Travellers cautioned about visiting Thailand

ALMOST 2000 Australians travel to Thailand each day, but with its government now in the hands of the country's military, would-be tourists are having to weigh up just how much they want that tropical holiday.

Those due to leave in coming days - and concerned for their safety - are being told to check with their airline to find out if tickets can be rescheduled or refunded.

The Insurance Council of Australia has also warned holidaymakers to check the fine print of their travel insurance.

ICA chief Rob Whelan said riots, wars, rebellions, civil disruptions could void the policies.

After taking power in a military coup on Thursday, a curfew from 10pm to 5am now applies.

Tourists travelling to or from the airport are exempt.

With Thailand under martial law, the Australian Government is warning travellers the military has the power to operate checkpoints, suspend laws and act against public gatherings.

None of this has been enough to push the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to telling outbound Aussies to reconsider travelling, unless they are heading to particularly risky districts of Yala Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

Flight Centre's Haydn Long said travellers tended to take a "wait and see" attitude to political tensions in Thailand.

"When something like this happens in Thailand, they consider it isolated to Bangkok," he said.

"They might be going to Phuket, Koh Samui or other islands, those places are often quite removed from what's happening in Bangkok.

"People who are asking questions are those travelling in the next couple of days."

ABS data shows 630,000 Australians travelled to Thailand in 2013.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Canberra did not respond to requests for comment.


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