Foreign travel advice for Brits and Aussies in Thailand
Advice for Brits
Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Some of these have been violent, including the use of firearms, and there have been casualties and deaths. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.
On 21 January the Thai Government declared a 60-day State of Emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas from 22 January. See Political situation.
An escalation in protest action in central Bangkok since 13 January is causing significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city. The main protest sites are at the major intersections of Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. Some protest sites are located close to shopping malls. There have been attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and protest marches. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.
You should take extra care and avoid all protests, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches. If you’re travelling to the airport, allow extra time to take account of possible transport delays, and consider using the airport rail link. Monitor local news and social media for developments. See Political situation
The Thai authorities have set up a Tourist’s Friend Centre to provide information for tourists. Offices are located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station. You can also contact the Tourist’s Friend Centre by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212 (in English – 24 hours).
Advice for Australians
- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to the possibility of civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack. You should pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
- The Thai Government has declared a 60-day State of Emergency in Bangkok and the neighbouring provinces of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn (including Suvarnabhumi International Airport) from 22 January 2014. This gives the Government additional powers such as the imposition of curfews and restrictions on public assembly, restriction of information dissemination and restrictions on movement and access to buildings. It also provides powers for the Government to order the use of military force to assist administrative officials or police officers to secure order. You should follow the local media for information about the State of Emergency and follow instructions of local authorities.
- The Thai Government has called national elections on 2 February 2014. Political demonstrations and protests have occurred in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand since November 2013 and are likely to continue. The security environment remains volatile, particularly in Bangkok.
- Recent violence has featured the use of hand-grenades against protestors, including attacks during the day in busy public areas around protest sites in central Bangkok and when protestors have been moving around the city. A number of shootings and attacks using hand-grenades amd other explosive devices have been reported around protest locations in Bangkok, resulting in a number of deaths and hundreds of injuries. Further indiscriminate attacks are likely.
- We advise travellers to avoid all locations where protests are occurring due to the risk of further violent attacks. This includes all protest sites and surrounding areas, political rallies and processions through Bangkok and in other locations, election-related events and large-scale public gatherings.
- Protestors have occupied a number of major intersections and other public locations in Bangkok since 13 January 2014, disrupting local traffic, government services and some commercial activity. You should expect traffic disruptions, blockages and delays during this period and plan accordingly (for example, by familiarising yourself with any alternate transport options). Protests are also taking place outside Bangkok. For details of protest locations see under Civil unrest/political tension.
- The Australian Embassy in Bangkok continues to deliver consular services to Australians.