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Published on : Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Last Friday in Bangkok, the day after King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death, Thais wore black, electronic billboards were switched off, and people lamented openly in the streets.
In a statement to the media, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Chris Lee said that, there has been some incorrect reporting and they would like to clarify the situation. The tourism industry in Thailand will not be affected and they will show some sensitivity.
Lee also sought to dispel any rumours created by misinformation. He stated that despite reports, tourists don’t have to wear black on the beach. The Thai authorities are asking people to be respectful. For example, tourists are advised not to wear any ‘flamboyant clothes’ in public areas.”
There will be two periods of mourning in Thailand. The first is a one-month period of mourning, up to November 13, which applies to everyone. At that time bars are still open, alcohol is still being served, but they may close early.
The death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, until last week the world’s longest reigning monarch, was announced on October 13. He was 88.
Over the weekend, Bangkok’s Red Light district shut down for the mourning period and Khaosan Road – a notorious party spot, popular with backpackers – was also subdued. Holidaymakers could still enjoy a quiet alcoholic drink in discreet paper cups, but only until midnight on police orders. Night clubs were closed and music was banned.
The island of Ko Phangan, famed for its Full Moon beach party, announced that the festival – which was due to take place on October 17 – had been cancelled.
TAT has produced guidelines for tourists who are due to visit Thailand during the mourning period. Recommendations include wearing “sombre and respectful clothing when in public” and refraining from “inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour”. The statement form TAT also mentioned that, all transport, banks, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual. The related authorities have stepped up safety and security measures for all Thais and visitors to facilitate their travelling around the country.