Thailand Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
May 27, 2010
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand of recent political demonstrations and unrest in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Due to recent violence in central Bangkok, demonstrations in Chiang Mai, and other incidents throughout Thailand, the Department of State recommends against non-essential travel to Thailand at this time. The Department of State earlier authorized the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from Bangkok. This replaces the Travel Warning dated May 15, 2010, to provide updated information on the security situation in Thailand.
While no political demonstrations are currently taking place, the underlying political issues causing the demonstrations and violence have not been resolved. The State of Emergency and curfew imposed by the Royal Thai Government remain in place. We recommend you follow local media for the latest developments on these issues.
The Royal Thai Government has declared a State of Emergency in the following provinces:
- Bangkok metropolitan area
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Chon Buri
- Khon Kaen
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nakhon Sawan
- Pathum Thani
- Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
- Samut Prakan
- Si Sa Ket
- Udon Thani
A State of Emergency gives the police and military increased powers to maintain public order. Specifically, security forces have the authority to:
Prohibit gatherings of more than five people;
Prohibit distribution of media or publications deemed to affect security or public order;
Prohibit or limit the use of vehicles or particular routes; and
Evacuate buildings or areas or prohibit entry into them.
You should expect to see more security forces personnel in the streets. You might encounter them at roadblocks or other security checkpoints. If you encounter police or military personnel, you should obey all instructions from them. Be sure to carry identification and proof of your U.S. citizenship at all times to present if asked by authorities.
The Royal Thai Government has imposed a curfew from 12 midnight to 4:00 am through at least Saturday morning, May 29, after which it will evaluate the need to extend the curfew. To find out if the Royal Thai Government has extended the curfew, please refer to local media and our website.
The curfew applies to the Bangkok metropolitan area, to the Thai provinces where there is a declared State of Embergency (see the list above), and to the Thai provinces listed below. Royal Thai Government officials may change this list, so please refer to media or local officials for the latest information. Reports indicate that troops have the authority to shoot on sight in response to acts of inciting unrest. U.S. citizens should maintain a low profile and refrain from nighttime outside activity until the situation improves.
In addition to the Thai provinces listed above, the curfew also applies to the following provinces:
- Nakhon Pathom
- Nong Bua Lamphu
- Roi Et
- Sakon Nakhon
- Ubon Ratchathani
If you will be flying out of Bangkok in the next several days, we recommend that you leave for the airport well in advance of the curfew hours. If you are arriving at a Bangkok airport during curfew hours, we recommend that you stay at the airport until after curfew hours. Passengers may not be able to find public or for-hire transportation from Suvarnbhumi Airport to Bangkok during curfew hours and may need to wait until after curfew hours to go to Bangkok.
There were 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 were 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. 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.
U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational andescalate 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.
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.