Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The Temporary Closure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport

November 25, 2008 / 21.00 hrs.

  • The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) anti-government protesters forced the partial closure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport when demonstrators broke through police lines and entered the Departure Lounge. Inbound flights were still operating normally with aircraft being cleared for landing.

November 25, 2008 / 22.00 hrs.

  • With anti-government protesters having blocked access to the airport via the main motorway and the main entrance, shortly after 21.00 hrs., Acting Airports of Thailand (AoT) President and Acting Suvarnabhumi Airport Director, Mr. Serirat Prasutanont announced the cancellation of all flights departing from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. As a result, hundreds of passengers were stranded.

November 26, 2008 / 04.00 hrs.

  • All inbound and outbound flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport were cancelled since 04.00 hrs. (21.00 GMT Tuesday)
  • For security reasons Suvarnabhumi International Airport will be closed from Tuesday, November 25, 21.00 hrs. onwards until further notice. The airport authorities have been negotiating with anti-government protesters to move their political rally to an alternative protest site to enable airport operations to resume as soon as possible.

November 26, 2008/ 08.00 hrs

  • Thai Airways International (TG) announced that a total of 16 flights would be diverted to land at Don Mueang International Airport, while another three flights: TG508/Muscat-Karachi-Bangkok, TG520/Kuwait-Dubai-Bangkok, and TG 941/Milan-Bangkok, would be diverted to land at U-Tapao Airport. All of THAI’s inbound and outbound flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport are temporarily suspended until it resumes normal operations.
  • THAI’s domestic flights, inbound and outbound from Don Mueang International Airport as well as the airport itself are operating normally.
  • Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Rai International Airport, Hat Yai International Airport, Khon Kaen Airport, Krabi Airport, Phitsanulok Airport, Samui Airport, Sukhothai Airport, Surat Thani Airport, Ubon Ratchathani Airport, and Udon Thani International Airport are all operating normally.
  • At the Hat Yai International Airport, Thai Airways and Nok Air are still operating normally from Hat Yai International Airport to Don Mueang International Airport. Five flights of Thai Air Asia from Hat Yai International Airport have been cancelled.
  • There has been no declaration of a State of Emergency.
  • TAT is cooperating with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), AoT, and Thai Airways (TG) to set up a Crisis Networking Centre on the fourth floor of the Departure Terminal in Suvarnabhumi International Airport in order to facilitate the stranded passengers and tourists until the airport resumes normal operations. The airport authority has moved the stranded passengers to the hotels.
  • The Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Mr. Vunsadej Thavarasukha, has ordered the 35 TAT local offices to facilitate tourists travelling at the various tourist destinations in Thailand.

For more information, please contact the following numbers:

Don Mueang Airport
02-535-1669 / 02-535-1616
Public Relation
Hot Line Bangkok Airways
Nok Air
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
02-132-1888 / 02-132-1882
Flight Information
02-132-000 / 02-132-9328-9
Security Center
02-132-4310 / 02-132-4000 / 02-535-1669
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Emergency Center (24 Hours) 02-643-5522
Fax 02-643-5521
Hot Line Tourist Police 1155
Tourism Intelligence Unit and
Crisis Management Center (TIC)
Fax 02-652-8315

Callers from outside Thailand should dial country code “66” and drop the first “0” of the above phone numbers.
Contact International Public Relations Division

Tel: 66 2 250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: 66 253 7419

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The political stand-off in Thailand is starting to impact tourism, despite almost all tourism facilities and services operating normally and protests currently limited to a small area of Bangkok.

The state of emergency announced by Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Tuesday followed clashes among protesters in Bangkok and temporary disruption at regional airports, including Phuket.

The decree does not involve a curfew or any other measures restricting the movement of people around Bangkok or the Kingdom.

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the decree is a "temporary measure" applicable only in Bangkok and that "the Government will continue to exercise utmost restraint".

