With its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Thailand has always been a popular travel destination. The night life, as well as the entertainment makes it a favorable choice for tourists who visit from all over the world. Unfortunately with the death of Thailand’s King on October 13th 2016, all that could change and tourism is expected to be affected.
From restaurants to beaches to the malls, Thailand has always offered a great many activities for tourists. However after the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a lot has changed. Revered as a demi-god by his people, the entire country has been swept by grief. The government has announced a one year mourning period with all entertainment and festive activities ceasing for 30 days minimum.
What Tourists should consider when visiting Thailand
If you have planned a vacation to Thailand and cannot change the destination, here are a few things to keep in mind once there. All citizens will be dressed humbly in somber clothes that covers their shoulders and knees. The tourists are expected to follow code and dress appropriately while in public.
The night-life, following the death of Thailand’s King has almost ceased, with restaurants and malls being closed down, concerts and movie screenings cancelled. The notorious red light district has been shut for an indefinite period. The tourists looking for a relaxing vacation can still visit the beaches and scenic areas. However, they still need to keep the celebrations and parties very low key.
The late king holds a very special place for the citizens of Thailand. The lese majestie laws in Thailand are particularly very strict. If anyone even a tourist is seen disrespecting the king or royal family, a 15-year prison sentence can be awarded. It is best to be aware of what can be considered offensive and avoid those actions.
The tourism industry of Thailand has released a list of recommendations for the tourists visiting the country. If you will be there in the foreseeable future, take some time to thoroughly read them to avoid getting into trouble.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand recommends
- Many Thai people will be wearing black or white clothing as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors but if possible, they should wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public.
- Visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour.
- Tourist attractions will be open as usual with the exception of Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace, as they will be the venue of the Royal Funeral Rites.
- The Government has asked for the cooperation from the entertainment venues; such as, bars and nightclubs to consider the opening of their business operations during this time. The decision will be made by the individual owners.
- Most of the traditional and cultural events will be taking place as usual, although the celebrations may be changed for appropriateness as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
- All transport, banks, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual.
- The related authorities have stepped up safety and security measures for all Thais and visitors to facilitate their travelling around the country.