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Travel Advice From The Tourism Authority Of Thailand

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High season is with us here in Thailand and the Tourism Authority Of Thailand are starting to panic following 20 odd countries issuing safety warnings to their citizens visiting the Kingdom on their holly wobbles.

Why are they issuing warnings?

The whistle-blowing and red shirt mobs are getting some people worried. Suits in foreign offices around the world smell a revolt and think the so far peaceful protests are going to turn sour and city wide riots will turn Bangkok into a bloodbath.

So on one hand we have foreign governments telling us BKK isn’t really that safe and on the other hand we have the Thai government telling us everything is fine.

Who do we believe?

Your gut instinct for starters. I cannot tell you what to do. I live within spitting distance of one government building that has been taken over. Other than some guy on a mega-phone every now and again plus busier than usual traffic on the small road outside my building, you’d never know they were there.

That is now but what will tomorrow bring? No one knows what is going to happen. They may all get bored, pack up and go home. On the other hand the police or army (who are holed up in a building about a kilometer away by the hundreds) could be sent in to clear them out.

My advice to anyone with plans to come is do what you feel most at ease with. If you are worried then go elsewhere. Don’t stay in Bangkok. Thailand has many wonderful towns and cities you can visit. If you aren’t comfortable with that then cancel your trip and come at a later date. It really is that simple.

Tourism authority of Thailand logo

Below is the full copy of the press release from the Tourism Authority Of Thailand.

Situation Update: Thailand Political Developments

Issued at Bangkok at 17.00 (GMT+7) on 29 November 2013

The ongoing anti-government protests in Bangkok since early October have been normal to peaceful. During November, although the gatherings and mobilisations of large crowds in different parts of the city at certain times have caused heavy road traffic, there have been no cases of chaos or violence. Tourists can still travel safely between their hotels, using road-transport, skytrain, subway and water-transport, to many attractions in Bangkok.

The anti-government protesters are staging their campaigns at the following locations:

– Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue

– Ministry of Finance on Rama VI Road

– Government Complex on Chaengwattana Road

– Nang Lerng Junction on Nakhonsawan-Phitsanulok Roads

– Makkawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue

The anti-government protesters have staged their rallies at the American Embassy on Wireless Road, Pheu Thai Party’s headquarters on New Petchburi Road, Metropolitan Waterworks Authority on Prachacheun Road and Royal Thai Army on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road. The protesters have returned to their main stages as of mid afternoon.

Meanwhile, the pro-government supporters are staging their campaign at Rajamangala Stadium on Ramkhamhaeng Road. The area is in the eastern part of Bangkok and far off from the above areas occupied by the anti-government protesters.

Outside of Bangkok, the anti-government protesters are rallying at several provincial administration halls. Officials have confirmed that none of the provincial halls have been seized by the protesters. No chaos or violence has been reported. Although there were one or two cases of confrontations between the anti-government protesters and pro-government supporters, police was able to maintain peace and order in the areas.

For tourists visiting the kingdom, it should be stressed that foreigners and/or tourists have not been targeted in the ongoing political protests.

However, tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather. Tourists are also advised to check travel route and road traffic situation as the daily marches by the anti-government protesters may cause heavy road traffic at certain times and thus causing inconvenience.

The Royal Thai Army has advised the public not to panic if they see troops on the move during 1-2 December 2013.

A total of 12 battalions of royal guards from Prachin Buri, Chon Buri, Nakhon Nayok and Lop Buri and one cavalry battalion of royal guards from Bangkok will be travelling to an oath-taking ceremony for His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej’s birthday on 5 December in Hua Hin, Prachuab Khiri Khan. They will return to their bases after the ceremony.

It’s business as usual in Thailand.

Life in Bangkok and all other areas of Thailand continues as per normal. Tourist attractions and activities as well as businesses in Bangkok and other provinces are not affected, and continue as usual.

For live images of Thai tourist destinations, check out these THAI LIVE CAM streaming cameras that present a number of stunning preset views of Thailand’s most famous and popular cities.

Tourist attractions are open and operating as per normal.

