Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–June 20, 2014. The U.S. Department of State reminds U.S. citizens to be alert to the current political and security environment in Thailand under martial law. On May 22, the Royal Thai Army seized control of Thailand’s administration under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and imposed a nationwide night time curfew. On June 13, the NCPO lifted the curfew, but authorities have cautioned it could be reinstated. Martial law remains in effect throughout Thailand. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert issued on May 28, 2014, to reflect the lifting of the Thailand-wide curfew. This Travel Alert will expire on August 21, 2014.
Be aware that under martial law the governing NCPO has considerable security powers. These powers grant the NCPO the authority to prevent public gatherings, restrict media, set up checkpoints, and search for weapons. Individuals have been detained for publicly criticizing Thailand’s military takeover, the NCPO, and the Thai monarchy. Security operations against possible demonstrations have led to traffic disruptions as well as temporary closures of some public transport services, and restriction of access to some areas around major shopping and hotel districts in central Bangkok.
U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened security, including military, presence throughout Thailand, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. U.S citizens are cautioned to avoid protest sites, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Although many protest activities have been peaceful, violent incidents involving guns and explosive devices have occurred at or near protest sites. Some resulted in injury or death. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local and international news media reports. You should allow extra time when travelling thought the city or to/from airports.
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). 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 is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing [email protected]. The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai 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 protected]. 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 our Bureau of Consular Affairs website 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 Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well.