Five Things Americans Traveling to Bangkok Need to Know
In light of the recent explosions in Bangkok, here's what you should know before your next trip to Thailand.
Tuesday a second bomb was thrown from a bridge over the Chao Phraya River, just missing a pier where tourists and locals catch water taxis and riverboats, detonating in the water without harming anyone.
The tragic attacks come just a few months shy of Thailand’s high tourist season, which runs roughly from November through January. We spoke with several area hotels and tour companies who said they have not noted an uptick in cancellations, and are moving ahead with current and future tours. If you’re planning a trip to the country, here’s what you should know:
- If you’ve already booked a flight but want to cancel or postpone your trip, Thai Airways is waiving its flight-change fees from now until September 18.
- While police and army presence will increase around Bangkok, the Tourism Authority of Thailand says that life in the city is “continuing as normal” and banks, hotels, tour operators, shopping malls, restaurants and public transit systems remain open.
- As of Tuesday night, the British, Australian and U.S. Embassies had not advised their residents against traveling to Bangkok. In its official statement, the U.S. Embassy encouraged all travelers to Thailand to “review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.”
- Be active on social media. A regular Facebook status or tweet can help loved ones back home follow your journey and know you’re okay. For the latest news, follow the American Citizen Service account, which is maintained by the U.S. Embassy, on Facebook and Twitter.
- Several news outlets are reporting that the attacks have made Thailand vulnerable: the Thai baht was teetering on a record low before this week’s attacks, but now has reached its lowest rate since 2009. Travel experts advise checking the exchange rate before you leave.