Travel Advice – Political Protests in Bangkok

If you have an imminent holiday booked and have questions about travel to Bangkok please contact the TAT London office as follows: 0207 925 2511 or info@tourismthailand.co.uk

As of 12th March 2014…

The situation remains the same in Bangkok. There is little or no disruption to the city’s tourism attractions and operations. Tourists can enjoy Bangkok, and all it has to offer, as planned but we still recommend to stay away from the remaining protest sites (see below).

There has been more positive news this week that the government are considering lifting the State of Emergency Decree before the end of the 60 day period. We will keep you updated on this (although the decree has had no impact on tourists anyway).

As of 4th March 2014…

The ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok remain peaceful and are taking place inside the Lumpini Park on Rama IV Road, the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Phitsanulok Road (near Government House). These areas are not frequented by tourists visiting Bangkok. Away from the protests sites the city continues with life as normal and tourist attractions and tours are open / operating as scheduled.

Following the clean up of the dismantled protest sites earlier this week in Bangkok the roads are open to traffic again, the pavements have been cleared and cleaned, shopping malls are safely accessible and the city’s tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace continue to welcome lots of happy tourists. Check out these pictures of Bangkok to see for yourself.

As of 3rd March 2014…

Some good news! The situation in Bangkok has improved greatly over the past few days and on Saturday 1st March the leaders of the PDRC announced that they would begin to dismantle some of the demonstration sites. These areas re-opened to traffic as of today, Monday 3rd March.

The sites which have been dismantled are:

  1. Asoke (Sukhumvit, Terminal 21)
  2. Pathumwan (MBK & Siam Paragon)
  3. Ratchaprasong (Central World, Gaysorn Plaza, Pratunam and Central Chidlom)
  4. Sala Daeng

This means the central shopping areas (given in brackets above) are fully accessible again.

The PDRCs main rally site has now consolidated to Lumpini Park. Splinter groups will remain at Government House, Phan Fah Bridge, Interior Ministry & Chaeng Wattana – areas that are not frequented by tourists.

The above news is a very positive step towards reconciliation but we still advise tourists visiting the city of Bangkok to avoid the remaining demonstration areas, particularly Lumpini Park. While the ‘festival vibe’ of the protests sites may be intriguing and exciting to some visitors we recommend tourists stay clear of the area for their own safety and comfort.

The State of Emergency in Bangkok will remain in place until the 22nd March 2014. This has no impact on tourists visiting the city.

As of 27th February 2014…

Our advice remains the same. The protest sites, overall, remain calm and continue to have a street market/carnival atmosphere but we would like to stress that random incidents can, and have, broken out quickly. As acts of violence may occur without warning we again emphasize that all tourists should stay away from demonstration areas.

Tourist attractions and sightseeing tours are open and operating as usual.

Tourist assistance measures:

• The Tourist’s Friend Centre (TFC) – operated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) – is open 24 hours a day to offer assistance for tourists.

• There are two TFC branches located at Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport.

• There are four TFC Help Desks located at the following BTS Skytrain stations: Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai and Sala Daeng.

• There are three TFC Shuttle Bus Pick-up Points located at the Jewellery Trade Tower, Windsor Suites Hotel and Twin Towers Hotel. Each location has one bus, two vans and one boat on standby. However, the pick-up locations may change as deemed appropriate by the responsible agencies.

• A number of rapid Tourist Police units and 50 volunteers are also on standby to assist tourists who may require travelling through the demonstration areas.

• At Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the Airport Operation Centre offers assistance for passengers at check-in counter row R, Departure Hall, 4th Passenger Terminal. The Airport also deploys a group of facilitation personnel from TAT, ATTA and THA to assist passengers near the AOT Information Counter, Arrival Hall, 2nd floor of the Passenger Terminal.

Useful contact numbers:

  • Tourist’s Friend Centre +66 (0) 2314 1212
  • TAT Call Centre 1672
  • Tourist Police Call Centre 1155
  • Traffic Police Call Centre 1197
  • BMTA (city bus and van service) Call Centre 1348
  • BTS Hotline +66 (0) 2617 6000
  • MRT Customer Relations Center +66 (0) 2624 5200
  • SRT (train service) Call Centre 1690
  • Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490
  • AOT (Suvarnabhumi Airport) Call Centre 1722
  • Suvarnabhumi Airport Operation Centre (temporary) +66 (0) 2132 9950 or 2
  • Don Mueang Airport Call Centre +66 (0) 2535 3861, (0) 2535 3863
  • Thai Airways International Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111
  • Bangkok Airways Call Centre 1771
  • Nok Air Call Centre 1318
  • Thai AirAsia Call Centre +66 (0) 2515 9999

As of 24th February 2014…

On Sunday 23rd February a grenade attack on the anti-government rally site close to the Big C Supercenter on Ratchadamri Road, (Rajaprasong) sadly killed two people and injured others.

The protest sites, overall, remain calm and continue to have a street market/carnival atmosphere but we would like to stress that random incidents can, and have, broken out quickly. As acts of violence may occur without warning we again emphasize that all tourists should stay away from demonstration areas.

In light of the incident yesterday we recommend that tourists, for now, should keep away from the following shopping malls due to their proximity to the demonstration sites: MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World, Central Chitlom, Terminal 21.

There are alternative shopping areas, not affected by the demonstration sites, such as Emporium, Asiatique, Central Rama 3, River City, Thonglor/ Ekamai.

As of 18th February 2014…

Today, incidents broke out in Bangkok when a group of protesters tried to gain access to Government House. Trouble was also reported around Pan Fah Bridge close to Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

Tension has increased in the protest area sites since police intervened today to try and disperse the protesters. As a result, sporadic incidents and out breaks of violence may occur without warning so we continue to stress that tourists should stay away from the demonstration areas for their own safety and security.

Away from the protests sites the city continues with life as normal and tourist attractions and tours are open / operating as scheduled.

The FCO have not changed their travel advice.

As of 17th February 2014…

There has been little change in Bangkok since our last post. Demonstrators are still gathered at the main rally sites at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection and the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), as well as two other sites on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Phitsanulok Road. Roads in these areas may be closed to traffic. The demonstrations remain peaceful.

As per the advice below, travel and tourism in Bangkok is not affected and tourists can still enjoy everything the city has to offer.

As of 12th February 2014…

The overall situation of the ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok remains normal to peaceful and continues to take place at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection, the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), Phan Fa Bridge and Chamai Maruchet Bridge. Roads in these areas may be closed to traffic. Traffic in most parts of Bangkok is moving normally since all other roads and expressways are not affected by the demonstrations.

The State of Emergency remains in place but this does not have any affect on travel and tourism. It is simply a measurement put in place by the Government to maintain peace and order. There is currently no curfew in place in Bangkok, local residents and international visitors can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.

It really is business as usual in Thailand. While the demonstrations are taking place in the central Bangkok areas, life in the most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as normal.

We continue to advise tourists to avoid the demonstration areas for their own safety.

All major tourist attractions in the Thai capital, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn, are open normally. Tourists can visit all attractions using the usual means of transport, including buses, vans and car transfers by tour companies, taxis, the Skytrain, the subway or the boat and ferry service.

Businesses, including banks, petrol and gas stations, hotels, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, pharmacies, hospitals etc. are open and operating as per normal. However, shopping venues in the rally areas may change their opening hours so check before visiting.

All airports in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal.

Air passengers with flights departing out of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are advised to allocate at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time.

For tourists travelling within Bangkok, the available means of transport are as follows:

• The BTS Skytrain runs between Mo Chit and Bearing Stations (Sukhumvit Line), and between the National Stadium and Bang Wa Stations (Silom Line).

• The MRT subway runs between Bang Sue and Hua Lamphong Stations.

• The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) operates several bus and van services throughout Bangkok. Many bus routes may be adjusted to avoid the protest areas.

• Boat and ferry services on Saen Saep Canal and the Chao Phraya River.

For tourists with flights arriving in or leaving Bangkok, the available means of transport are as follows:

• The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link’s SA Express and SA City Line trains run between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Bangkok downtown (Makkasan City Air Terminal and Phayathai Stations). From the two downtown stations, tourists can connect to and from their destinations using the Skytrain or the subway.

• The State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) northern train line runs through Don Mueang International Airport station to Hua Lamphong Station.

• About 6,000 taxis registered with the Airports of Thailand (AOT) have been given special stickers to show that the vehicles are carrying tourists, thus allowing them to be able to pass normally through intersections occupied by the demonstrators.

Elsewhere in the country, all means of transport are operating as per normal/scheduled.

As of 10th February 2014…

Peaceful demonstrations continue to take place at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection, the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), Phan Fa Bridge and Chamai Maruchet. 

Today a march (to raise charitable funds) will take place along Sukhumvit road on a stretch between Ekkamai Street and Asoke intersection.

The city of Bangkok continues to run at a near normal level with businesses and tourist attractions open for business as usual and very much ready to welcome visitors.

All areas outside of Bangkok and other tourist destinations within Thailand such as Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai remain fully operational and are not affected by the demonstrations.

If you are visiting Bangkok don’t forget that the Tourist Friends Centers (TFC) - operated by The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand – are still open 24 hours a day to offer travel advice for tourists during this time. There are two TFC branches at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport and five TFC Help Desks located at the following BTS stations: Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai, Wong Wian Yai, as well as at the Hua Lampong MRT station.

As of 5th – 7th February 2014…

Following the removal of two demonstration stages on 3rd February (see below post) the demonstrators have now agreed to remove the barricades from Rama VIII Bridge today and traffic across the bridge is expected to resume by the weekend.

The anti-government demonstrators continue to stage their protests at the main rally sites at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection, the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), Phan Fa Bridge and Chamai Maruchet Bridge.

We are in daily contact with friends and colleagues in the city for the latest information. A tourist, recently returned from Bangkok, emailed our Information Team this week with the following feedback:

I stayed at the Dusit Thani so right by the ‘protest site’ at Sala Daeng / Silom Road. Road access to the hotel was not a problem along Lumpini Park, neither was getting in and out of the MRT and BTS stations right by the protest site. Silom Road was lined with many small stalls selling protest goodies such as whistles, t-shirts and phone covers, plus stalls selling food and other general clothing, so it was really quite like a market atmosphere. I also passed by the protest site at Asoke and the situation was the same. In both places I felt very safe the atmosphere was more ‘carnival’ than ‘political demonstration’. Both locations were quite noisy at night, particularly around Asoke which had a large stage for speeches (and boy bands!) but again all in a very safe atmosphere. – Darren

As of 3rd February 2014…

As of this morning in Bangkok, all of the demonstrators from Latphrao five-way intersection and the Victory Monument roundabout vacated and dismantled their rally sites and moved to the Lumpini Park rally site. All roads at Latphrao five-way intersection and the Victory Monument roundabout are now clear and open to traffics as normal.

Demonstration sites are still in place at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection, the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), Phan Fa Bridge and Chamai Maruchet Bridge. Roads in the areas may be closed to traffic but emergency vehicles and those carrying tourists are allowed to pass. Marches and gatherings at the above mentioned protest sites continue as anti-government protesters call for a national reform. We continue to monitor the situation daily.

