BANGKOK, 30 May 2017: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports recommends international tourists to consider switching their travel plans away from Bangkok to other destinations in Thailand in late October when the royal cremation ceremony of the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will take place.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said in order to avoid heavy traffic congestion, foreign visitors should travel to other destinations in Thailand during the royal cremation period, 25 to 29 October.
Travellers are being advised to visit popular beach and island resorts in South Thailand or North Thailand. All of the temple and heritage sites in the areas near the royal cremation site at Sanam Luang, Bangkok, will be closed for the entire week.
Quoted by the Nation Newspaper and the National News Bureau of Thailand the minister warned that traffic congestion would reach a peak during the cremation week in the inner Bangkok district often called ‘Rattankosin.’
“Thailand still welcomes tourists for all activities as well as conferences and seminars which will continue as usual …however to avoid traffic congestion during the royal cremation period in late October foreign tourists should travel outside of the capital if possible.”
However, the ministry noted that the forecast of exceptionally heavy traffic jams was relevant to just one area of the capital. Popular tourist districts in other parts of the city would be subject to normal levels of traffic gridlock.
The ministry will release an official travel advisory for foreign nationals who are planning to visit Thailand in October to explain the royal cremation and why certain heritage and temple sites will be closed. Information on tourist attractions outside the capital will be included in the advisory with a clear recommendation to visit up-country destinations rather than the capital.
Visits to tourist attractions near the cremation site will be allowed only prior to the ceremony week.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said all activities which will be held before and after the royal cremation period will continue as planned. However, during the actual week of the royal cremation many of the heritage sites will be closed.
Also TAT offices nationwide and overseas will cease all promotional and festival activities during the cremation week, Wednesday 25 October to Sunday 29 October, as a sign of respect.
Tourists travel during the period should act appropriately and respect the fact the country is in national mourning.