If you’re planning on taking a trip to Thailand in the coming months, you may need to readjust some of your plans. Due to a national period of mourning following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, some major tourist attractions and festivals will be closed.
In Bangkok, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be closed until 20 October. Two of the most popular places for tourists to see muay thai, the Ratchadamnoen Stadium and the Lumpinee Stadium, will be closed until 31 October. In addition, the Amulet Market will be closed until further notice. Upcoming high-profile concerts have also been cancelled.
Outside Bangkok, visitors will notice a significant impact on traditional festivals and public parties. In Pattaya, the Loi Krathong Festival, International Fireworks Festival, and New Year’s Celebrations have all been cancelled. Travellers are advised to keep an eye on the full list from Thailand’s National Tourism Authority as there are other events still under consideration for changes or cancellations. Thailand is keen to emphasise it is still open for tourism; and for most attractions, it’s business as usual. The Tourism Authority has issued a set of guidelines to travellers asking them to “refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour” and, where possible “wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public”.
The opening hours of some bars and nightclubs may change, with the discretion of the owner, so if you have a special place in mind, check the opening hours before they go. Recently, events such as Ko Pha Ngan’s famous Full Moon parties have been affected. All transport, banks and hospitals and public services will be operating as normal. Travellers exploring more low-key destinations, such as the country’s relatively unexplored north, will find a lot less disruption to their travels, so it might be worthwhile to rethink your itinerary if you plan a visit in the next few months.