After speaking with UK & Irish tour operators we are pleased to report that there have been very few tourists cancelling their holiday to Thailand and 3 out of 5 operators we spoke to have seen an increase in sales of 22% – 45% compared to last January.

Our travel advice has not changed. Bangkok and the rest of Thailand is ready to welcome tourists as normal.

As of 2nd February 2014…

Today the elections took place, nationwide, as planned with little disruption to local life. In Bangkok, the elections were largely peaceful and it’s still business as usual in the capital.

Our travel advice has not changed. Bangkok and the rest of Thailand is ready to welcome tourists as normal.

As of 31st January 2014…

There is very little change to our travel advice updates. The State of Emergency in Bangkok that was announced last week (22nd) has had no obvious impact on the city and no freedom of movement restrictions or night time curfews have been imposed.

This weekend the planned elections will take place on Sunday 2nd February and the protestors have announced that large demonstration activity has been planned for Sunday in order to try to disrupt voting. While we hope that these protests will remain peaceful, we strongly advise that visitors avoid all demonstration sites and polling stations. If you are in Bangkok this coming weekend we suggest you monitor local news and media reports for additional information and details or contact the TAT locally via 1672.

The Tourist Friends Center (TFC) - operated by The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand – are open 24 hours a day to offer special assistance for tourists during this time. There are two TFC branches at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport and five TFC Help Desks located at the following BTS stations: Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai, Wong Wian Yai, as well as at the Hua Lampong MRT station.

The city of Bangkok continues to run at a near normal level with most businesses and tourist attractions open for business as usual, ready to welcome visitors.

All areas outside of Bangkok and other tourist destinations within Thailand such as Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai remain fully operational and are not affected by the demonstrations.

As of 23rd – 30th January 2014…

The situation remains unchanged in Bangkok today. Our updates and advice below still apply.

Bangkok and the rest of Thailand is open for business as usual and continues to welcome tourists as normal.

As of 22nd January 2014…

Today, the State of Emergency came into force in the following areas: Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Bangplee district of Samut Prakan, and Lad Lumkaew district of Pathum Thani province, just north of the capital. Of these, Bangkok is the only area relevant to tourists.

The emergency decree gives the government, and appropriate security agencies, the power to impose curfews (although no curfew in place at this time), detain suspects without charge, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare parts of the capital off-limits. This has been put in place in the best interests of the country to help minimise any further disruption to the capital.

The Thai government has said it will abide by international standards and avoid using weapons against protesters. They today confirmed that they will allow protesters to exercise their constitutional rights with peaceful and unarmed demonstrations. “The authorities will negotiate with protesters rather than suppress them with force” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

It is business as usual in Bangkok and across Thailand. Many tourists who have visited the capital city in the past few weeks have noticed little impact to their travel and have actually said how much quieter the city is since the ‘Bangkok shutdown’ started.

We still strongly advise that tourists remain vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas for their own safety and security, however, it should be stressed that tourists have not been targeted during the protests. Despite the closure of roads and intersections in central Bangkok, tourist and emergency vehicles are still allowed to pass freely and tourist attractions and sightseeing tours operate as scheduled.

As of 21st January 2014…

14:00 GMT – A 60 day State of Emergency has been declared in Bangkok from Wednesday 22nd January 2014. We would like to reassure tourists that this sounds much worse than the actual current situation in the city.

State of Emergency – what does this mean? “…the government can suspend and/or change policies to implement emergency plans if necessary.”  This simply allows the Thai government more flexibility to protect and govern it’s citizens in a bid to control the ongoing political unrest in the capital.

A curfew has not been announced yet.

The FCO have updated their website accordingly but there are no travel restrictions in place at this time and Bangkok and the rest of Thailand continue to welcome tourists as normal. Our advice stands that tourists should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place.

Tourists can use this  map  (updated by Richard Barrow) to check places to avoid.

10:00 GMT – Following media reports of shooting incidents and  attacks at some of the rally sites in Bangkok, TAT is providing the following travel advice:

Thailand is a large country and it remains possible for tourists to visit without being inconvenienced by the ongoing political demonstrations in the capital city of Bangkok. All airports are operating as normal so tourists arriving into Bangkok airport and transferring directly north or south by air can do so without any disruption.

Overall, the protests continue peacefully and although there have been several random acts of violence at the demonstration sites NO tourists have been targeted or hurt. However, we still strongly advise tourists remain vigilant and avoid rally sites and demonstration marches. Even though the rally sites have a ‘festival vibe’ with concerts, entertainment, food stalls and Thai massage on offer, we recommend tourists stay away for their own safety and comfort due to the unpredictable actions by a small group of anti-protesters.

The FCO have updated their website but there are no travel restrictions in place at this time and Bangkok and the rest of Thailand continue to welcome tourists as normal. If you are travelling into and out of Bangkok city centre we suggest you allow extra time for your airport transfers. Tourist attractions are open as usual and local sightseeing tours are operating as scheduled.

Apart from the rally sites and demonstration marches, life in most parts of Bangkok and throughout Thailand continues as usual.

Local contact numbers for help and advice in Thailand can be found below.

As of 17th January 2014…

The protest sites largely remain peaceful and calm and continue to have a festival atmosphere, however, earlier today (13:00 local time) there was a small explosion at one of the rally sites on Banthat Thong Road. We continue to advise that tourists keep away from the protest areas for their own safety and security. 

This morning we spoke to a local tour operator who told us:

“The blockade of the core downtown protest areas from MBK to Siam Paragon to Central World to the Rajaprasong intersection to Central Chidlom still remains in place, with some tourist vehicles and all emergency vehicles still being allowed to pass without interference. While these protests are ongoing the city still functions at a near normal level with most businesses and offices continuing to operate, and people are able to move around the city freely. Bangkok is a large city and it remains possible for residents and tourists to essentially avoid the protest sites while still experiencing the delights of the city. The public transport systems including the BTS Skytrain, the MRT Subway and the Airport Rail Link continue to operate as scheduled. The Shopping Malls in the affected areas of the city also remain open for business, however most advised that they have implemented earlier closing times this week.”

