20130106
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Bangkok prepares for possible “shut down”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising travellers heading to Bangkok on January 13th or soon afterwards to be alert as political demonstrations escalate and the city prepared for “shutdown” which could disrupt tourist travel while in the capital.

Shortly after the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee vowed it would “lay siege” on Bangkok, the FCO update its travel advise. As Thailand prepares for a general election in February, it is only expected that political protests and uprising will become more and more serious as the election approaches.

The situation is described as “unpredictable” so tourists and travellers heading east to enjoy a Thai holiday in January should be aware of the situation if they are stopping over in Bangkok. Protests and demonstrations have been taking place in Bangkok since November 2013 but turned violent in December when three were killed and over 100 were injured.

Escalated protests could see major roads and buildings blocked, shopping malls closed and if needed, residents and visitors may be asked to stay indoors overnight.

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The FCO’s current travel advise for Thailand:

Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Some of these have been violent, including the use of gunfire, and there have been some casualties.

The situation is unpredictable, and further protests are expected. There have been calls for an increase in protest action from 13 January, which may cause major disruption to travel on main roads in and around Bangkok. You should avoid all protests, political gatherings and demonstrations. 

Imgs: gaikokujinkun, gattaca-fu / Flickr cc.

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