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Travelling to Thailand? Irish citizens advised to 'exercise extreme caution'

The Department of Foreign Affairs said there is a curfew from 10pm to 5am and Irish citizens should take extra care.

Thai soldiers guard in front of Marble Temple after soldiers staged a coup today.
Thai soldiers guard in front of Marble Temple after soldiers staged a coup today.
Image: Sakchai Lalit

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs (DFA) have issued a warning to Irish citizens who are travelling to Thailand to “exercise extreme caution”.

This comes following yesterday’s announcement by General Prayut Chan-O-Cha that the Thai army had seized power in a military coup, deposing the elected government.

Curfew

The DFA said in a statement that Irish citizens should “monitor developments via media and social media and follow the instructions of the authorities. The army has announced a curfew from 10pm to 5am. Irish citizens should take extra care to care to avoid any demonstrations, protests or security operations”.

The DFA recommend against all travel to Preah Vihear, Ta Kwai and Ta Muen temples near the Thai/Cambodian border.

They also advise against all travel to or through the Southern Thai Provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla due to ongoing instability and terrorist activity in this region.

“The Australian authorities report extremists may be planning to target westerners in the southern border provinces. You should also take particular care when travelling near or across Thailand’s border with Burma (Myanmar),” said the DFA.

Demonstrations

They state that a number of large-scale political demonstrations have taken place in Bangkok since the beginning of November 2013, with some turning violent and have involved indiscriminate attacks with weapons and explosive devices. They add that there have been injuries and deaths.

Irish citizens are warned that they should also allow extra time for travel, including to the airport, as there have been disruptions to road and public transport.

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The Thai authorities have set up a Tourist’s Friend Centre to provide information for tourists. Offices are located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station.

Visitors can contact the Tourist’s Friend Centre by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212 (in English – 24 hours).

If you are planning on visiting Thailand or are in the country at the moment, the DFA have asked that you register your details with them so they can find you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis.

As there is no Irish Embassy in Thailand, the DFA state that they are limited in the help they can offer in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consuls (one in Bangkok and one in Phuket) or the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Related: Thai army seizes power in military coup>

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