ASEAN Navy, Thai leaders to visit Pattaya in November 2017

In yet more bad news for your travel plans, junta leader and Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-ocha will visit lovely Pattaya, Chonburi province for the first time in November. The currently mooted dates are 17-20 November, and with him will be a number of government officials including the deputy PM. It is expected that provincial officials and police as well as the Thai military will attempt to sweep as much as possible under the carpet for the big visit which means that most of the nightlife options will be severely curtailed if not closed completely. If you have the opportunity to be elsewhere, it would probably be prudent to do so. There will be many foreign naval personnel in Pattaya and the Thai government will want to put the best face forward, which will mean closing as many unsavourable venues as possible.

There are also military visits scheduled for neighbouring countries’ navies in ASEAN during November, the ASEAN International Fleet Review 2017 will take place in Pattaya from 13-22 November. There will be 26 ships from 19 navies present.  The ships arrive in Pattaya bay on 16 November 2017. This is not as big a deal as it seems as sailors are under curfew and their officers will place strict limits on their behaviour with harsh punishments for anyone that is drunk or fighting.  According to the website:

The 50th Anniversary of ASEAN’s International Fleet Review 2017 (ASEAN IFR 2017) will be organized in and around Pattaya Bay. On Saturday the 18th of November, the Prime Minister of Thailand will preside over and review the International Fleet. On Sunday the 19th of November, crews from the International Fleet will join the International City Parade as well as other land activities provided by the Pattaya City Council. All the navies from countries outside of ASEAN will be invited to join and participate in the celebration with ASEAN navies in all aforementioned activities.


Due to the presence of so many VIPs and military and naval officers it is likely that there will be increased security around Pattaya. While it is not advisable to be involved in illicit activities at any time, it would be doubly so during this time.

This event may also draw more than usual Thais to the city of Pattaya to witness the parade and take pride in their navy hosting the event.  What is also possible is that HM The King may also visit Pattaya for the occasion, in which case nightlife activity would be completely shut down and local Thais will flock to see him. At this stage this is only a rumour however it is likely that some member of the Thai royal family may make an appearance due to the international significance of the occasion. In any case there will be VIP events on 19-20th at Dusit Thani hotel and a parade on Beach Road. The attached schedule outlines the events.

You may think that it is only 3-4 days for the bulk of the meetings however if you are only on a short vacation this could seriously limit your activities. We would advise travelling to Bangkok on different dates or even an alternative destination if you are unable to cancel your visit to Thailand.

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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