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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Situation Update – Thailand Political Developments

The Tourism Authority of Thailand have commented that the ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok have been normal to peaceful and are mainly taking place at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue. There are two other demonstration sites nearby – at Chamai Maruchet Bridge near Government House and Makkawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue.


The main anti-government demonstration group – at Democracy Monument – has announced plan to mount pressure on the Caretaker Yingluck Shinawatra Government to step down by organising massive demonstrations in a peaceful manner in Bangkok on 13 January 2014. The group has been organising a daily warm-up rally to different parts of the city since Sunday (5 January 2014).

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. Should the massive demonstrations on 13 January occur, 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.

For tourists visiting the kingdom, it should be stressed that tourists have not been targeted in the ongoing political demonstrations. Tourist attractions and activities in Bangkok and throughout the country are open and operating as per normal, but tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather. This is because there may be traffic disruptions or delays, thus causing inconvenience.

Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports in Bangkok, as well as other local and international airports throughout the country, are open and operating as usual. However, air travellers are advised to allocate more time before flights depart or at least four hours. To avoid possible heavy road traffic, air travellers are advised to use public transport such as BTS skytrain and MRT subway to connect to Suvarnabhumi Airport via the Airport Rail Link. For those departing out of Don Muang Airport, they are advised to use the toll way.

All means of city transportation are open and operating as per normal, including BMTA buses and vans, 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), and taxi. All means of inter-provincial transportation are also open and operating as per normal, including rail services by the State Railway of Thailand and bus and van services by the Transport Co., Ltd.

For tourists visiting Thailand and entering the country through Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports, the following list includes some of the kingdom’s major tourist destinations. Tourists can travel directly to these destinations via various transportation means available at the airport:
  • Chiang Mai, located 716 kilometres north of Suvarnabhumi Airport or 7 hours 44 minutes by car or 1 hour 10 minutes by air.
  • Phuket, located 865 kilometres south of Suvarnabhumi Airport or 9 hours 50 minutes by car or 1 hour 25 minutes by air.
  • Pattaya, located 120 kilometres southeast of Suvarnabhumi Airport or 1 hour 17 minutes by car.
  • Hua Hin, located 227.5 kilometres southwest of Suvarnabhumi Airport or 2 hours 40 minutes by car.
  • Ko Samui, located 804 kilometres southwest of 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 Suvarnabhumi Airport or 5 hours by car or 55 minutes by air.
  • Nong Khai, located 630 kilometres northeast of Suvarnabhumi Airport or 7 hours 5 minutes by car.
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