Off to Thailand? Avoid taking a copy of 1984 with you

A magazine on Philippine Airlines flights advises passengers not to take a copy of Orwell's seminal book to Thailand in case you're mistaken for an ‘anti-coup protestor’

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If you're planning to take a few books away on holiday to Thailand, better put George Orwell's vision of a dystopian future back on the shelf. That's the advice being handed out by a Philippine Airlines in-flight magazine anyway – don't take 1984 into the country.

Thailand's military overthrew the government in May in a move known as a coup d'état. Since then the junta has imposed tough restrictions on the country, including a curfew of any outdoor activity that was only moved to midnight this week. Previously, people were expected to be inside by 10pm. Television channels have also been commandeered by the army.

Regardless of the military's rather draconian laws, holidaymakers are still travelling to the country, famed for its hedonistic nightlife and golden beaches.

To aid any travellers feeling a little unsure about journeying to a place run by the army, Philippine Airlines has provided some guidelines in its in-flight brochure. "Don't carry George Orwell's dystopian novel," it reads. "You don't want to be mistaken for an anti-coup protester". How Orwellian. Other tips include "how to take a selfie with a soldier" and "no outdoor debates about the coup". See the list below.

This isn't the first time that the Thai army's negative relationship with culture has been brought to attention. Earlier this week the army banned Tropico 5, a computer game in which the player can control an island, run the media and rule as a dictator. Speaking to AP, a spokesperson for New Era Thailand said the game "could affect peace and order in the country".

If you're en route to Thailand, remember - no classic novels depicting a dystopian world controlled by Thought Police and shadowy government agencies, and don't take along any computer games that allow you to assume the role of a mad dictator who controls the media. You've been warned.

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