The main anti-government demonstrator group, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), has ended its Bangkok Shutdown campaign as of 2 March 2014 and has returned roads in central Bangkok at Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Asoke and Silom intersections to normal traffic.
As of today, the PDRC will stage their protest at only one location in central Bangkok – inside the Lumpini Park on Rama IV Road. There are three other anti-government demonstration stages 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.
During today, the PDRC announced that they would mobilise demonstration marches to different locations in Bangkok.
Business travellers are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas, as well as areas where crowds may gather for their own safety and security. Business travellers 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 business travellers can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.
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, business travellers 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful contact numbers: