Thailand - Travel warning

4 December 2013

Dozens of countries have issued travel warnings for Bangkok due to volatile protests that saw three dead and over 100 people injured earlier this week, according to media reports.
This comes just as the busy holiday season begins where the capital has seen protests targeting government buildings in a call to overthrow prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
The UK Foreign and Common Wealth Office reported: “Violence, including gunshots, was reported overnight on November 30 to December 1 in the area of Ramkhamhaeng University in the Bang Kapi district of Bangkok. You should avoid all protests, political gatherings and demonstrations.” 
It is advising against travel to these parts of the country. 
Far East product manager for Holiday Tours, Karen Camm, says they have not seen any cancellations for Thailand bookings, however. “We do not discourage our customers from travelling to Thailand but recommend that they be vigilant and avoid the main locations in Bangkok where the anti-government protests are taking place and where crowds of protesters are gathering.”
Karen says they are receiving regular updates on the situation in Bangkok from various sources in the situation and the areas affected, none of which are frequented by tourists. The two most sensitive areas are around Government House and Parliament as well as the Metropolitan Police Bureau.
“Despite the volatile political situations in Bangkok, life in the Thai capital and all other areas of Thailand continues as normal. Tourist attractions and activities as well as businesses in Bangkok and tourist activities in Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ko Samui, Phuket, Chiant Mai, Krabi and Phang-nga are operating normally,” she says. 
Sales representative for Centara Resorts & Hotels, Janine Pienaar, says its hotels have had very few cancellations but they are seeing a slowdown in new bookings, especially for Bangkok, however not much in the south. 
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released a statement on December 3 stating that, while the protests were volatile, they have eased. It stressed that there are four volatile sites within a small quarter of Bangkok: Democracy Monument, Ministry of Finance on Rama VI Road, Government Complex, Nang Lerng Junction and Makkawan Bridge. 
It has urged tourists to be vigilant and avoid areas where crowds may gather and has stressed that otherwise, it is business as usual in Thailand and all tourist attractions are open and operating normally.