poor people at the FCO have had to handle

  • A telephone number for Phil Collins
  • Phoning the Sydney Consulate to ask what clothes he should pack for his holiday
  • Asking them to sell a house in Sofia
  • A lady complained to the embassy in Moscow about a loud buzzing noise in her apartment
  • A man asked a consulate in Greece for information on how to go about putting a chicken coop in his garden
  • A man asked consular staff in Dubai to meet his dog on arrival at customs and help it through the customs process
  • A caller asked staff in Malaga in mid-September where she could get a Christmas lunch as everywhere was already booked up
  • Staff in Greece were asked for tips on the best fishing spots and where to purchase good bait
  • Prince Charles’s shoe size
  • Another request was from a man stranded at the airport by his dominatrix.

The British consulate offers assistance to travellers who are in trouble or in distress abroad, but the warns there are some things it just cannot help with in life it can’t help with.

The FCO say

“We will always try to help where we can but there are limits to the support that we can provide.

“It is important that people understand the level of help we can offer.

“Our priority is to help people in real difficulty abroad and we cannot do this if our time is diverted by people trying to use us as a concierge service.

“We need to be able to focus primarily on helping victims of serious crimes, supporting people who have been detained or assisting people who have lost a loved one abroad.”

(and he forgot to say those who have lost their passports aboard too so they can’t get home).

More seriously in the 2 million requests made a year, they also handle requests for British Citizens including:

  • Arrests
  • Deaths
  • Hospitalisations
  • Child Abductions
  • Forced Marriages

As a user of the FCO/British Consulate services when I lost my passport some years ago, FCO/British Consulate support is appreciated when it happen and when it’s needed. It’s also a good idea when travelling aboard to stick in the details of the location of the nearest consulate somewhere safe – in case the worse does happen.

Posted by Kevincm | Comments are off for this article

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice for Bangkok – and the message is clear

We now advise against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok and the 26 provinces in Thailand affected by flooding.

Our advice against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok does not include transit through Suvarnabhumi international airport.

Flights to destinations elsewhere in Thailand (eg the resorts of Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui) continue to operate normally. We continue to advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear and Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple areas and against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

www.fco.gov.uk

Flooding conditions have already affected Doung Mang airport, and is now hitting Bangkok itself, and is expected to get worse over the next few days.

Transit though Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) remains open at this time.  In addition, to alleviate some of the flooding problems, the Thai Government has declared a public holiday in all flooded regions, so if you’re in the area, expect more disruptions due to closures .

The FCO advise to keep an eyue on local media, reports from the the Thai 24/7 Emergency Operations Centre and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

If you’re due to go out there, FCO advice can normally trigger a one free change with your airline – check with them before setting off to see if you’re allowed to.

More importantly, if you have to go out there keep safe – and keep dry.

Posted by Kevincm | Comments are off for this article

Welcome to GhettoIFE.com!

I’m your host – Kevin – and I’ll be here to guide you through the maze of modern travel, and hopefully add some insightful comment and humour.

With GhettoIFE getting on for 2 years old, I’ve had a bit of a design refresh, and tidied up, so for older viewers who make it here – yes, it’s the same content will all the usual sarcasm as always.

As well as random posts on the days events, my trip reports and a few other bits, there will be a few “regular” slots including:

  • The News – Commercial aviation news in a bite size ripped to bits segments.
  • Trip Reports – When I actually go swanning off to explore the world.
  • The Soapbox – Where I get to rant and moan about things – Signed Annoyed of Birmingham.
  • Airplane p0rn – Yes it’s my photography lovefest of air planes All clean for work. Published every Sunday.
  • How to save money … so far on telephone calls and how to get money on flights back via cashback
  • And analysis on IFE and what’s happening in the world of IFE

GhettoIFE.com is updated once or twice a day depending on what’s going on in the world when I’m at my base, and a lot less frequently when I’m away travelling.

All the posts have a slightly twisted and humours bent, and of course comments are open. Please feel free to drop your thoughts in.

I don’t Twitter, nor do Facebook – so it’s traditional email through the comment boxes or direct at blog@ghettoife.com

Thank you for choosing Kevin’s Ghetto IFE. We know you have a choice in blogs.

Posted by Kevincm | Comments are off for this article

home top