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Travel Advisory: Thailand 27/11/08

Thailand

Reviewed: 27 November 2008, 18:10 NZDT
Still current at: 28 November 2008

There is some risk to your security in Bangkok.  The political situation in Thailand is uncertain and major demonstrations have taken place in central Bangkok, including in areas around Government House, the Parliament Building and airports.  Some demonstrations have resulted in outbreaks of violence between pro and anti-government protestors and some protestors have been injured or killed.  Further violence cannot be ruled out.  Tourists are not being targeted by protestors but the potential remains for them to be caught up in violence directed at others. 

New Zealanders are advised to avoid all political rallies, protests and demonstrations, as there remains the possibility of further violence.  You should also comply with any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities.  New Zealanders are advised to monitor events closely and remain vigilant as the security situation could change quickly.  If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang domestic airport are closed to all flights.  Airports elsewhere remain open.  Travellers should seek information from their travel agent or airline directly on potentially disrupted travel plans.  As the situation remains unpredictable, future disruptions cannot be ruled out including at other airports and on other modes of transport within Thailand.

New Zealanders currently in Thailand and awaiting the resumption of normal air services are advised to notify the New Zealand Embassy (Tel: +66 818 377 240) of their whereabouts.  We also recommend they avoid any areas of protest activity, stay in the company of fellow tourists, remain close to relevant information counters and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.  We also recommend making contact with family and friends in New Zealand to allay any concerns.

New Zealanders, if they can, may wish to defer their travel to Thailand until the situation becomes clearer.

A series of bombings occurred in Bangkok on 31 December 2006, including in areas frequented by tourists.  Further terrorist attacks may occur. 

New Zealanders should exercise a very high degree of personal security awareness.  This advice extends also to New Zealanders in or planning to visit popular tourist destinations.  Particular care should be taken in public and commercial areas, including landmark places known to be frequented by foreigners, public transport facilities, hotels, bars, tourist resorts and shopping areas.  Martial law is in place in parts of the country.

There is extreme risk to your security in the Thailand/Cambodia border region in the vicinity of the Preah Vihear temple (Khao Pra Viharn in Thai) and we advise against all travel to this area.  The temple is located on the border between Sisaket Province in Thailand and Preah Vihear province in Cambodia.  This part of the international border is disputed by both Thailand and Cambodia and military forces from both countries are deployed to the region.  On 3 and 15 October fighting broke out close to the temple.  Tensions remain high and further military clashes cannot be ruled out.

There is high risk to your security in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla because of ongoing violence due to insurgency.  We continue to recommend deferral of all tourist and non-essential travel there.  Since 2004 there have been over 3,400 deaths as a result of terrorist and other violent attacks.  The Thai Government has declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. Terrorist attacks may occur elsewhere in Thailand. 

There is some risk to your security when travelling near the Myanmar/Thai border.  Sporadic conflict on the border occurs between the Myanmar military and armed opposition groups as well as between Thai security forces and armed criminal groups (such as drug traffickers).   If you intend visiting border areas beyond the main towns it is recommended that you check with the local authorities before setting out.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Thailand should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies.

New Zealanders visiting or living in Thailand are encouraged to record their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See our regional advice for Southeast Asia

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The New Zealand Embassy Bangkok, Thailand

Contact details are

Street Address: M Thai Tower, 14th floor, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Bangkok
Postal Address: PO Box 2719, Bangkok 10500
Telephone:+66 818 377 240 (Consular Hotline), +66 2 254 2530 (Main Embassy Number)Facsimile: +66 2 253 9045
Email: nzembbkk@loxinfo.co.th
WebsiteNew Zealand Embassy Thailand [external link]

ENDS

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