Foreign travel advice

Thailand

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border. See Terrorism

Following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej there is an official period of mourning lasting until midnight on 27 October 2017. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s cremation ceremony will take place from 25 to 27 October in the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which are now closed until 29 October. There will also be ceremonies elsewhere in Bangkok and in major cities across Thailand. During this time there’s likely to be significant disruption to traffic in central Bangkok, especially around the areas of the ceremonies, due to large volumes of people and road closures. You should check arrangements locally and if necessary allow extra time for travel.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has issued guidance to travellers encouraging visitors to continue with their travel plans as normal and to check arrangements with their service providers as some celebrations or large events may be scaled back or cancelled during this period. You should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people at this time. See Local law and customs

People have been prosecuted for criticising the 2014 military coup. You should be wary of making political statements in public. Lèse-majesté, (criticism of the monarchy in any form) is a crime which can be broadly interpreted, and carries a long jail sentence.

UK health authorities have classified Thailand as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. There were explosions in Bangkok in April and May 2017, and there were multiple explosions and incidents in tourist areas across Thailand in August 2016. Thai security authorities say they disrupted planned attacks in Bangkok in October 2016. The authorities have on a number of occasions warned of the possibility of attacks to coincide with symbolic dates or holidays. You should take care, particularly in public places, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media reports. See Terrorism

British nationals make over one million visits to Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free. But there have been attacks (sometimes violent), particularly on the islands of Samui archipelago. See Crime

The Tourist Authority of Thailand’s website and call centre (1672 - press ‘9’ for English) are able to provide some general advice to tourists in English.

Most road traffic accidents in Thailand involve motorcycles, but accidents involving other vehicles including cars, coaches and mini-buses also occur. See Road travel

Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs are severe and can include the death penalty. See Local laws and customs

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 1155 (tourist police) or 1669 (emergency medical services).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.