Jewish travelers in Thailand this Passover season found themselves navigating between Thai New Year’s celebrations and the far more serious – and at times violent – anti-government protests taking place just blocks away.

According to Chabad-Lubavitch officials in the Far Eastern country, the demonstrations – which foreign news outlets have pinned to a possible overthrow of the government orchestrated by an ousted prime minister – are disconcerting only for the potential that things could get out of control. At the beginning of the week, said Rabbi Nechemia Wilhelm from Bangkok, things seemed to be confined to the government compound nearby, but nevertheless cordoned off from areas popular with tourists.

“Only one main street was blocked on the way to the airport Monday,” said Wilhelm, the director of Chabad of Bangkok who hosted a Passover Seders last week for some 700 Jewish travelers, primarily Israeli. “Here, you don’t really feel it.”

Wilhelm added that from where the Chabad House is located, one couldn’t tell whether the raucous behavior of locals was because of their multi-day New Year’s festivities, or because of the political situation.

“If you didn’t read the newspapers, you wouldn’t know what was going on,” he said.

Levi Stein, a Lubavitch rabbinical student from Oak Park, Mich., who was in Thailand last week to assist with the Seders, said that the crowds of people filling the streets were on the whole benevolent, but that the throngs of revelers kept him confined to the Chabad House for a day.

“For the most part, they weren’t violent, but they were dousing each other and everyone who walked past with water,” said Stein. “The real danger was a few blocks away, where the protests were happening.”

Rioting continued to spread on Monday as several countries issued travel advisories to their citizens in the area. The Israeli Foreign Ministry instructed travelers in Thailand to not approach government buildings and to not travel in groups larger than five people, in keeping with a local mandate against mass assemblies.

According to Rabbi Yosef Kantor, co-director of the Jewish Association of Thailand and director of Chabad-Lubavitch activities in the country, more than 2,200 people in five different locations attended Passover festivities. Hundreds more were expected for meals and services on the last days of Passover, beginning Tuesday night. Wilhelm said that in deference to the many calls from concerned parents back in Israel, Jewish travelers were being urged to phone home.

Eran, an Israeli visitor, told Yediot Ahronot, that everyone he knew was safe.

“Other than the fact that the central train station has been closed,” he said, “we don’t really feel that anything’s going on.”

According to news reports, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, setting fire to the city’s buses and confronting police in riots that have left 70 injured so far. The protests began as a sit-in outside the office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in an effort to force his resignation, but turned violent as a summit of Asian leaders began in Pattaya, a city south of Bangkok. The unrest forced the cancellation of the summit, and visiting dignitaries evacuated by helicopter.

By Monday, streets surrounding the area of the demonstrations in Bangkok were blocked off.

For travelers returning home, taking a safe route to the airport added hours to their travel time.

“We were told to leave fours earlier than usual to get to the airport,” said Stein.