Thailand remains a popular tourist destination
Tuesday 27 May, 2014
Breaking news! (Updated at 21.00 hrs. (GMT+7) on 27 May 2014)
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has announced the change in curfew from 22.00-05.000 to 00.01-04.00 hours with effective from 28 May, 2014.
Issued at Bangkok at 13.00 hrs. (GMT+7) on 27 May 2014
Thailand remains a popular and welcoming tourist destination with all tourist attractions and infrastructure operating as normal. This is under the fact that the country is now experiencing rapid changes in political developments, being under administration of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) as of 22 May, 2014.
The kingdom has seen the NCPO took swift actions in several areas including the approval for payments to be made immediately to rice farmers who have waited for so long for money for grain they sold to the previous government under rice-pledging scheme.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of NCPO, was quoted as saying in local English-language newspaper Bangkok Post that, “[The council] had to take control of national administration to solve national problems.” He said Thailand had faced serious problems for nine years and the people had suffered from the political situation and the violence over the past six months.
Gen Prayuth said the normal democratic processes could not solve the present national problems and that the council was acting with sincerity to solve national problems. He added that council would try to satisfy all people, and would introduce true democracy to the nation.
With a nationwide curfew (from 22.00 – 05.00 hours) currently being the only implication on people’s everyday lives, life goes on as per normal in Bangkok and throughout Thailand.
Air passengers with arrival and departure flights scheduled during curfew are allowed to travel to and from the airports at any time as usual.
All airports throughout Thailand, including at key international gateways – Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang), Phuket, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – are operating as per normal. Airlines also continue to operate incoming and outgoing flights as per normal, but flight schedule times may be adjusted. Travellers are advised to check with their respective airlines before travelling.
Other modes of transport, by road, rail and waterway, are also operating as per normal throughout Thailand, including at key tourist destinations, such as, Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Ko Samui, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.
But operating hours have been adjusted to comply with the curfew, i.e. the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway systems in Bangkok are now operating from 06.00 – 21.00 hours while inter-provincial passenger bus/train services will not be operating during curfew.
Tourism-related businesses and services
Hotels, resorts, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, as well as banks, petrol and gas stations, are open and operating as per normal, but operating hours have been adjusted to comply with the curfew. Hospitals and medical personnel are permitted to carry on with their normal operating hours.
Telephone both landline and mobile and Internet services are available 24/7 as per normal.
In popular Thai beach destinations including Ko Samui, Phuket, Pattya, Hua Hin and Krabi, all tourism-related businesses and services are operating as per normal during the day. At nighttime, curfew has been observed.
In key administrative and political strongholds including Bangkok and Chiang Mai, all tourism-related businesses and services are also operating as per normal during the day. Curfew has been widely observed at nighttime. Nevertheless, tourists are advised to be vigilant and check travel routing before travelling to avoid being inconvenienced by movements of security officers and the anti-coup groups.
However, as reported widely in local and international media, Thai military troops were seen exercising restraint when confronting with the anti-coup demonstrators.
Info for international visitors entering the Bangkok Metropolitan Area
The following measures are prepared for travellers travelling to Bangkok and the immediate vicinity:
- Individual travellers – both tourists and foreign residents – are advised to keep their passports and other travel documents handy at all times, in case they are required for inspection by security officers.
- Group travellers on tour coaches, accompanied by a tour guide or tour leader, are allowed to pass through the checkpoints without any worry.
- Taxi services at Suvarnabhumi Airport are available 24 hours at the Platform of the Passenger Terminal on the 1st Floor, Gates 4 and 7. There are 6,000 – 7,000 authorised taxis with Suvarnabhumi Airport stickers displayed on the front windscreen. Security checkpoint officers will allow access for these vehicles.
- Any passenger who cannot find a mean of transport out of Suvarnabhumi Airport during curfew may use the facilities available at the CIP Lounges 1-4, located on the 3rd floor of the Passenger Terminal.
- The shuttle bus service between Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are operating as per normal.
- For more information, contact Survarnabhumi Airport Call Centre Tel: 1722.
Visa and checkpoints
Tourists can continue to apply for visa as usual.
All international checkpoints – airports, border checkpoints and sea ports – are open and operating as per normal. However, there may be a strong security presence at certain border checkpoints.
Tourists visiting Thailand can contact the following numbers for further information and assistance:
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
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
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is closely monitoring the situation, and would like to inform tourists and the tourism industry that all concerned public and private agencies will exercise utmost efforts to ensure tourist’s convenience. Under the current circumstances, TAT will be providing updates on a daily basis at www.tatnews.org
- See more at: http://www.tatnews.org/thailand-remains-a-popular-tourist-destination/#sthash.aewrBYjb.dpuf