Message for U.S. Citizens
Travel Alert for Thailand
May 30, 2014
The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens reconsider any non-essential travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest and restrictions on internal movements, including an indefinite nighttime curfew throughout Thailand. The Department of State has advised official U.S. government travelers to defer all non-essential travel to Thailand until further notice. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert issued on May 23, 2014, and will expire on August 21, 2014.
On May 22, the Royal Thai Army announced it had seized control of the administration of the country and imposed a nationwide nightime curfew until further notice, a ban on political gatherings, and restrictions on the media. More restrictions may follow. Updated information will be posted on the American Citizen Services pages of the U.S. Embassy Bangkok’s website at bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html and the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai’s website at chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.htm.
U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened military presence throughout Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, as well as disruptions to traffic. Allow extra time for journeys, including to and from Bangkok airports. Public transportation and business operating hours may be curtailed without notice. Authorities have advised that the curfew does not apply to those travelling to or from the airports, but departing or arriving travelers should be prepared to present their passports and tickets or airline itineraries to authorities upon request. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor international and Thai media. Avoid areas where there are protest events, large gatherings, or security operations and follow the instructions of Thai authorities. Although many protest activities have been peaceful, violent incidents involving guns and explosive devices have occurred at or near protest sites. Some have resulted in injury or death.
U.S. citizens are cautioned that even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid protest sites, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media reports. You should allow extra time when travelling throughout the city or to/from airports. Consider using public transportation.
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.
Unless otherwise indicated in a public announcement, the U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment. U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Embassy's after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html), located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai, is also open unless otherwise indicated. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at email@example.com. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok's American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.
Current information on safety and security can also be obtained on travel.state.gov http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html or by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Thailand http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/thailand.html. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html as well as the Worldwide Caution http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/travelgov as well.