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Thailand Developments : Bangkok remains under the state of emergency

Situation Update Issued at 14.00 hrs. (GMT+7) on 28 February 2014


The ongoing anti-government demonstration in Bangkok remains normal to peaceful and continues to take place at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park (Silom intersection), Asoke intersection and the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), as well as on Ratchadamnoen Avenue (near the Democracy Monument) and Phitsanulok Road (near Government House).



During today, the anti-government demonstrators are mobilising demonstration marches to different areas in Bangkok, including some state agencies on Rama VI Road.

Roads at the rally sites and en route the demonstration marches may experience traffic disruption. The demonstrators are campaigning for political reform before an election.

Tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas, as well as areas where crowds may gather for their own safety and security.

Tourists are also advised to monitor local news and social media for developments. In case of emergency, contact the call centre numbers listed at the end of this update.

Bangkok remains under the state of emergency following the Civil Court’s ruling on Wednesday (19 February 2014) that the caretaker government has the authority to enforce the decree to maintain peace and order.

But the Court also ruled that the government has to refrain from use of violence on anti-government demonstrators or break up a peaceful demonstration.

The 60-day emergency decree, effective on 22 January 2014, currently covers Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces (Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan) only and not any other destinations in Thailand.

There is currently no curfew in place in Bangkok or any other parts of Thailand. Local residents and international visitors can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.

It is business as usual in Thailand

While the demonstrations are mainly taking place in a few small areas in central Bangkok, life in the most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as usual.

However, tourists are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas, as well as areas where crowds may gather. This is because there may be traffic disruptions or delays and thus causing inconvenience.

Bangkok is a large city and so it is possible for local residents and international visitors to avoid the demonstration areas. Traffic in the most parts of Bangkok is also moving normally since all other roads and expressways are not affected by the demonstrations.

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 and the like are open and operating as per normal. However, shopping venues in the rally areas may change their opening hours. Telephone both landline and mobile and Internet services are available 24/7 as per normal.

Transportation : all airports in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open

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 and to check the flight status prior to travelling.

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, including train services by the SRT and bus and van services by the Transport Co., Ltd.

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 floor of the 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.

Written by La Rédaction the 28/02/2014
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