The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on October 13th, 2016 at the age of 88. As the world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol was not only revered by the Thai people but also earned great respect from foreigners alike for his ability to keep the country together despite her countless political turmoil and military coups.
As the news of the King’s passing broke out in the evening, Thailand also entered a period of mourning for a year where all joyous events were suspended for the first 30-day after his death. For travelers who are unfamiliar with local customs and traditions, travelling in Thailand during the mourning period could be a challenge as they need to revise their plans in accordance with the mourning guidelines. For instance, those planning to travel in Bangkok would likely to encounter larger than usual crowds as mourners from other parts of Thailand flock into the capital via various transportation hubs to pay their final respect. Not only that, intra-city travelling were also affected as roads were closed to facilitate various processions and ceremonies that commemorate the late king.
Throughout the initial mourning period, Safeture continued to provide valuable information for its users in Thailand by sending out alerts to remind them about possible changes due to the king’s passing. Advisory that contained practical information such as how to be respectful during the mourning period was also sent for users to avoid conflicts with locals while staying safe. Information about road closures, ceremony locations and other-related disruptions were also included in those alerts.
While a new king has been chosen, political uncertainties in Thailand remain and the risk of civil unrest should also not be ruled out while visiting the country. As the election year approaches, SAFEY will continue to monitor the developments from Thailand and update its users when necessary for potential travel risks.