The FCO have updated their website but there are no travel restrictions in place at this time and Bangkok and the rest of Thailand continue to welcome tourists as normal.

This map shows you the main protests sites and therefore the areas to avoid.

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David Luekens is a freelance travel writer living in Asia and currently based in Bangkok. On the 15th January he tried and tested what it’s really like to be a tourist in Bangkok while the protests are taking place.

Is it really as bad as the media make out?

Has Bangkok really ‘shut down’?

“…our trip unfolded as well as you could expect on any average day. The expats and travellers we spoke with along the way told us that they hadn’t experienced many problems either. Some actually seemed to relish the unusually spirited atmosphere…”

Read, in full, how David got on here 

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As of 15th January 2014…

The protests continue today in a peaceful manner and with slightly fewer numbers than on Monday.

In the early hours of the morning (around 1am), several incidents involving gun fire were reported in two areas of the city. These were carried out by an isolated group of anti-protesters. Thankfully these actions took place when very few people were on the streets. With this in mind, while the protests have been peaceful by day, we continue to advise tourists to stay away from the protest sites during the day and evening for their own safety and comfort.

We have spoken with colleagues and friends who live and work in Bangkok who have reported that commuting and business in the city continues as usual. While there are a few delays on the roads, overall the effects have not been that bad. Tourist attractions are still open as usual and sightseeing tours are running as scheduled.

One tourist has been in touch with us and said “..the transfer/flights were as smooth as could be – indeed the roads are emptier, because of the protests, so the traffic is thinner. I am now in the Koh Samui. Wow!”

The intersection from Central Chidlom to the Wireless Road / Ploenchit intersection has been reopened this morning, but the occupation of the core down town area from MBK to Siam Paragon to Central World to the Rajaprasong intersection to Central Chidlom remains in place. Despite the blockades, some tourist vehicles and all emergency vehicles are being allowed to pass freely. The Shopping Malls in the affected area the city remain open, however with altered trading hours.

The public transport systems within the city remain fully operational. Both Bangkok Airports continue to be unaffected, however transfer times from Bangkok city hotels to the airport remain at 4 hours prior to flight departure.

As of 14th January 2014…

We are pleased to report that the protests have been peaceful and there have been no reports of violence or civil unrest. Life in Bangkok continues with a reasonable amount of normality, tourist attractions remain open and sightseeing tours are continuing as scheduled.

Today’s news reports about FCO travel warnings are incorrect. We can confirm that Thailand is still safe to travel to and there are no restrictions on travelling to Thailand in place. There is no reason for tourists to cancel their holiday. The FCO website, at this time, simply gives a situation update and general travel advice. If tourists wish to make changes to their itineraries we suggest they speak to their tour operator or travel agent directly.

Overnight the demonstrators have expanded their occupation of the central downtown areas and now block vehicle access from MBK to Siam Paragon to Central World (shopping malls) to the Rajaprasong intersection to Central Chidlom and to the Wireless Road / Ploenchit intersection.

Despite the blockades, some tourist vehicles, taxis carrying tourists with special stickers and all emergency vehicles are being allowed to pass freely. The public transport systems within the city remain fully operational and people are moving around the city freely. Extra Security personnel have been placed around the city in order to protect both airports and other key transportation links. The airports remain open and are opeating as usual with no unplanned cancellations.

Most local services such as shops, restaurants, banks and bars remain open for business, as do the famous shopping malls in the central downtown area of the city.

The Tourist Friends Center (TFC) – opereated by The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand – are open 24 hours a day to offer special assistance for tourists during this time. There are two TFC branches at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport and five TFC Help Desks located at the following BTS stations: Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai, Wong Wian Yai, as well as at the Hua Lampong MRT station.

While the protests yesterday and overnight were peaceful and largely had a festival and party atmosphere, we continue to recommend that all tourists to the city stay clear of blocked intersections and all areas of demonstrations. While they are not in immediate danger the crowds gathering are large and be overwhelming to tourists who are not familiar with the city.

Please allow 4 hours prior to flight departure to travel to the airport.

All destinations outside of Bangkok within Thailand such as Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai remain fully operational and are not affected by the demonstrations.

Useful contact numbers should you require assistance in Bangkok today:

TAT Call Centre 1672
Tourist Police Call Centre 1155
Traffic Police Call Centre 1197
BMTA (city bus and van service) Call Centre 1348
BTS Hotline +66 (0) 2617 6000
MRT Customer Relations Center +66 (0) 2624 5200
SRT Call Centre 1690
Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490
AOT (Suvarnabhumi Airport) Call Centre 1722
Suvarnabhumi Airport Operation Centre (temporary) +66 (0) 2132-9950 or 2
Thai Airways International Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111
Bangkok Airways Call Centre 1771
Nok Air Call Centre 1318
Thai AirAsia Call Centre +66 (0) 2515 9999

As of 13th January 2014…

At 09:00hrs (Bangkok time) the so-called ‘Bangkok Shut down’ officially started with anti-government protesters taking position at 8 main demonstration points in central Bangkok.

This map (created by blogger, Richard Barrow) shows the points where demonstration sites have been set up, these are clearly marked with a red circle. The purple pins show the major tourist attractions. The blue pins show the main shopping malls.

The demonstrations taking place today have been peaceful with local people reporting a ‘festival’ vibe at many of the demonstration sites. While there has been disruption to traffic and an increase in congestion on the roads, outside of the affected areas the people of Bangkok are carrying on about their day as usual with minimal disruption to local business and services, including tourism.

