18 October 2016
The Thai government has announced one year of mourning following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej who reigned for 70 years. So what impact might this have on visitors to Thailand?
All airports, hotels, public transportation, hospitals, banks and other public services will not be greatly affected and should operate as usual.
However, some planned events and entertainment will be either toned down or cancelled. This includes the Morrissey concert and the Scorpions’ Anniversary World Tour. The Bangkok World Film Festival has also been postponed until next year.
Other cancellations include the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival, the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival, and the Surat Thani Full Moon Party. Lumpinee Boxing Stadium will be closed for a month. It is best to check the latest information on any event that you planned to attend.
Tourists are advised to behave respectfully and dress sombrely when in public places. This is particularly essential when visiting royal palaces and temples. Avoid any discussion and critical statements regarding the royal family and be aware of any special restrictions that may apply during this period of mourning.
Check local media alerts regularly and follow local authorities’ advice.
Follow the FCO Thailand travel advice here
Read more advice from the Tourism Authority of Thailand here
When preparing a trip to a foreign country, it is always good to have an idea of the life and culture of your chosen location before you get there. Especially when traveling all the way to Thailand, you may find some very different practices that you weren’t expecting! Get ahead of the game by knowing beforehand some things that may surprise you about Thailand.
There is a price for Thai and a price for foreigners, and this cannot be avoided, even by expats who live in Thailand. Just expect and accept it!
Known as Wai, this traditional greeting involves putting your palms together at about chest level and giving a little bow. Learning a few words in Thai will definitely help you and make people more receptive to you, but you’ll be able to get by with English.
Thailand is known for its amazing cuisine and Thai food is an incredible adventure (and often very different from the Thai food that we know in the western world). However there are some things that may be utterly alien to visitors, so if you are brave enough to try, you could find yourself eating fried cockroaches (a bit like salted popcorn), or other crustaceans and bugs such as Goong Dten (tiny live shrimps) and Larb Mote Daeng (red ants with eggs). Alternatively, you could always stick to choices where a translation, or pictures are provided...
It’s common in Thailand to suspend alcohol sales on religious holidays, political polling days or even at certain times of the day or night, so be warned. Hotels and restaurants must abide by such restrictions, although some hotels may allow you to still purchase alcohol for private consumption using the privacy of hotel room service.