Thailand: Tourists told to avoid protests as state of emergency is declared in Bangkok
Government officials in Thailand have imposed a state of emergency across the country in an attempt to regain control of Bangkok after more than a week of mass protests.
Most tourist attractions in and around the capital – such as the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Vimanmek Mansion and Siam Paragon – remain open, as do banks, hotels, restaurants and entertainment centres.
But the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has posted new recommendations advising against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border.
The 60-day state of emergency decree, which applies to Bangkok and surrounding areas, allows the government to declare parts of the country off limits and impose curfews.
The FCO also advises against all travel to the Preah Vihear temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border, due to the presence of troops and the risk of outbreaks of fighting.
“There is a high threat of terrorism,” the FCO website states.
“You should take extra care and avoid all protests, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches. If you’re travelling to the airport, allow extra time to take account of possible transport delays, and consider using the airport rail link. Monitor local news and social media for developments.”
Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand – some of which have been violent, and there have been casualties and deaths. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.