We spoke with a local tour operator this morning who told us:

“Day to day transfer operations are currently operating at normal levels with some diversions in place in order to re-route around the affected areas. All of Bangkok’s public transport systems are operating as normal and we have received no reports of any issues concerning closures. All of the main tourist sights are open and have no restrictions in place. Bangkok city is still open for business and people are still going about their daily tasks with no hindrance. The demonstrations are expected to be peaceful but we advise all tourists visiting the city to stay away from blocked intersections and demonstration areas due to the high volume of people in these areas and the inconvenience it will cause to journeys.”

Interchange and Road Closures: Due to the large number of crowds gathering at three major rally stages at Pathumwan intersection, Rajaprasong intersection and Saladaeng intersection, parts of some roads linking directly to the three intersections have been closed to traffic as of 13.00 hrs (Bangkok time).

Roads linking to the remaining four major rally sites – Lat Phrao five-way intersection, Asoke intersection, the Victory Monument roundabout and the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road – remain opened to traffic, but some parts or some lanes may be closed.

The seven areas link directly with 16 main roads – Sukhumvit, Rama I, Rama IV, Silom, Rajdamri, Rajprarop, Phaya Thai, Phahol Yothin, Asoke Montri, Rajadapisek, Rajvithi, Din Daeng, Pracha Songkhro, Vibhavadi, Lat Phrao and Chaeng Watthana.

In addition, two other anti-government demonstration groups are staging their protests at Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue and the Government House. Parts of some roads or some lanes in the areas may be closed to traffic.

All other major tourist destinations within Thailand remain open for business and are ready to welcome tourists. Apart from the specified areas of Bangkok (see map link above), nowhere else in Thailand has been affected by protesters. All airports are operating as normal with flights arriving and departing as scheduled.

We would like to recommend tourists who are in the city at this time to use public transport as follows: The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link services between the airport and the Makkasan City Air Terminal / Phyathai Station. Journey on the SA Express takes 15 minutes and the SA City Line takes 30 minutes. Please aim to arrive for flight check-in at least 4 hours before departure to allow for traffic and delays.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT)’s train services between Don Mueang International Airport and Hua Lamphong Station to connecting to the skytrain, the subway or the airport rail link stations.

BTS skytrain and MRT subway, as well as the city bus and van services (many routes are adjusted to avoid protest areas, and to connecting passengers to the skytrain and the subway)

About 6,000 taxis registered with the Airports of Thailand (AOT) have been given special stickers to show that the vehicles are carrying tourists.

Boat and ferry services on Saen Saeb Canal and the Chao Phraya River.

The following tourist assistance measures are still in place: A Tourist Care Centre is set up at the Sports Authority of Thailand at Hua Mark Stadium and a Tourist Care Unit at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports to coordinate with all concerned public and private agencies to provide assistance to tourists.

A Tourist Help Desk is set up at BTS skytrain Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai Stations and MRT subway Hua Lamphong Station. Each location is manned by four Tourist Police officers.

A Shuttle Bus Pick-up Point is set up at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, Windsor Suites Hotel and Twin Towers Hotel. Each location has 1 bus, 2 vans and 1 boat on standby.

Rapid Tourist Police units and 50 volunteers are on standby to assist tourists who may need to travel through the demonstration areas (to reach their hotel, for example). In addition, accommodation near the airports will be reserved for tourists who may have missed flights due to arriving late to the airport because of travel disruptions.

At Suvarnabhumi International Airport an Airport Operation Centre is set up to assist passengers at check-in counter row R, Departure Hall, 4th floor of the Passenger Terminal. Waiting areas have been assigned for passengers missing their flights due to the travel uncertainties from Bangkok downtown.

The airport has also arranged a group of facilitation personnel from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Association of Thai Travel Agents and the Thai Hotels Association to assist passengers near the AOT Information Counter, Arrival Hall, 2nd floor of the Passenger Terminal.

Useful contact numbers should you require assistance in Bangkok today:

TAT Call Centre 1672
Tourist Police Call Centre 1155
Traffic Police Call Centre 1197
BMTA (city bus and van service) Call Centre 1348
BTS Hotline +66 (0) 2617 6000
MRT Customer Relations Center +66 (0) 2624 5200
SRT Call Centre 1690
Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490
AOT (Suvarnabhumi Airport) Call Centre 1722
Suvarnabhumi Airport Operation Centre (temporary) +66 (0) 2132-9950 or 2
Thai Airways International Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111
Bangkok Airways Call Centre 1771
Nok Air Call Centre 1318
Thai AirAsia Call Centre +66 (0) 2515 9999

As of 10th January 2014…

We would like to reassure tourists, visiting Bangkok this month, that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and other government agencies are doing as much as they can to minimise disruption to travel and tourism infrastructure during the protests.

TAT have set up a network of Tourist Friend Centres (dial 1672 locally) to assist all tourists. The centres are located in the main BTS & MRT stations and other key areas around the city. These are manned by multilingual staff.

The airports are open and operating as normal. There have been no reported flight cancellations from the UK to Thailand but if you have a specific question about your flight please contact the airline directly for further details. Please allow extra time for your journey from Bangkok city to the airport. Many check-in desks will be open at least 4 hours before departure however it is recommended to travel to the airport by the BTS Rail Link and complete airport check-in at Makkasan station.

The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) current travel advice can be found here.

Bangkok, and the rest of Thailand, is still very much open for business and is ready to welcome travellers to the Kingdom. A holiday to the capital city can still be enjoyed however visitors should expect to experience congestion and delays by road and public transport due to the closure of roads in the city centre – see map below. The MRT, river transport and BTS Sky Train are suitable alternatives.

