As Thai people mourn the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, travellers can expect major events to be postponed and business hours limited, but hotels, resorts and tours should operate as normal.
The much-loved king – the world’s longest-reigning monarch at 70 years – died yesterday at the age of 88. There has been an outpouring of grief across the country, as it enters an official 12-month mourning period. Thai people will be expected to wear black or dark-coloured clothing, and in some areas tourists will be asked to do the same.
Concerts, festivals and major events are likely to be postponed or cancelled. Many bars will cut operating hours or close for up to a month, and the sale of alcohol may be limited to certain times of the day. Some shops and markets may close in coming days.
Hotels and resorts will continue to operate as normal and travellers will be free to move around. Tours will continue across Thailand, but some activities may be adjusted.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said yesterday flags would fly at half-mast and all entertainment functions must be “toned down” for a month as a mark of respect.
Jetstar has advised that travellers to and from Bangkok and Phuket may change their bookings over the next couple of weeks.
Travel Associates offers the following recommendations for people currently travelling in Thailand:
- The feelings and grief of the local people should be respected – derogatory comments about the Thai monarchy will almost certainly incur criminal charges.
- Respect local customs and cover up bright clothing, if requested.
- Speak to your hotel staff to understand the operating hours of local shops, bars and markets, as well as the general protocol around mourning.
It may be weeks or months before the funeral takes place, but when it does travellers can expect a country-wide ‘shutdown’ of up to a week.
We will provide more information when the date is announced.
More Like This
New Airport Lounges To Experience In 2018
A new year brings a new year of flying, and thankfully, 2017 saw a long list of impressive airport lounges added to the global suite of long-haul creature comforts – some, a destination in their own right. Be sure to try these brand new airport lounges in 2018.
Travel Alert: Wild Weather Affects Flights In New Zealand
Heavy rain, gale-force winds and king tides are affecting much of New Zealand today. Both North Island and South Island destinations are affected by wild weather conditions including Auckland (and other areas on the top of the North Island), Wellington, Nelson, Dunedin and the Greymouth and Bull