Thailand is holding the general election today, but several polling stations in Bangkok and other provinces have been disrupted by the anti-government demonstrators as part of their campaign for a national reform before election. In general, there have been no problems with voting in the most parts of Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand although there have been reports of clashes at several polling stations. Polls take place from 08.00 – 15.00 hrs while MICE venue, tourist attractions and shopping malls open as normal.
Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces (Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan) remain under a state of emergency, which has been imposed to maintain peace and order, as well as to provide safety and security for the general public, foreign visitors and the demonstrators. The 60-day emergency decree has been in place since 22 January 2014.
The emergency decree currently covers Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces as stated above 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 business tourist can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.
Today, the anti-government demonstrators continue to stage their protests in a peaceful manner at six downtown intersections – Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Silom (Lumpini Park), Latphrao, Asoke and the Victory Monument roundabout – and at the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, Phan Fa Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Chamai Maruchet Bridge on Phitsanulok Road. Roads in the areas may be closed to traffic.
While the demonstrations are taking place in the central Bangkok areas, life in the most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as usual. However, business travellers are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas for their own safety and security.
Bangkok is a large city and so it is possible for local residents and business travellers 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 MICE venues and tourist attractions in the Thai capital are open normally. Business travellers can visit all venues and 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 while some businesses, including bank branches and petrol stations – may be closed. Telephone – landline and mobile – and Internet services continue to be available 24/7 as per normal.
Apart from Bangkok, others MICE cities in Thailand (Chiangmai, Phuket,Pattaya,Kon Kaen) can offer unbeatable diversity of choice for business events of any type and scale. All business events venues and tourist attractions and activities in MICE cities are not affected, and continue as usual.
All airports in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal. Air passengers with flights depart 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 flight status prior to travelling.
To provide the best service possible during the current political situation, Suvarnabhumi Airport has prepared Airport Operation Center (AOPC), opened 24 hours daily, situated behind check-in counter row R, Departure Hall, 4th floor of the Passenger Terminal. Also Passenger Assistance Center (PAC), opened 24-hours daily, situated between Entrances 7 and 8, Arrival Hall, 2nd floor of the Passenger Terminal. Furthermore, passengers can contact Airport Information Counters available throughout the Passenger Terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport also has foreign language interpreter/translator available in Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean to help passengers.
TCEB will keep you updated with the situation. Should you require any further information and assistance, please call TCEB office: +66 (0) 2694 6000, TCEB call center at 1105 (within Thailand only), visit www.tceb.or.th or contact email@example.com.
Useful contact numbers:
- Tourism Authority of Thailand Call Centre 1672
- Thai Traffic Police Call Centre 1197
- Thai Tourist Police Call Centre 1155
- Bangkok Tourism Division Call Centre +66 (0) 2225 7612-4
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs +66 (0) 2203 4381-2
- Department of Consular Affairs +66 (0) 23833402-4
- Airports of Thailand Plc call center +66 (0) 2132 9996-7
- Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (city bus service) Call Centre 1348
- State Railway of Thailand Call Centre 1690
- Transport Co., Ltd., (inter-provincial bus service) Call Centre 1490
- Thai Airways International (THAI) Call Centre +66 (0) 2356 1111
- Bangkok Airways Reservation Centre 1771
- MRT Customer Relations Center +66 (0) 2624 5200
- Emergency Call 1646, 1669