Bangkok chaos: a tourist's guide

2014-01-14 09:48
The map released by TAT to help tourists avoid parts of Bangkok affected by protests.

The map released by TAT to help tourists avoid parts of Bangkok affected by protests. (Google Maps)

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Bangkok – An ongoing anti-government protest in the Thai capital has lead to the closure of most of the city’s major intersections, causing some confusion in the popular tourist destination.

According to an AP report protesters had planned to "shut down" Bangkok, a city of 12 million people, but life continued normally in most places, with school classes restarting, commuters heading to work and most businesses remaining open.

So far all means of transportation are operating as normal, albeit some route adjustments.

Airports in Bangkok and throughout the country are also operating as per normal.

However, air passengers with flights depart out of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are advised to leave at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time. 

While the protests have been largely peaceful, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has put measures in place to facilitate tourists visiting the city during this time.  

Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of TAT said in a press release, “Our aim is to ensure safety and convenience to tourists while travelling within Bangkok and to and from both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports during the current ongoing anti-government demonstrations.”

The following measures have been put in place:

- Tourist care centres and help desks can be found at both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports, as well as at various BTS Skytrain stations. Each location will be manned by four Tourist Police officers.

- Shuttle bus pick-up points have also been set up at dedicated hotels in areas such as Sathon, Skhumvit and Pathumwan. Each location will have one bus, two vans and a boat on standby.  

- Frequencies of the State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) train services from Don Mueang International Airport to Bangkok downtown will be increased to enable visitors and air passengers to connect to their destinations, using the BTS Skytrain, MRT subway and Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link services.

- Frequencies of the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link services to and from the Makkasan City Air Terminal have also been increased to 78 Express and 161 City Line trains per day.  

The Telegraph reports that a map has also been released to help tourists navigate the city safely and avoid those areas that have been shut down.  

Tourists can stay up to date with developments by checking the TAT website regularly. 

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Read more on:    thailand  |  travel  |  travel tips  |  travel international

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