#travelling to thailand
There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Thailand due to the potential for civil unrest and threat of terrorism. We advise caution.
Political Tension/Civil unrest
On 22 May 2014, the Thai military took control of the government in a coup and imposed martial law nationwide. On 1 April 2015, martial law was lifted across most of Thailand but replaced by other special measures which continue to allow the military expanded powers to enforce order.
Under the measures, authorities may restrict movement, public assembly or political gatherings and have prohibited the distribution of any information considered detrimental to Thailand’s national security or public order. Individuals may be detained for violation of these and other measures.
New Zealanders throughout Thailand are advised to exercise caution and monitor the media to stay informed of developments. We recommend adhering to any instructions or restrictions issued by the local authorities. New Zealanders throughout Thailand should be wary of making political statements in public and on social media.
From November 2013 until the coup in May 2014, Thailand experienced large-scale political demonstrations. Several violent incidents in the vicinity of these demonstrations resulted in injuries and deaths. A number of small explosions have occurred in public places in Bangkok since February 2015. Police investigations into these incidents are ongoing and further such incidents are possible.
New Zealanders throughout Thailand are advised to avoid any protests, demonstrations, and large public gatherings, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to quickly turn violent.
Before travelling to Thailand we recommend you check with your insurance provider that they will continue to cover you for claims arising from the current situation.
There is an on-going threat of terrorism in Thailand. There have been a number of explosive device incidents in Bangkok and other cities, including Phuket and Koh Samui.
On 17 August 2015, an explosion near the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok killed at least 20 people and injured many more. A further explosion occurred on 18 August, when a device detonated in the water by the Saphan Taksin pier, close to the main tourist ferry terminal in Bangkok. There were no injuries in this second attack. Investigations into both incidents are ongoing.
New Zealanders are advised to exercise a high degree of personal security awareness in Thailand. Particular care should be taken in public and commercial areas, including landmark places known to be frequented by expatriates or foreign tourists, public transport facilities, hotels, bars, tourist resorts, shopping areas and places of worship.
There is an ongoing threat of violence in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla. Bombings and shootings are common in these provinces and over 5,000 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict since 2004. Foreigners have been caught up in this violence in the past.
In the north of the country, a dispute centred around the Preah Vihear temple (known as Khao Pra Viharn temple in Thailand) on the Thai-Cambodia border has led to hostilities and tensions in the past. Thai and Cambodian troops are deployed in this area and have on occasion engaged in armed conflict. The situation has stabilised however we recommend exercising particular care in areas close to the border with Cambodia and at border crossings.
There is also a danger from unexploded landmines in areas surrounding the temple and the Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temples. If you are travelling in this area we recommend you remain on well-used roads and paths.
General travel advice
It is a requirement under Thai law to carry photo identification at all times. A New Zealand driver’s licence or a photocopy of the biodata page from a passport would be adequate identification in the first instance.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Thailand should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Thailand are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
See our regional advice for South East Asia