One year of mourning in Thailand: What it means for tourists and expats

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king-funeral
The King on the way to the funeral rites in the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 14

Following the passing away of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol on October 13, the government declared a one-year period of mourning during which civil servants are ordered to wear black. For the first month of the mourning period,  authorities have called that people are to avoid “festivities, entertainment and joyful events.”

Many foreign embassies advised their citizens in Thailand to “if possible, wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public” and “be culturally sensitive” at present.

For business visitors, it is important to know that – apart from October 14 which has been declared a public holiday – offices and companies will be carrying on their activities as usual from next week. The Stock Exchange of Thailand, post offices, banks, all shopping centers remain open, airports and hotels are operating normal, as does public transport. No exhibitions or international conferences have been cancelled or postponed so far.

Also, no restrictions are known for tourist attractions, most museums and beaches.

king-funeral-2
The funeral procession leaves Siriraj hospital

However, entertainment is getting significantly toned down for at least 30 days. Upcoming full moon parties set for October 17 have been called off, many cinemas ceased showing movies until further notice, and while bars will be allowed to operate, they must close at 1am and no types of parties or music will be tolerated within them. The popular lantern festival Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, scheduled for November 13 to 15, has also been cancelled, as well as the Illuminated Boat Procession in Nakhon Phanom (October 1 to 31)and the Amazing Elephant festival in Surin, originally planned for November 11 to 22.

Some nightlife venues will go dark, some not. It’s best to check ahead on their respective websites. Popular nightlife zones such as Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza in Bangkok already shut down indefinitely, but no closing orders have been reported from other Bangkok venues such as Patpong or from Pattaya and the larger holiday islands.

king-funeral-3
Thousand of people paid the King their respect on his last way

Concerts, theater performance specials events etc. have been cancelled or postponed. Television will return to normal after the synchronisation of all channels broadcasting the funeral rites and documentaries on the King’s life, but there will be limitations on what can be shown, with no entertainment programmes, including soap operas, allowed.

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The King on the way to the funeral rites in the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 14

Following the passing away of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol on October 13, the government declared a one-year period of mourning during which civil servants are ordered to wear black. For the first month of the mourning period,  authorities have called that people are to avoid “festivities, entertainment and joyful events.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

king-funeral
The King on the way to the funeral rites in the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 14

Following the passing away of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol on October 13, the government declared a one-year period of mourning during which civil servants are ordered to wear black. For the first month of the mourning period,  authorities have called that people are to avoid “festivities, entertainment and joyful events.”

Many foreign embassies advised their citizens in Thailand to “if possible, wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public” and “be culturally sensitive” at present.

For business visitors, it is important to know that – apart from October 14 which has been declared a public holiday – offices and companies will be carrying on their activities as usual from next week. The Stock Exchange of Thailand, post offices, banks, all shopping centers remain open, airports and hotels are operating normal, as does public transport. No exhibitions or international conferences have been cancelled or postponed so far.

Also, no restrictions are known for tourist attractions, most museums and beaches.

king-funeral-2
The funeral procession leaves Siriraj hospital

However, entertainment is getting significantly toned down for at least 30 days. Upcoming full moon parties set for October 17 have been called off, many cinemas ceased showing movies until further notice, and while bars will be allowed to operate, they must close at 1am and no types of parties or music will be tolerated within them. The popular lantern festival Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, scheduled for November 13 to 15, has also been cancelled, as well as the Illuminated Boat Procession in Nakhon Phanom (October 1 to 31)and the Amazing Elephant festival in Surin, originally planned for November 11 to 22.

Some nightlife venues will go dark, some not. It’s best to check ahead on their respective websites. Popular nightlife zones such as Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza in Bangkok already shut down indefinitely, but no closing orders have been reported from other Bangkok venues such as Patpong or from Pattaya and the larger holiday islands.

king-funeral-3
Thousand of people paid the King their respect on his last way

Concerts, theater performance specials events etc. have been cancelled or postponed. Television will return to normal after the synchronisation of all channels broadcasting the funeral rites and documentaries on the King’s life, but there will be limitations on what can be shown, with no entertainment programmes, including soap operas, allowed.

 

 

 

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