In Bangkok:

Historical attractions, theme parks, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, local markets, temples and river tours are open and operating as per normal.

To avoid heavy road traffic at certain times, tourists can use BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, ferry, boats and hotel’s converted rice barges to many attractions, such as, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of Dawn, ASIATIQUE The Riverfront, and Siam Paragon and Terminal 21 Shopping Complexes.

Outside of Bangkok:

Tourist activities in Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ko Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang-nga and Krabi, for instance, are operating as per normal.

These provinces’ administration halls are located in official designated areas, and are not where tourists normally go to or where tour companies include in the tour programme.

Transportation

International and domestic airlines are operating flights between Bangkok and Thai cities, as well as destinations around the world, as per normal.

Thailand’s main gateway, Suvarnabhumi Airport, in Bangkok and all other international and domestic airports throughout the country are operating as per normal. Transportation to and from Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports into central Bangkok as well as into tourist destinations southeast and southwest of Bangkok; such as, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ko Samet and Ko Chang are operating as per normal.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has advised air travellers of possible heavy road traffic and a lack of taxis resulting from the protests in Bangkok. Commuters are advised to use public transport such as BTS Skytrain, Airport Rail Link, public buses and vans, and limousine services. Air travellers are also advised to allocate more time before flight depart or at least three hours.

The State Railway of Thailand and the Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) are operating as per normal. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority is operating its city bus routes as per normal, although some routes are temporarily rerouted.

There is no reason at all to avoid Bangkok, which remains a popular tourist destination. However, tourist can also spend their holidays in other Thai cities, which are located within 1 or 2 hour travelling time from Bangkok.

Getting around Thailand

– Bangkok, located 30 kilometres from Suvarnabhumi Airport or 30 minutes by car or 15 minutes by Airport Rail Link. Mass transit networks including BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway and city buses are operating as usual.

– Chiang Mai, located 716 kilometres north of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 7 hours 44 minutes by car or 1 hour 10 minutes by air.

– Phuket, located 865 kilometres south of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 9 hours 50 minutes by car or 1 hour 25 minutes by air.

– Pattaya, located 120 kilometres southeast of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 1 hour 17 minutes by car.

– Hua Hin, located 227.5 kilometres southwest of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 2 hours 40 minutes by car.

– Ko Samui, located 804 kilometres southwest of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 10 hours 34 minutes by car and ferry or 1 hour 5 minutes by air.

– Khon Kaen, located 458 kilometres northeast of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 5 hours by car or 55 minutes by air.

– Nong Khai, located 630 kilometres northeast of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 7 hours 5 minutes by car.

Security law

The Thai Government has announced the enforcement of the Internal Security Act (ISA) in all districts of Bangkok and Nonthaburi, Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan and Lat Lum Kaeo district of Pathum Thani until 31 December to maintain law and order.

The law does not prohibit nor obstruct peaceful demonstration held within the bounds of the law, but it enables security agencies – police, military and civilian – to effectively prevent and mitigate, as much as possible, undue disruption or impact on the safety of the general public.

Tourists need not be alarmed of the presence of security forces and checkpoints in Bangkok. Police are deployed to provide security in the city. Security has been stepped up to prevent ill-intentioned people from inciting violence. Traffic police are also stepping up efforts to ensure traffic flow in the city.

Useful contact numbers:

Tourism Authority of Thailand Call Centre 1672

Thai Traffic Police Call Centre 1197

Thai Tourist Police Call Centre 1155

Bangkok Tourism Division Call Centre +66 (0) 2225 7612-4

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (city bus service) Call Centre 1348

State Railway of Thailand Call Centre 1690

Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490

Airports of Thailand Call Centre 1722

Thai Airways International (THAI) Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111

Bangkok Airways Reservation Centre 1771

Nok Air Call Centre 1318

Thai AirAsia Call Centre +66 (0) 2515 9999

And there you have it. The official word from ToT.

Stickboy BKK is the #1 website for Bangkok nightlife and entertainment news for expats and tourists, covering everything from local news to what's going on after dark. You can drop us an email here - stickboybangkok@gmail.com

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