The announcement by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on the change in curfew time to 00.01-04.00 hrs. as of 28 May, 2014 means that tourists visiting Thailand will have more time to enjoy the kingdom’s wide variety of tourist attractions, ranging from unique culture, abundant natural beauty and remarkable variety of activities, including soft adventure, spa, shopping and medical tourism, as well as year-round unique celebrations and festivals.
It should be stressed that even during the previous curfew time (22.00-05.00 hours with took effect for only six days from 22 – 27 May, 2014), tourists visiting Thailand could still enjoy their holiday in the kingdom’s major tourist destinations including Ko Samui and Phuket as usual as reported widely by local and international media as well as the tourists themselves and travel bloggers via various social media outlets.
Tourists’ travelling schedules are also hardly affected by either the previous or new curfew time as all airports remain open and the NCPO allows air passengers with arrival and departure flights scheduled during curfew to travel to and from the airports at any time as usual.
Yesterday, the council has appointed a six-member advisory board, or as local media called the “Dream Team”, to look after security, the economy and laws. This move, in part, demonstrates the NCPO’s commitment to promote the country’s economy. The council also announced the establishment of a “Reconciliation Centre for Reform” to create unity in Thailand.
All airports throughout Thailand, including at key international gateways – Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang), Phuket, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – are operating as per normal. Airlines also continue to operate incoming and outgoing flights as per normal, but flight schedule times may be adjusted. Travellers are advised to check with their respective airlines before travelling.
Other modes of transport, by road, rail and waterway, are also operating as per normal throughout Thailand, including at key tourist destinations, such as, Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Ko Samui, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai. But operating hours have been adjusted to comply with the new curfew time, i.e. the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway systems in Bangkok are now operating from 06.00 – 23.00 hrs.
Tourism-related businesses and services
Hotels, resorts, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, as well as banks, petrol and gas stations, are open and operating as per normal. Shopping malls have resumed their normal operating hours (usually from 10.00 – 22.00 hrs.) while telephone both landline and mobile and Internet services continue to be available 24/7 as per normal.
In popular tourist destinations including Ko Samui, Phuket, Pattya, Hua Hin and Krabi, all tourism-related businesses and services are operating as per normal.
In Bangkok, the situation is calm. A sense of normality has returned to streets and areas near Government House and Ratchadamnoen Klang and Nok Avenue, as well as at Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, after anti-government demonstrators vacated the sites and a big clean-up was held. Roads at these areas have been re-opened to normal traffic. Curfew has been widely observed at nighttime. Nevertheless, tourists are advised to be vigilant and check travel routing before travelling to avoid being inconvenienced by movements of security officers and the anti-coup groups.
However, as reported widely in local and international media, Thai military troops were seen exercising restraint when confronting with the anti-coup demonstrators.
Info for international visitors entering the Bangkok Metropolitan Area
The following measures are prepared for travellers travelling to Bangkok and the immediate vicinity:
- Individual travellers – both tourists and foreign residents – are advised to keep their passports and other travel documents handy at all times, in case they are required for inspection by security officers.
- Group travellers on tour coaches, accompanied by a tour guide or tour leader, are allowed to pass through the checkpoints without any worry.
- Taxi services at Suvarnabhumi Airport are available 24 hours at the Platform of the Passenger Terminal on the 1st Floor, Gates 4 and 7. There are 6,000 – 7,000 authorised taxis with Suvarnabhumi Airport stickers displayed on the front windscreen. Security checkpoint officers will allow access for these vehicles.
- Any passenger who cannot find a mean of transport out of Suvarnabhumi Airport during curfew may use the facilities available at the CIP Lounges 1-4, located on the 3rd floor of the Passenger Terminal.
- The shuttle bus service between Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are operating as per normal.
- For more information, contact Survarnabhumi Airport Call Centre Tel: 1722.
Visa and checkpoints
Tourists can continue to apply for visa as usual.
All international checkpoints – airports, border checkpoints and sea ports – are open and operating as per normal. However, there may be a strong security presence at certain border checkpoints.
Tourists visiting Thailand can contact the following numbers for further information and assistance:
- TAT Call Centre 1672
- Tourist Police Call Centre 1155
- Traffic Police Call Centre 1197
- BMTA (city bus and van service) Call Centre 1348
- BTS Hotline +66 (0) 2617 6000
- MRT Customer Relations Center +66 (0) 2624 5200
- SRT (train service) Call Centre 1690
- Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490
- AOT (Suvarnabhumi Airport) Call Centre 1722
- Thai Airways International Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111
- Bangkok Airways Call Centre 1771
- Nok Air Call Centre 1318
- Thai AirAsia Call Centre +66 (0) 2515 9999
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. Under the current circumstances, TAT will be providing updates on a daily basis at www.tatnews.org