“Life goes on ..” tourism information for visitors to Thailand.
Most of visitors to the Kingdom of Thailand will be or are asking these questions. “Should you visit Thailand at this time? Will I enjoy myself if I come to Thailand during the mourning period? What can I expect if I come? Should I cancel my trip to Thailand at this time?”
These and more answered in the new directives from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Thailand. The bottomline is, there is really not much of a change to the tourism sectors especially as time passes now that people are coming to terms with the loss. “Life goes on” is the theme of the next step forward for the country.
While Thailand is still in a state of mourning for the demise of HM King Bhumibol Adulydej, the country and also Tourism Ministry has recognized that there is a need for businesses to continue and in line with this, new directives have been issued by the Tourism of Thailand Ministry to ensure that visitors to Thailand can still enjoy their holidays and discover a unique experience while also enjoying their holidays. These new directives are to ensure that visitors can still have as much of a pleasant experience, enjoy the festivities and end–of-year celebrations as well as events that were scheduled to take place earlier.
My executive meeting with Khun Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the Minister of Tourism and Sports Thailand at her office yesterday morning was to outline the new directives and to inform the visitors and tourism sectors of the changes underway.
Khun Kobkarn stresses that for visitors to Thailand, please note that it is not mandatory (most Thais will wear black or white) for you as a visitor to wear black as you have understood it to be. However, muted colours are fine or if you have no muted clothing, the wearing of a black ribbon is very acceptable. Black ribbons are available for free from the immigration, tourism counters at Suvarnabhumi and Don Meung airport, hotel lobbies and near the Sanam Luang (Royal Grand Palace) areas. They can be worn on the sleeves or chest of the shirts or dress.
She is also aware of visitors who would like to go to pay their respects to the late HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Royal Grand Palace area. However, going to the area requires consideration of clothing as it is where the Palace grounds are and thus the remains of the late King are placed at rest for the duration of the mourning period. This means that if you are planning to go there, it requires decent muted clothing in shades of grey, dark blues, white or black before entry is permitted at the security gates. It also means no sleeveless shirts, shorts or very short skirts, and singlets. There are new tourist police booths set up by the Ministry as of today at the entrance to facilitate visitor enquiries. Visitors are also advised to be aware of touts who are taking advantage of the situation and if you are in doubt please enquire at the Thai Tourists Police booths or call the Tourism Hotline at 1672 for English speaking operators and officials.
The Royal Grand Palace – Opening 1st November 2016
It is confirmed that parts of the Royal Grand Palace will be open to visitors from the 1st of November to the public. Only the temple of The Emerald Buddha will still be closed until further notice which will be updated later. There will be two entrances to the Royal grand Palace, one for those just wanting to visit the grounds and another for those who want to go and pay their respects. This is so that it will make it easier and less of a crowd for visitors to the areas. Clothing is as per recommended above.
Thai Buddhist mourning period is 15, 30, 50 and 100 days, therefore we are currently in the 15th day of mourning. It is anticipated that most entertainment and tourist places are back to normal after the official 30 days of mourning. In actual fact, most places are already opened albeit at a more respectable tone. There is NO Restriction on the consumption of alcohol, music (provided loud music is behind closed doors), indoor shows etc. If there are any private parties or entertainment, there is no restriction provided it is behind closed doors and not a disturbance to the general public.
Main stream entertainment – Open for business, no alcohol restriction
Most visitors will want to know about discotheques, pubs, bars and full moon parties. As mentioned by the Ministry, as long as it is in a private closed door environment, these activities are permitted. However, many outlets have muted their music and entertainment out of respect for The King on their own accord. Activities in places like Walking Street in Pattaya may continue their business provided it is within closed confines, and of reasonable (reasonable meaning no loud music blaring in the streets, any form of nudity or topless shows in full view of the public) entertainment. There is no restriction of alcohol consumption.
Commercial and Public Services – Business as usual
All commercial including banks, money exchange, immigration and other government services are open as usual. Cinemas, night markets, walking streets, and all transportations are also opened in all major shopping centers. Please note that all National Museums throughout Thailand now enjoy an entrance fee waiver so visitors can take advantage of this to visit as many as they like. There are additional free bus services to the Sanam Luang (Royal Grand Palace grounds) area from various places. A list of these bus numbers and routes are available from the TAT website or call 1672 for assistance
Traditional, Cultural and Religious events – On going and confirmed
Most of the events are going ahead including the 5th of December celebrations, Loy Krathong, Yee Peng in Chiang Mai, Christmas and New Year celebrations. These celebrations are not entirely scaled down, there will still be lights, floats, small scaled low altitude fireworks and ore candle lightings. In other words there is no beauty pageants, instead the theme is made to fit the appropriateness of the situation. There will be interesting jazz musicals, wonderful candlelight displays, fairy lights and other interesting activities. Bear in mind that you will only see this once and the following year it will revert back to the same usual celebrations so you will not want to miss this historical element of celebration of a great lifetime.
I will be posting more details soon so please keep checking on my posts
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