Selfies with soldiers hip as martial law sets in

Selfies with soldiers hip as martial law sets in
A passer-by poses in front of soldiers in central Bangkok May 24, 2014.

THAILAND - Tourism in Thailand may be reeling at present.

But under military rule, a new tourist attraction has emerged.

Taking selfies with soldiers appears to be the nation's new pastime, for locals and foreign tourists alike, Australian news website reported.

Even as tanks and troops line the streets, and opposition to the coup grows, people could be seen snapping photos of soldiers and their guns.

A few bold ones even asked military personnel to pose for selfies.

On social media, a Thai hashtag on Twitter that roughly translates as "Show me a cute soldier" quickly grew in popularity, with locals sharing pictures of those they deemed pin-up worthy, American news website reported.

Some Thais snapped selfies while attending a small rally against the military near the Government House in capital Bangkok.

It may look festive in some of the photos, but the military is warning against using social media to spread inflammatory messages, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Many tourists were largely unperturbed by the coup, AFP reported.

"We saw the bars closing. It was weird to see everything closing because it never closes," Israeli student Maayan Sher, 22, said of the military-imposed 10pm to 5am curfew.

Strolling near the city's Grand Palace with two friends, she said: "I didn't feel in any way threatened. We do understand that we are not the target."

But her friends admitted they were considering cutting short their stay in the city.

Said Taluri Dvash, 26: "It's not because we are scared but because everything is closing and we want to party."

This article was first published on May 25, 2014.
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