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Situation Update: Thailand Political Protest

Dear Clients,

The main anti-government demonstrator group, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), is undergoing a big cleaning activity at the Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Asoke and Silom rally stages during today. All stages at the four intersections will be dismantled and blocked roads will be cleared and re-opened to traffic.

As of Monday, 3 March 2014, the PDRC will stage their protest at only one location in central Bangkok – inside the Lumpini Park on Rama IV Road.

Meanwhile, three other demonstration stages by different anti-government demonstrator groups remain at the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road) – also a PDRC’s rally site, Ratchadamnoen Avenue (near the Democracy Monument) and Phitsanulok Road (near Government House). 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 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 more unformation and hot updates, please check at the Tourism Authority of Thailand's website.