Thailand: what your clients need to know

A call has been made for visitors to Thailand to respect the mourning period in the destination, following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13.

While most public services are unaffected, a range of entertainment, sport and cultural events have been cancelled or postponed, and guidelines have been issued on acceptable behaviour.

According to the British Embassy travel advisory, following the official announcement of the death of KingBhumibol Adulyadej there is now an official period of mourning of one year from 14 October 2016.

It states travellers should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people at this time; access to entertainment, including restaurants, bars, and shopping areas may be restricted and you should behave respectfully when in public areas.

It also advised, if possible, wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public; check local media regularly and follow the advice of the local authorities. Not everyone is required to follow millions of mourning Thais in wearing black, but visitors are nonetheless expected to avoid overly revealing or colourful attire.

On the country’s popular southern beaches, however, normal swimwear is expected to remain acceptable.

A number of entertainment events have been cancelled, including concerts by Morrissey and the Scorpions, and Korean K-pop bands Big Bang, JYP and FT Island.

Dozens of local stage plays and other Thai entertainment also have been called off as have a range of Bangkok arts and music festivals, according to Khaosod, a popular English-language website.

The city’s 14th World Film Festival set for November has been postponed to January 20-29.

A range of religious and cultural festivals around the country also have been suspended.

These include next month’s Loi Krathong festival, in which colourful decorative baskets are released on rivers around the country, and annual buffalo races in southern Chonburi.

All entertainment programming on Thai television has been banned for the next month, but cinemas have reopened following a brief initial shutdown.

Most tourist sites in Thailand including its exquisite Buddhist temples remain open.

Due to funeral rites, however, Bangkok’s gilded Grand Palace, the seat of the royalty, and the sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha on its grounds are closed to visitors until Friday, 21 October.

Most of Bangkok’s numerous popular open-air markets also are expected to stay in operation but visitors are advised to check locally as some have been reported closed.

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