Mourning Thailand: Tourist Rules
With the recent death of the Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (88) on Thursday, October 14, 2016, the whole of Thailand is lamenting the loss of their aged and well-loved ruler. The death of their monarch has caused a nationwide state of mourning for the next 30 days, which tourists should become aware when visiting this place full of deep culture and a spiritual sense of religion.
We give you a few tips on these simple yet respectful rules to go by:
While not required of tourists directly, wear muted or dark colors (especially black) to show your respect for the king. The country will be wearing black for the entirety of this event, whereas the royal family and those related to them will don dark clothes for an entire year. Respectful, clothing is a must as well, so avoid wearing overly casual clothes.
For the duration of the mourning, no big holidays and events will be occurring. Night clubs will also be closed down for a while, as will movie theaters and the like. Bars will still be open and will still sell alcohol, but they’ll only be open till 1am. When in the country, try to keep loud music and any erratic activity to a minimum.
The Grand Palace and a few other tourist attractions will be closed. Also expect quite a few restrictions when it comes to places like shopping areas and restaurants as their active hours may have changed with the 30-day mourning period.
Giving condolences during your travel is actually a good way to show that you care about what’s happening in the country. Try to avoid any subject matters that may put the royal family in a bad light as it is considered a punishable offense in their government and is especially sensitive during this time.
If you’re planning to visit Thailand within 30 days from October 14, please keep these simple and respectful rules in mind. This time is a very sensitive one for the people of the country, so try to be sympathetic and understand that because of recent happenings, it's understandable that your experience might be a little different from how you planned it out.