Thailand Travel Alert
Issued by US Department of State
Apr 20, 2010
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand of ongoing demonstrations in Bangkok. This replaces the Travel Alert dated April 12, 2010, to update information on security concerns. This Travel Alert will expire on June 1, 2010.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (aka UDD or “red-shirts”) continues to demonstrate in central Bangkok. The UDD may change or expand their demonstration locations at any time. There is also a possibility that various groups may engage in pro-government or counter-demonstrations. For areas currently affected by demonstrations, please refer to local media. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to and lodging in these areas, if possible. If U.S. citizens must travel to these areas, they should exercise special caution and remain vigilant with regard to their personal security.
On Saturday, April 10, UDD and Royal Thai Government security forces clashed in the Phanfa Bridge area, resulting in a number of fatalities. The Royal Thai Government, under the order of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, is still operating under a State of Emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas, which grants special powers to the Royal Thai Police and Army. It is unclear what additional steps the Royal Thai Government may take under the State of Emergency.
U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence with little or no warning. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas that may be targeted for demonstrations and to exercise caution in their movements around Bangkok.
Political demonstrations by the UDD are expected to continue in Bangkok indefinitely. As a result, traffic congestion and difficulty of movement is possible throughout Bangkok, and traffic patterns may change unexpectedly as demonstrators block roads. There have been numerous incidents of explosive attacks, including several isolated grenade attacks, in and around Bangkok and Chiang Mai over the past two months. Additional explosive devices have been discovered before detonation. Some of these incidents occurred at or near areas frequented by U.S. citizens. These incidents appear to be motivated by domestic politics and do not appear to be acts of international terrorism. Travel to Thailand remains generally safe. However, the possibility of more such attacks cannot be ruled out. U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution and vigilance at all times. Immediately report to law enforcement or security personnel any unattended packages or bags or suspicious objects in public areas.
The Department also alerts U.S. citizens that if demonstrations in Bangkok are forcibly dispersed, the UDD demonstrators may move to other provinces, as occurred April 9 and 10. Possible demonstration sites include provincial halls and military and police installations. Therefore, U.S. citizens should monitor public sources of information to stay abreast of the latest information concerning demonstrations and areas to avoid.
The Department strongly encourages U.S. citizens in Thailand to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or through the State Department's travel registration website. For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens may also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Thailand and the Worldwide Caution, located at the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website. U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas.
The American Citizen Services section of the U.S. Embassy Bangkok is located at 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049 and by e-mail at [email protected] The emergency after-hours telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at [email protected] The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878.