The national election will go ahead in Thailand this Sunday (2 February 2014) as planned, following yesterday’s discussion between the caretaker Thai Government and the Election Commission whether the date should be postponed. Meanwhile, the situation remained normal to peaceful at the anti-government demonstration sites except for a shooting incident during yesterday’s demonstration march by the anti-government demonstrators at the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
Today, the ongoing anti-government demonstrations continue to take place at six downtown intersections – Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Silom (Lumpini Park), Latphrao, Asoke and the Victory Monument roundabout – and at the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, Phan Fa Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Chamai Maruchet Bridge on Phitsanulok Road.
Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces (Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan) remain under a state of emergency, which has been imposed to maintain peace and order, as well as to provide safety and security for the general public, business travellers and the demonstrators. The 60-day emergency decree has been in place since 22 January 2014.
The emergency decree currently covers Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces as stated above only and not any other destinations in Thailand. There is currently no curfew in place in Bangkok or any other parts of Thailand. Local residents and business travellers can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.
While the demonstrations are taking place in the central Bangkok areas, life in the most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as usual. However, business travellers are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas for their own safety and security.
Bangkok is a large city and so it is possible for local residents and business travellers to avoid the demonstration areas. Traffic in the most parts of Bangkok is also moving normally since all other roads and expressways are not affected by the demonstrations.
All major MICE venues and tourist attractions in the Thai capital are open normally. Business travellers can visit all venues and attractions using the usual means of transport, including buses, vans and car transfers by tour companies, taxis, the Skytrain, the subway or the boat and ferry service.
Businesses, including banks, petrol and gas stations, hotels, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, pharmacies, hospitals and the like are open and operating as per normal. However, shopping venues in the rally areas may change their opening hours while some businesses, including bank branches and petrol stations – may be closed. Telephone – landline and mobile – and Internet services continue to be available 24/7 as per normal.
Apart from Bangkok, others MICE cities in Thailand (Chiangmai, Phuket,Pattaya,Kon Kaen) can offer unbeatable diversity of choice for business events of any type and scale. All business events venues and tourist attractions and activities in MICE cities are not affected, and continue as usual.
All airports in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal. Air passengers with flights depart out of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are advised to allocate at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time and to check flight status prior to travelling.
To provide the best service possible during the current political situation, Suvarnabhumi Airport has prepared Airport Operation Center (AOPC), opened 24 hours daily, situated behind check-in counter row R, Departure Hall, 4th floor of the Passenger Terminal. Also Passenger Assistance Center (PAC), opened 24-hours daily, situated between Entrances 7 and 8, Arrival Hall, 2nd floor of the Passenger Terminal. Furthermore, passengers can contact Airport Information Counters available throughout the Passenger Terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport also has foreign language interpreter/translator available in Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean to help passengers.
TCEB will keep you updated with the situation. Should you require any further information and assistance, please call TCEB office: +66 (0) 2694 6000, TCEB call center at 1105 (within Thailand only), visit www.tceb.or.th or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.