U.S. Citizen Services
Travel Alert for Thailand - February 14, 2014
Travel Alert for Thailand
February 14, 2014
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the potential risks of travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest. General voting for national elections took place on February 2, but the electoral process remains incomplete. Demonstrations, primarily in the greater Bangkok area and occasionally elsewhere in Thailand, are continuing, and there have been regular incidents of violence. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Some protest sites are located near tourist attractions and popular shopping malls, which at times have closed or shortened business hours unexpectedly. Protests may occur in other areas with little or no prior notice. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert issued on January 19, 2014, and will expire on May 19, 2014.
Political demonstrations in Thailand have taken place regularly since early November 2013. Most protest activity has occurred in the Bangkok area, but on occasion there have been smaller demonstrations in other areas, including Chiang Mai. Although many protest activities have been peaceful, violent incidents involving guns and explosive devices have occurred at or near protest sites. Some have resulted in injury or death. In Bangkok, protests have been mobile throughout the city, with large numbers of demonstrators at times swelling quickly and closing major roads and intersections. The majority of the demonstrations have occurred in the vicinity of Thai government facilities and at major intersections including Lumpini Park, Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, and at the Government Center at Chaengwattana. In January 2014, protestors took control of these intersections, blocking most vehicular traffic, and occasionally redirecting pedestrian traffic. These sites have drawn large crowds, especially in evenings and on weekends. There is often reduced or no police presence at protest sites, where protest "guards" frequently control access.
On January 22, The Royal Thai Government commenced a 60- day state of emergency in Bangkok and several surrounding provinces. The emergency decree provides the government additional authorities to deal with security challenges, such as the ability to impose curfews, ban certain assemblies, detain suspects without charge, and restrict information. The government has signaled its intention to take legal measures against some non-Thai citizens who have participated in protest activities.
U.S. citizens are cautioned that even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid protest sites, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media reports. You should allow extra time when travelling throughout the city or to/from airports. Consider using public transportation.
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.
Unless otherwise indicated in a public announcement, the U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment. U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing email@example.com. The Embassy's after-hours emergency telephone number is 66- 2-205-4000.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html), located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai, is also open unless otherwise indicated. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107- 777 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok's American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.
Current information on safety and security can also be obtained on travel.state.gov http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html or by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Thailand http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/thailand.html. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html as well as the Worldwide Caution http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/travelgov and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/travelgov as well.
The Consulate’s U.S. Citizen Services unit provides a range of services and information to U.S. citizens living and traveling in northern Thailand. The most common services we provide are listed both below and to the left. Emergency contact information is listed to the right. If you do not find what you are looking for from the links below, please check the A to Z link to the left.
- Emergency Assistance. To report the death, arrest, or serious illness or injury of a U.S. citizen in Northern Thailand.
- Birth of a U.S. Citizen. How to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and first U.S. passport for your new baby.
- Death of a U.S. Citizen. A death in the family is harder when it happens so far away. Here’s what to expect when a U.S. citizen dies in Thailand.
- Federal Benefits. We can help you access benefits provided by the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or other agencies.
- Getting Married. If you get married in Thailand, here’s what you need to do to make it legal.
- Legal Matters and Arrest. Information on Thai legal procedure, including information about immigration violations.
- Notary Services. The Consulate provides services similar to those of a notary public in the United States. We also provide documents that you might need for Thai immigration or to get a Thai driver’s license.
- Passport Services. How to apply for your first U.S. passport, renew your expiring U.S. passport, or replace a lost or stolen U.S. passport. Or, you can Add More Pages to your valid U.S. passport
- Professional Services. Though we offer many services at the Consulate, there are some things we can’t do. Here’s where to find a doctor, a lawyer, a mailing service, or a translator.
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Let us know that you’re here! Signing up for STEP allows us to contact you in an emergency or share information in a crisis.
- Safety and Security. Important information for U.S. citizens living and traveling in Thailand.
- Taxes. Information on U.S. federal tax matters, including how to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- Thai Visas. Information about Thai visas for U.S. citizens, including retirement visas.
- Voting Assistance. Though you’re outside the U.S., you still can vote in U.S. elections. Here’s how to register and vote absentee.
To provide consistent and equitable service to the many U.S. citizens who live in and visit northern Thailand, we use an appointment system for all of the non-emergency services listed above. To make an appointment, please visit our ACS Appointment page.
Can’t find what you need on our website? Contact us: email@example.com.
EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Emergencies During Office Hours
7:30 a.m. to noon. 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Calling from inside Thailand: 053-107-777
Calling from U.S.: 011-66-53-107-777
Calling from other countries outside Thailand:
Emergencies After Office Hours or on Weekends / Holidays (Thai and U.S.)
Calling from inside Thailand: 081-881-1878 (Duty Officer)
Calling from the U.S.: 011-66-81-881-1878 (Duty Officer)
Calling from other countries outside Thailand:
+66-81-881-1878 (Duty Officer)
If unable to reach the Chiang Mai duty officer after hours, call Embassy Bangkok:
Calling from inside Thailand: 02-205-4000
Calling from U.S.: 011-66-2-205-4000
Calling from other countries outside Thailand:
These phone numbers are not for visa inquiries. Please reserve these numbers for true emergencies only. If you call about a situation that is not an emergency, we will ask you to contact us via the non-emergency methods below.
Location: U.S. Consulate General, Chiang Mai, 387 Wichayanond Road, T. Changmoi, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 THAILAND
The Consulate is located approximately 3 blocks east of the northeast Corner of the moat around the old city, on the west bank of the Ping River, and directly across from the Chiang Mai Municipal Building. The entrance for U.S. Citizens is on the north side of the Consulate.
FOR NON-EMERGENCY U.S. CITIZEN SERVICES: We handle routine services, such as passport services, notarials, and federal benefits inquiries, by appointment only, on Tuesday and Thursday. Please visit our ACS Appointments page to make an appointment for non-emergency services. Also, please visit our Services and Information page to review the application procedures and fees for routine services.
FOR NON-EMERGENCY U.S. CITIZEN SERVICE INQUIRIES: You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before doing so, however, please visit our Services and Information page. The answer to your question might already be there.
For additional information, please see the links to the left, or the A-Z information tab to the far left.