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Travel Advice Levels – Thailand overall, exercise a high degree of caution

August 13, 2016 Destination Thailand No Comments Print Print Email Email

A number of small bombs have detonated in multiple locations throughout Thailand on 11-12 August causing deaths and injuries.

Some of these explosions have occurred in locations frequented by tourists, including Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Patong Beach and Loma Beach in Phuket, and Khao Lak in Phang Nga. Further explosions in any part of Thailand are possible. There may be an increased security presence and restrictions on local travel. You should avoid the affected areas and other crowded places, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities. (see Safety and security). The level of our advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.

Summary 

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to the possibility of civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack, including in Bangkok and Phuket. You should pay close attention to your personal security at all times and where possible monitor the local media, including social media, for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • A number of small bombs have detonated in multiple locations throughout Thailand on 11-12 August causing deaths and injuries. Some of these explosions have occurred in locations frequented by tourists, including Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Patong Beach and Loma Beach in Phuket, and Khao Lak in Phang Nga. Further explosions in any part of Thailand are possible. Fires have also been reported in Phang Nga, Krabi and Nakhon Sri Thammarat that may be linked to these bombings. There may be an increased security presence and restrictions on local travel. You should avoid the affected areas and other crowded places, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If you have any concerns for the welfare of family and friends in the region, you should attempt to directly contact them. If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24 hour Consular Emergency still Centre on 1 300 555 135, or +61 2 6261 3305 (if calling from overseas)
  • A number of terrorist attacks have occurred in recent years in locations frequented by foreign tourists. In August 2015, a bomb attack at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok killed 20 people. In April 2015 a car bombing near Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui caused a number of injuries. See Safety and security.
  • Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which took control of the country in a coup on 22 May 2014, retains wide powers, including to impose measures to respond to threats to peace, order and the economy. Nation-wide martial law was lifted on 1 April 2015, but martial law remains in place in a number of districts, mostly in border regions.
  • Australians should stay well clear of any demonstrations, political events, rallies, processions and large-scale public gatherings as they may turn violent. See Safety and security.
  • Be aware of the risks of hiring jet skis and motorcycles. Australian travellers continue to report harassment and threats of violence by jet ski operators on beaches across Thailand, and particularly in Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. You may be detained and arrested by police following jet ski and motorcycle accidents until compensation, often in thousands of dollars, can be negotiated between parties. Check your insurance cover if you intend to ride a motorcycle in Thailand when you are not licensed to ride one in Australia.
  • Tourists may be exposed to scams and more serious criminal activity in Thailand. Be aware that food and drink spiking occurs, including around popular backpacker destinations such as Khao San Road in Bangkok the night-time entertainment zones in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, and during the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.
  • Travellers planning to attend Full Moon parties at Koh Phangan or other locations should carefully consider personal safety issues and take appropriate precautions. See our Partying Overseas page for advice on the risks you may face when attending Full Moon parties and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
  • Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. The possession of even small quantities of “soft drugs” for recreational purposes can result in lengthy jail sentences.
  • Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Thailand. Australians are advised not to visit Thailand for the purpose of engaging in commercial surrogacy arrangements. See Laws.
  • We strongly advise you not to travel at this time to the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla or overland to and from the Malaysian border through these provinces due to high levels of ongoing violence in these areas, including terrorist attacks and bombings that result in deaths and injuries on an almost daily basis.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

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