Bangkok is a large city, the map below shows the specific areas affected: 

Affected Areas and Streets in Bangkok City Centre on 13th January 2014

We appreciate that some tourists may not be planning on staying in the city for long and therefore wish to change their plans to avoid these disruptions. We suggset contacting tour operators and travel agents for their individual policies on changes to itineraries.
Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin and Pattaya are all a few hours drive from Bangkok and a good alternative to the city. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Krabi, Khao Lak etc. are not affected at all by the protests and can still be reached by road, air or sea (as applicable).

If you have any further questions before you travel please contact the TAT London office as follows: 0207 925 2511 or info@tourismthailand.co.uk

Useful contact numbers in Thailand:

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

 
As of 8th January 2014…
As the media continue to report on ‘Bangkok Shut-down’ the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to inform visiting tourists (and the UK & Irish travel and tourism industry) that all concerned public and private agencies will exercise utmost efforts to ensure tourist’s convenience while the demonstration takes place. A special lane will be provided for tourist buses and vehicles alongside a number of measures to assist and facilitate tourists, be they group tourists or independent travellers.

Six Intersections they will try and close from 13 January:
1. Victory Monument
2. Siam Square
3. Ladprao 5-Way Intersection
4. Ratchaprasong Intersection
5. Lumpini Park
6. Asoke Intersection

At this time, both international airports in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang) and all other international and domestic airports throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal. The main anti-government demonstrator group has promised they will not disrupt public infrastructure, including the city buses and vans, water-transport, BTS skytrain, MRT subway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link and the two Bangkok’s airports (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang) so that business can continue as usual.

All city buses and vans, water-transport, BTS skytrain, MRT subway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link and the two Bangkok’s airports (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang) are open and operating as per normal but may be subject to delays from 13th January so please allow extra time for your journey, particularly if you are heading to the airport.

Airlines have made arrangements to open check-in desks upto 4 hours before departure to allow earlier check-in for travellers arriving earlier to the airport. Please check directly with the airline you are travelling with for further information.

Telephone – landline and mobile – and Internet services are available 24/7.

Tourists can travel to Bangkok and around the city. The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Na Phra Lan Road, Siam Paragon and CentralWorld Shopping complexes on Rama I Road, parks, temples, historical sites and theme parks are open and operating as per normal. The protesters are targeting government buildings only and so there should be no disruption to tourist attractions and local businesses. However, tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather. Check locally with the TAT, local news or your hotel concierge before heading out to avoid demonstration routes.

Businesses including banks, petrol and gas stations, hotels, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, pharmacies, hospitals and such are open and operating as per normal.

Bangkok is a big city and you can avoid the demonstration sites by taking our advice and seeking advice locally on arrival. For perspective on exactly which parts of the city will be affected please take a look at this interactive map.

If you have any further questions before you travel please contact the TAT London office as follows: 0207 925 2511 or info@tourismthailand.co.uk

As of 6th January 2014…

You may have read in the news that anti-government protesters are planning to ‘shut down’ Bangkok on Monday 13th January 2014, however, we understand that these headlines are much worse than the reality of what is expected to happen and the city will still be accessible.

Protest leaders have today, publicly said …”protests will be peaceful and the march won’t affect airports and they [tourists] shouldn’t be afraid to come to the city on holiday. The march will affect traffic congestion more than anything else. Tourist attractions, malls & mass transit will run as normal.”

The main anti-government demonstrator group has promised they will not disrupt public infrastructure, including the city buses and vans, water-transport, BTS skytrain, MRT subway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link and the two Bangkok’s airports (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang).

At this time, both international airports in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang) and all other international and domestic airports throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal.

If you are in Bangkok on the 13th January we recommend that you stay local to your hotel on that day and do not travel across the city as the roads will be very busy with protesters and traffic. Why not enjoy a day by the hotel pool or in the spa and monitor local news before heading out. Hotel staff and concierge should be briefed to advise you on areas to avoid in the city. For your own safety and security we suggest you avoid areas where large crowds may gather.

If you are arriving to Bangkok on 13th January 2014 and transferring into the city please check with airport staff and the information help desks for the best way to make your onward journey, as although public transport is expected to be running normally it may be subject to delays due to traffic and large numbers of people in the city on the day.

Useful contact numbers in the unlikely event your travel plans are affected by these demonstrations:

  • 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

All concerned public and private agencies are closely monitoring the situation, and are working to ensure that tourists are not affected by the planned mass demonstrations on 13 January 2014.

If you have any further questions before you travel please contact the TAT London office as follows: 0207 925 2511 or info@tourismthailand.co.uk

As of 5th January 2014…

Yesterday, in Bangkok, a ‘warm up’ march took place through the capital city ahead of the mass demonstration planned for Monday 13th January 2014. The march passed without violence or any major disruption to the city. Leaders of the march have promised to “minimise the impact on ordinary Thais and not target airports” so that the city remains accessible.

As of 26th December 2013…

Today, protests turned violent in the city of Bangkok with a hardcore group of demonstrators, some armed, trying to break into the stadium where the electoral commission was registering candidates ready for the proposed election on 2nd February 2014. Police responded with tear gas, dispersing the crowds. Sadly, police and protesters were injured, some seriously.

Although tourists are not a target (this is politically led) we suggest that you avoid all protests and political gatherings for your own safety while in Bangkok. The protests and violence is concentrated to the same areas below and today’s events occurred at a stadium in Din Daeng district.

Travel and tourism in the city remains unaffected and visitors can enjoy their holidays as planned.

If you are travelling to Bangkok this month, or in January 2014, and have any questions or concerns about visiting the city you can call our UK TAT office on 0207 925 2511 or email info@tourismthailand.co.uk If you are already in Thailand and wish to speak to TAT for travel advice you can call 1672 (local number from within Thailand).

