Thailand travel warning
Just a quick travel warning: In the April issue of GT (out now and packed full of amazing exclusives, btw) we published a feature on Bangkok.
Since we’ve gone to press with that, the political situation in Thailand has lead to some unrest (which you’ll probably be aware of from the mainstream news, to be honest, but just in case...) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has therefore issued new travel guidance.
Here’s an edited summary of what they say: “The political situation in Thailand is volatile. British nationals should exercise extreme caution throughout the country and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, which may turn violent.
“Anti-government protesters are currently holding demonstrations in Bangkok. If violence breaks out, British nationals are advised to remain indoors and monitor the media and this website [fco.gov.uk].
“There has recently been a spate of grenade and bomb attacks in central Bangkok, the majority of which have targeted government or military buildings. In view of the possibility of further attacks of this sort, British citizens are advised to exercise extra caution when travelling in Bangkok and to report any suspicious devices to the authorities.
“The Thai Government has invoked the Internal Security Act from 11 to 30 March and has implemented additional security measures. These measures, include traffic checkpoints and searches of vehicles and/or people. By law, tourists are expected to carry their passports with them at all times in Thailand.
“We advise against all but essential travel to, or through, the far southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla, due to the insurgency in these areas. We advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area, due to violence in the area.
“There is a high threat from terrorism in Thailand. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. There have been a number of bomb and grenade explosions in Bangkok this year.”
There’s more details on the FCO site and some other advice about health and not doing drugs in Thailand (like, duh!) cos they might execute you.
The FCO’s Know Before You Go travel advice service has been pretty well promoted to British gays. Obviously most people don’t check it but it’s always good to do so whatever your destination and whether you think it’s safe or not. Naturally, there will often be useful advice which isn’t included in a glossy travel article in GT, even when the situation hasn’t changed as dramatically as it has just done in Thailand. So don’t say we haven’t warned you. The website again is here.
Patronising lecture over, cheers for reading.