What Travelers Should Know About Thailand's Official Year of Mourning
Following the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away at age 88 on Thursday, the country’s government has declared one year of mourning.
Residents have been asked to wear black and avoid engaging in “festivities” for 30 days, according to Reuters. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said public entertainment in the country would be subdued for the month to show respect, according to Travel Wire Asia. National security will be increased as well.
“Particularly during the first 30 days of the mourning period, some entertainment venues, including restaurants, bars, and clubs may be closed or operating on restricted hours,” reads an advisory from the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told travelers to "refrain from any behavior that may be interpreted as festive" and to prepare for potential disruptions of commercial and public services for the next 30 days.
Still, Thailand encourages tourists to visit the country and continue their travel plans as normal, with the Tourism Authority of Thailand releasing a set of guidelines to help prepare for visiting during the mourning period.
Most tourist attractions will be running and open as usual, except for Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, which will be the venue of the Royal Funeral Rites. Guidelines recommend that tourists consider wearing mourning attire as a sign of respect, though this is not mandatory.
All transport, banks, hospitals, and public services will operate as normal and most traditional events will continue taking place, though their nature may be changed to honor the memory of the late king.