Other 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

As of 20th December 2013…

Although protests continue in Bangkok and various rallies are being staged in the city the same travel advice remains. Bangkok is safe to visit and all tourists sites and attractions are open as usual.

There is no reason for tourists to avoid Bangkok and the city can still be enjoyed as usual in a holiday itinerary.

As of 13 December 2013…

The situation remains calm in Bangkok and travel and tourism is unaffected.

In an attempt to find solutions to Thailand’s political differences, various sectors in the country are organising forums and meetings to exchange opinions that are expected to bring about a peaceful resolution prior to the general election which is due to take place on 2nd February, 2014.

As of 11 December 2013…

The situation has become much calmer in Bangkok and while the protests still continue they are being carried out in a peaceful manner and are contained within one area in the innermost part of Bangkok. The anti-government demonstrators’ main stages are in the city’s historic quarter, they are contained within the area near Government House (with one stage each on Phitsanulok Road and Nang Lerng Junction) and at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue.

Travel and tourism in the city remains unaffected and visitors can enjoy their holidays as planned.

Tourists can still travel between their hotels and tourist attractions, using all means of city transportation, such as, BMTA bus and van, BTS skytrain, MRT subway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link’s express and city lines, water-transport (ferries, boats, long-tailed boats and hotels’ converted rice barge cruises) tuk-tuks and taxis.

If you are planning on visiting the Grand Palace we recommend the following: To avoid getting caught in traffic it is recommended that tourists visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Na Phra Lan Road should take the BTS skytrain to Saphan Taksin station located atop Sathon “Central” Pier. From there, take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Chang Pier, and then it’s a short walk to the Grand Palace’s main entrance.

As of 9 December 2013…

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, has announced that she is dissolving parliament, after a wave of anti-government protests in the capital Bangkok. Ms Yingluck said she will hold new elections as soon as possible. The move followed the resignation of all opposition MPs from parliament on Sunday, and a planned march on Government House on Monday.

Despite the marches taking place today, Monday 9th December, travel and tourism remains unaffected and the city is still safe to visit.

As of 6 December 2013…

Following a peaceful day in the city of Bangkok on 5th December which was His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday and Fathers Day in Thailand, the protests have resumed (as expected) in the following places:

  • 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
Tourism remains unaffected in Bangkok and the city is still safe to visit as a tourist. If you are travelling to Bangkok and have a specific question you can get in touch with us via our Facebook page or contact the TAT London office directly info@tourismthailand.co.uk or call 0207 925 2511.

As of 4 December 2013…

As the nation prepares for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday tomorrow (5 December 2013), the violence and protests have come to an end in Bangkok.

A big cleaning activity has been arranged today on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin Island. Officials and protesters are helping each other in cleaning the royal boulevard during this morning.

The Big Clean Up – Bangkok
(image courtesy of Bangkok Post)

According to local media reports, the anti-government protesters will continue their protests after 5 December 2013. Their five main stages will remain at the 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 and Makkawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue.

The advice for tourists remains the same; Bangkok is open for business as usual and the above protest sites do not affect hotels and attractions. 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, Siam Paragon, CentralWorld and Terminal 21 Shopping Complexes.

Tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather. Tourists are also advised to check travel routes and road traffic situation to avoid getting caught in traffic or they can use other means of transportation to getting around in Bangkok, including BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link’s Express and City Lines, and water-transport.

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

International and domestic airlines remain unaffected and are operating flights between Bangkok and Thai cities, as well as destinations around the world. City and inter-provincial bus and train services are also operating their usual timetables although some bus routes maybe re-routed to avoid congested areas.

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.

As of 2 December 2013… (insights courtesy of Destination Asia, based in Bangkok)

Over the weekend, there have been sporadic acts of civil unrest in some locations across Bangkok, and in some areas acts of civil disobedience where the protestors attacked the security forces who were attempting to contain and gain control of the situation to control the violence. The demonstrations continue and the protestors over the weekend took to marching around specific areas of the city (government administration office areas) to voice their frustrations with the incumbent government. The demonstrations, although turning violent, are contained to these ares of Bangkok and the rest of the city remains unaffected as locals, and tourists alike, carry on their day as usual. Normal daily life continues.

Hotels, attractions and sightseeing tours are operating as normal. Public transport is fully operational but travellers may experience additional traffic congestion.

All other major destinations in Thailand, such as Phuket, Samui, Krabi and the North etc. are operating as normal with no disruptions to travel and tourism services.

As of 29 November 2013…

The ongoing anti-government protests in Bangkok have been peaceful and tourists have not been targeted. Bangkok, and the rest of Thailand, remains open for business as usual and hotels, attractions and activities are ready to welcome visitors.

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 violence. Tourists can still travel safely between their hotels to all the main tourist attractions using road transport, SkyTrain, subway and water transport.

All tourist attractions in Bangkok such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Na Phra Lan Road and Vimanmek Mansion on Rajvithi Road are open and operating as per normal. However, tourists are advised to check the local traffic situation to avoid areas where crowds may gather – as heavy traffic builds up in these places.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has advised air travellers of possible heavy road traffic and a lack of taxis resulting from the protests in Bangkok. To avoid being held up in traffic, it is advisable to use public transport such as BTS SkyTrain, Airport Rail Link, public buses and vans. Tourists travelling to the airport should try to start their journey at least three hours before their flight departs.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Thailand at this time due to the protests in Bangkok?

• There is no reason to avoid Thailand, which remains a popular tourist destination and open for tourism business as usual. The demonstrations in Bangkok remain peaceful. Life in Bangkok, and all other areas of Thailand, continues as normal.

