Since the curfew was completely lifted a few weeks ago Bangkok has been safer than ever. Thailand has returned to normal and there are no "out of bounds" locations. Life in Bangphlat continued as normal throughout the trouble as expected. If you have any questions relating to this situation then please use our main contact form to provide your details and we will e-mail back immediately to being a conversation.
The initial announcement of Martial Law on Tuesday has bought relief to most "common" people in Thailand as they want nothing more than to get on with their lives without the continual interruptions and delays bought about by the protests. Over the past 6 months the numbers at these protests have declined massively and there have been limited numbers staying at the site and even under calls to rally there have been minimal numbers.
Since the protest we have seen 2 versions of the news from Thailand. The international media is certainly ramping up the hysteria. Yesterday, Saturday 24th, I rode through the crowd moving from Phayayothin to Victory Monument and can say, for certain, that there were no more than 60-80 people in that protest at that point. Indeed the photos at Victory Monument yesterday showed no more than 300 people (being quite generous). At that time on a normal day there would be well over 1,000 people standing around waiting for buses and the photos yesterday confirmed that most people just want to get on with their lives.
So, how does this affect life at marina house? Well, it has made little difference to day to day life. Naturally movement in our soi is not restricted and most people have reported little change to their day to day existence. We provide our residents with pertinent updates on vital news. As an example I immediately warned all our residents to avoid Victory Monument as soon as I understood that protesters were heading there @ 15:24. On the whole I have little to do bar remind people that the curfew is best obeyed even if you see locals ignoring it.
What next? If this goes anything like the previous 4 similar situations we have experienced we should see a relaxing of the curfew by the end of May (only 7 days away) and then it will only be applied to key areas. Our advice has always been (and will remain) for our residents to avoid protest sites and gatherings, particularly if they are relatively new to Thailand and do not understand the people and language well enough. Even after 7 years here we heed our own advice as much as we can.
Is marina house safe? Yes. Due to marina house's unique location it is likely to remain safe through most situations that would see you staying in Thailand. Naturally we can't predict the future but the Thai people are a stoic, determined, people and they will do everything they can to see their lives progress as normal. This gentle, but steady, force will likely see Thailand and Bangkok remain one of the safest places on Earth.
I have added Richard Barrow's twitter feed to the feeds at the foot of the main marina house news page Following Richard Barrow is probably the best advice I can (and continually do) give our residents. If you have specific questions for me then please use our contact form to get me to contact you.