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Lest we forget… the real Thailand

- Nicole Humphries-Voorhoeve, Guest Blogger

Now that the two-month-long official protest in downtown Bangkok has come to a bloody end, it’s time to take a step back and remember the rest of Thailand. Thai tourism has taken a serious hit recently, something the Red Shirts probably hadn’t counted on. So I thought Thailand could use a little “shout out.”

The Eugenia, Bangkok, Thailand

There is some irony in the fact that the recent conflict and unrest is what drew so much attention and international coverage to Thailand. After all, this is a country renowned for its warm, gentle welcome to discerning travelers. At present, however, the nation is experiencing a steep decline in tourism.

With communication moving at light-speed, the public is still being inundated with images of violence and unrest from Bangkok. In fact, there are reports now that while the protests have ended, the crisis is far from over, as angry crowds have taken to rioting in parts of the city as well as in northern towns.

Many people are wondering if it is safe at all to visit Bangkok. The official answer from the media and various travel advisories? Probably not right now.

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand

But if you listen to the people who are actually there, the people who call Thailand their home or visit frequently, you might be surprised. So far – even during the most volatile times – not all of Bangkok was dangerous. In fact, the violence was contained to a relatively small portion of the city. But that area was on high alert, erecting roadblocks, checkpoints and shutdowns of public transportation.

Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand

The truth? Many parts of Bangkok remained peaceful throughout the recent unrest. And most of the provinces covered by potentially “overzealous” travel advisories were barely affected – if at all.

Arrivals at the airport dropped by at least one-third, and hotel occupancy rates plummeted. But as one travel writer and photographer said, “When you get out from those areas of political turmoil, things seem to move as smoothly as ever. We still live peacefully, we still love good food, and the sea is still beautiful.”

Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi, Phuket, Thailand

On that note, perhaps we should all say a collective prayer for Thailand… especially those of us who have had the pleasure of visiting its fantastic destinations and gazing at its awe-inspiring vistas. So here’s to Thailand, and here’s to the beautiful images Kiwi Collection receives from that part of the world.

Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand

Santhiya, Surat Thani, Thailand

The Racha, Phuket, Thailand

Tongsai Bay, Surat Thani, Thailand

Trisara, Phuket, Thailand

  1. tikitravel says:

    I am SO happy to come accross someone saying something good for Thailand right now! There are so many safe and beautiful places to visit, it’s a shame everyone’s so caught up in the negative media coverage of what’s going on in Bangkok. You would think they could let people know that there is a world outside Bangkok. Or would hope more people would be less fearful to travel to Thailand. Beautiful shots of the resorts too, I’m happy I came accross this blog:)

  2. Nicole Humphries-Voorhoeve says:

    I’m happy you came across it as well! Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction when it comes to what the mainstream media touts in headlines.

  3. I am with you! It is such a shame that a country so beautiful is now in the media ‘judged’ on what is going on in Bangkok. There is so much more in Thailand and I am convinced that as tourist you do not even realize about the political ‘tense’ situation. The most the Thai people need now is tourism.. Don’t forget they are still recovering from the Tsunami that hit the country hard.. Great post Nicole!

  4. Nicole Humphries-Voorhoeve says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Holiday Apartments ;) … it’s best (and kindest) not to kick people – and countries – when they’re already down!

  5. Mrs.B says:

    Once again another beautifully written article. Can’t wait to read more… I have sadly never had the opportunity to visit Thailand but after reading your article I am very intrigued!!