I was in Bangkok just a couple of months ago — loved it! The following notice comes to In The Know Traveler directly from the folks at the Tourist Authority of Thailand and thought our readers might want to get “In The Know.” As I remind readers all the time, politics and disagreements happen everywhere and most large US cities have far more crime than destinations like Bangkok, but it is always good to know what’s going on. Doesn’t sound like anything worth being worried about, but find out for yourself. Read on!
Devin
Editor ITKT

TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND FACT SHEET
As of September 4, 2008/ 12.00 hrs ( Bangkok Time)

1. The state of emergency, announced by Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Tuesday (2 September 2008), had been introduced to prevent further clashes between the anti- and pro-government demonstrators.

The decree is a “temporary measure” applicable only in Bangkok and does not involve a curfew or any other measures restricting the movement of people around Bangkok or the Kingdom.

The Government will continue to exercise utmost restraint and will work with all concerned to resolve the current political situation within the framework of the Thai Constitution and the rule of law, and through non-violent means of conflict resolution and peaceful negotiation.

The prohibition of public gatherings of more than five people in Bangkok is limited to political activities and acts which may lead to unrest. The measure does not in any way apply to the organization of local and international corporate meetings, incentive events, conventions, and exhibitions, or MICE. It is ‘business-as-usual’ for all MICE events hosted in Thailand.

2. The Emergency Decree may be rescinded earlier once the situation returns to normal.

3. The PAD anti-government rally is restricted to the designated protest site and the immediate areas. Tourists and expats in Bangkok are advised to avoid travelling to areas near the demonstration site namely – Chamai Maruchet Bridge , Government House, and Ratchadamnoen Nok Road .

4. For visitors planning trips to various sites around Rattanakosin Island (Koh Rattanakosin), shuttle boats and river taxis that serve the various public piers along the Chao Phraya River provides fast and convenient transportation to several of these sites.

5. All other areas in Bangkok remain unaffected by the rally.

6. There has been no significant disruption to life and business in the capital beyond added traffic congestion in a few areas. The vast majority of the city, including all the major tourist spots, shopping centres and riverside attractions, as well as all roads and public/private transport systems are functioning normally. Bangkok ‘s city taxi and rail services are unaffected. All hotels and resorts in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open for business as usual.

7. Suvarnabhumi Airport ( Bangkok ’s international airport) and regional airports around Thailand are operating normally. This includes Phuket International Airport , Krabi Airport , Samui Airport , Surat Thani Airport and Hat Yai International Airport .

8. With the exception of rail services to the southern region where negotiations are being held with the parties involved, rail services in provincial areas of the north and northeastern regions are operating normally. (Call Centre: 1690)

9. Major surface routes between Bangkok and other parts of Thailand are unaffected. Travel to key destinations around Thailand , such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Northeastern Thailand (Isan) and other parts of the country remains unaffected.

10. The situation is being closely monitored by the authorities concerned. All tour operators and travel agents are also keeping abreast of the situation to ensure the safety and security of all visitors.

For further information, please call the Tourism Authority of Thailand Hotline
simply dial 1672. For overseas enquiries, please contact the Tourism Authority
of Thailand office nearest to you.

Tourists planning to travel to Thailand are advised to check the latest situation
regarding their travel plans with their travel agents or contact:

Tourist Information at the airport: 0 2134 0041-2

The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA): 0 2237 6046-8

TAT Call Centre: 1672

Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chumphon Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7423 1055 , 0 7423 8518, 0 7424 3747
Fax: +66 (0) 7424 5986
E-mail: tatsgkhl@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tourismthailand.org/hatyai

Tourism Authority of Thailand , Phuket Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7621 1036, 0 7621 7138, 0 7621 2213
Fax: +66 (0) 7621 3582
E-mail: tatphket@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tourismthailand.org/phuket

Tourism Authority of Thailand , Krabi Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7562 2163
Fax: +66 (0) 7562 2164
E-mail: tatkrabi@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tourismthailand.org/krabi

Tourism Authority of Thailand , Trang Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7521 5867-8
Fax: +66 (0) 7521 5868
E-mail: tattrang@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tourismthailand.org/trang

Tourism Authority of Thailand , Surat Thani Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7728 8818-9
Fax: +66 (0) 7728 2828
E-mail: tatsurat@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tourismthailand.org/suratthani

Suvarnabhumi Airport ( Bangkok International Airport )
Call Centre: 0 2132 1888

Phuket International Airport
Tel: 076 327 231 – 7

Krabi Airport
Tel: 075 636 541 – 2

Samui Airport
Tel: 077 428 500

Surat Thani Airport
Tel: 077 441 230

Airports Authority of Thailand, Hat Yai office
Tel: 074-227-000

For the latest updates, please visit
www.TATnews.org