• Tourists need not be alarmed by the presence of security forces and checkpoints in
Bangkok. Police are providing additional security at this time and traffic police are also stepping up efforts to ensure traffic flow around the city.

• Traffic police are also stepping up efforts to ensure the traffic keeps flowing in the city.

Q: Which areas of the city are demonstrations taking place in?

• The demonstrations in Bangkok are peaceful, and within the bounds of the law, and are taking place at the Democracy Monument, Phan Fa Bridge and Makkawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Ministry of Finance on rama VI Road, teh Government Complex on Chaengwattana Road, and Nang Lerng Junction on Nakhonsawan-Phitsanulok Roads.

• Tourists are advised to avoid these areas, where crowds may gather.

• Tourists are advised to check travel routes and the traffic situation with their hotel concierge, local travel agent provider or via the TAT (see contact details below) as there may be disruptions to traffic. Public transport in Thailand such as the MRT and BTS are a cost efficient and quick way to travel around the city and well connects the main tourist areas for attractions, nightlife and shopping as well as the river.

• Given the large number of people attending rallies on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, as well as near the Government House and Parliament, roads around or within the areas may be temporarily closed to traffic.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Bangkok, and around the city, while the demonstrations are taking place?

• Tourists can travel to Bangkok and get around the city as normal. Tourist attractions and activities in the Thai capital are open and operating as normal.

• Mass transit networks in Bangkok, including BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway and city buses are operating as usual.

• However, due to protests being concentrated in three districts of Bangkok – Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pom Prap Sattru Phai – the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) has temporarily rerouted 12 city bus routes; Bus No.s 2, 12, 15, 23, 47, 59, 60, 68, 82, 503, 511, & 556.

• Transportation to and from Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang 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 normal.

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

Q: Is it safe for tourists to go to the demonstration areas for observation and taking photographs?

• Tourists are advised to use common sense and avoid areas where the demonstrations are taking place or where crowds may gather. This is because there may be traffic disruptions or delays, thus causing inconvenience to your holiday plans.

• Bangkok offers a wealth of tourist attractions and activities, so tourists should better enjoy their time visiting these. If tourists have an interest in the local political situation we advise them to follow the newspapers for latest updates.

Q: Why has the Thai government invoked the Security Act in Bangkok?

• The Thai Cabinet has approved the use of the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts – Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pom Prap Sattru Phai or areas surrounding Government House and the Parliament – until 30 November, 2013 as a precautionary step to ensure order during the demonstrations.

• This law does not prohibit nor obstruct peaceful demonstrations held within the bounds of the law, but they enable 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.

 Q: Is there a chance that Suvarnabhumi Airport will be closed by the protestors as in late 2008?

• The current demonstrations are taking place in inner Bangkok, which is located 30 km from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai authorities are working to ensure that there will not be any recurrence of the airport closure or any disruption to public infrastructure and transportation.

• At this time, both international airports in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang) and all other international and domestic airports throughout Thailand are open and operating normally.

Q: Is it safe and convenient to travel to other parts of Thailand?

Tourists can travel in and out of, and to other parts of Thailand, directly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Chiang Mai, located 716 kilometres north of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 8 hours by car or 1 hour by air

Phuket, located 865 kilometres south of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 10 hours by car or 1 hours 25 minutes by air

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

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

Koh Samui, located 804 kilometres southwest of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or 10 hours by car and ferry or 1 hour by air

For more information on tourist attractions and activities in Bangkok, call the Tourism Authority of Thailand Contact Centre 1672 (local number from within Thailand).

Other 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

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11 Responses to Travel Advice – Political Protests in Bangkok

  1. Ryan Thatcher says:

    I am travelling to Bangkok on the 13th of Dec. is there any possibility of the airport being closed down?

    • Joanna, Tourism Thailand says:

      Not at this stage Ryan. But best to keep checking with the airline you’re travelling with. We will also post more Situation Updates as necessary.

  2. n says:

    I am traveling to bkk on 13th can I go shopping to siam paragon, big c ….? Is sky train working? Tnk u very much

    • Joanna, Tourism Thailand says:

      The sky train and metro are both operating a usual service. The protesters have said they will not disrupt these means of public transport however please consider that they will be busier than usual so allow extra time for travelling around the city. At this time the shopping malls are open and accessible by public transport. On the 13th January the shopping malls will be open for business as usual but please plan your journey in advance and check local news or with hotel concierge for specific travel advice.

  3. Fitcha says:

    I am travelling to bangkok on saturday 18th Jan, should i be worried?

    • Joanna, Tourism Thailand says:

      The ‘shutdown’ is expected to start at 9am on 13th January and could last for just the day, or longer. The airports and airport transfer services are all running as normal at this time. There has been no suggestion that the protesters will cause disruption at the airports. Due to the closure of some roads in central Bangkok however, congestion and delays are expected so please allow extra time for your journey. There will be tourist information help desks at the airport should you wish to double check the situation on your arrival.

    • jenny says:

      I don’t think it should be a worry, but try to keep out of areas if crowds are gathering, your hotel should advise you. When we went i was the first time the protests started, there were police checks on the road but when they saw it was tourists they just wave you through.They want tourists and all the protests should be over, just keep updated on the Bangkok News.Have a great holiday and enjoy Thailand it is usually a joy ….

  4. jdphoff says:

    What’s the status of Chatuchak weekend market? Open, closed, accessible?

    • Joanna, Tourism Thailand says:

      Hi. Chatuchak weekend market is still open as usual and easily accessible via public transport. Take the BTS Skytrain to the last stop, Mo Chit, on the Sukhumvit line or to Chatuchak Park via the MRT underground. As always, it’s best to get there early while its cooler. Happy shopping!

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