The current protests are limited to the immediate area around Government House in Bangkok. Visitors to Bangkok should avoid this area.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Thailand-based PATA members can confirm the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' statement that "in other districts of Bangkok and the rest of the Kingdom, people continue to carry out their livelihood as usual with the country's economic and financial system functioning normally".

PATA has gathered industry views to accurately describe what prospective travellers can expect in Thailand to help them make informed decisions and to limit unnecessary cancellations.

The tourism facts as of September 3 are as follows:-

* Bangkok International Airport is operating normally. Services have resumed as normal at Phuket airport. There continue to be some concerns about Hat Yai airport. All other regional airports are operating normally.

* Major surface routes between Bangkok and other parts of Thailand are unaffected, although there may be disruptions to rail services to some provinces.

* Bangkok's city taxi and rail services are unaffected.

* All hotels and resorts in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open for business as usual.

* All tourist attractions, shopping centres, markets, restaurants and clubs are operating normally in Bangkok and throughout the Kingdom.

"Many of Thailand's prospective visitors are understandably reluctant to travel when they hear about a state of emergency being declared and see images of violent clashes in media reports," said PATA President and CEO Peter de Jong.

"The reality, however, is that life is continuing as normal in Bangkok and Thailand and that, as of today (September 3), there is minimal threat to the safety of visitors to the Kingdom."

Mr de Jong said PATA would continue to monitor the situation and advise of any changes.

Inevitably, the travel and tourism industry is being affected by the situation.

PATA member Asian Trails has received cancellations, and has implemented contingencies for clients affected by the temporary disruption of domestic rail and air services.

Asian Trails' boss Luzi Matzig said: "We hope that by end of this week things will return to normal in which case damage will be limited to maybe 10% of September arrivals, 5% of October arrivals."

"September is traditionally the low season for international travel to Thailand, therefore, in terms of volume, the impact may well be minimal if things return to normal soon," noted PATA Director - Strategic Intelligence Centre John Koldowski.

PATA member Indochina Services Travel Group's bookings and client itineraries have yet to be affected by events.

"As long as the demonstrations remain non-violent and localised to a small area we feel the impact will be minimal, even if it is not resolved for a few weeks," said CEO Gregory Duffell.

Both Mr Duffell and Mr Matzig agree that the biggest challenge for the Thai travel and tourism industry will be restoring the reputation of the destination in the wake of media coverage and travel advisories.

For more information, please visit

Thailand Situation Update by TAT

1. The state of emergency, announced by Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Tuesday (2 September 2008), had been introduced to prevent further clashes between the anti- and pro-government protesters. The decree is a "temporary measure" applicable only in Bangkok and does not involve a curfew or any other measures restricting the movement of people around Bangkok or the Kingdom. The Emergency Decree may be rescinded earlier once the situation returns to normal.

2. In a recent survey conducted by Assumption University's ABAC Poll of 532 foreign businessmen, investors and tourists during 2-5 September, 59 per cent viewed the ongoing political situation as not unusual and just part of the democratic process. As many as 97 per cent of foreigners visiting Thailand said they would visit the country again if the turmoil ends.
Source: The Bangkok Post, Sunday, September 7, 2008

3. The PAD anti-government rally is restricted to the designated protest site and the immediate areas. Tourists and expats in Bangkok are advised to avoid travelling to areas near the demonstration site namely — Government House and Ratchadamnoen Nok Road (Makkawan Bridge).

4. For visitors planning trips to various sites around Rattanakosin Island (Koh Rattanakosin), shuttle boats and river taxis that serve the various public piers along the Chao Phraya River provides fast and convenient transportation to several of these sites.

5. All other areas in Bangkok remain unaffected by the rally.

6. There has been no significant disruption to life and business in the capital beyond added traffic congestion in a few areas. The vast majority of the city, including all the major tourist spots (including The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun-Temple of Dawn, and Sanam Luang – The Royal Ground), shopping centres and riverside attractions, as well as all roads and public/private transport systems are functioning normally. Bangkok's city taxi and rail services are unaffected. All hotels and resorts in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open for business as usual.

7. Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok’s international airport) and regional airports around Thailand are operating normally. This includes Phuket International Airport, Krabi Airport, Samui Airport, Surat Thani Airport and Hat Yai International Airport.

8. With the exception of rail services to the southern region where negotiations are being held with the parties involved, rail services in provincial areas of the north and northeastern regions are operating normally. (Call Centre: 1690)

9. Major surface routes between Bangkok and other parts of Thailand are unaffected. Travel to key destinations around Thailand, such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Northeastern Thailand (Isan) and other parts of the country remains unaffected.

10. The Government will continue to exercise utmost restraint and will work with all concerned to resolve the current political situation within the framework of the Thai Constitution and the rule of law, and through non-violent means of conflict resolution and peaceful negotiation.

11. The prohibition of public gatherings of more than five people in Bangkok is limited to political activities and acts which may lead to unrest. The measure does not in any way apply to the organization of local and international corporate meetings, incentive events, conventions, and exhibitions, or MICE. It is 'business-as-usual' for all MICE events hosted in Thailand.

12. The situation is being closely monitored by the authorities concerned. All tour operators and travel agents are also keeping abreast of the situation to ensure the safety and security of all visitors.

For further information, please call the Tourism Authority of Thailand Hotline
simply dial 1672. For overseas enquiries, please contact the Tourism Authority
of Thailand office nearest to you.

Tourists planning to travel to Thailand are advised to check the latest situation
regarding their travel plans with their travel agents or contact:

Tourist Information at the airport: 0 2134 0041-2

The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA): 0 2237 6046-8

TAT Call Centre: 1672

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Thailand has further extended a national ban on smoking in public areas to include pubs, restaurants, discos and market-places, both open-air and air-conditioned.

Previously, the regulations applied only to public buildings and closed air-conditioned areas. The regulations took effect February 11, 2008.

Individual violators can be fined as much as 2,000 baht (US$65). If any public places violate the rules, they will be warned but after May 31, 2008, they will be fined 20,000 baht.

However, smokers are permitted to smoke in designated areas which the affected places will have to set aside.

Numerous public places in Thailand are planning to distribute brochures and post signs in at least five languages such as Thai, English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese to inform tourists of the new regulation.

Thailand is estimated to have over 11 million smokers nationwide and over 40,000 restaurants, pubs, bars and marketplaces.

The initiative comes in the wake of a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on countries to strengthen tobacco control measures as a means of preventing tens of millions of premature deaths by the middle of this century.

The report recommended a package of six policies called MPOWER for countries to implement, such as: monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies; protecting people from tobacco smoke; offering help to quit tobacco use; warning about the dangers of tobacco; enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raising taxes on tobacco.

The MPOWER package is designed to help countries meet their commitments to the widely embraced global tobacco treaty known as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which came into force in 2005.

The report contained a very specific warning to the developing world, where 80% of the more than eight million annual tobacco-related deaths projected by 2030 are expected to occur.

The global analysis, compiled by WHO with information provided by 179 Member States, gives governments and other groups a baseline from which to monitor efforts to stop the epidemic in the years ahead.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

PB AIR LAUNCHES NEW BANGKOK-MAE HONG SON SERVICE 1 December 2007 to 1 March 2008 only

To meet peak season demand for travel to Mae Hong Son during Thailand’s cool season, PB Air will be launching a new Bangkok-Mae Hong Son service that will be offered every Tuesday and Saturday from 1 December 2007 to 1 March 2008 only.

Mae Hong Son, a remote picturesque town surrounded by mountainous terrain and scenic natural landscape, is ranked among Thailand's most popular holiday destinations for cool season travel for both Thai as well as foreign visitors.

This new Bangkok-Mae Hong Son service is a PB Air-Thai Airways International (THAI) code-sharing route and will be served by a 50-seater ERJ 145 aircraft.

Flights will depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 12.40 and arrive at Mae Hong Son Airport at 14.10. The return flight to Bangkok departs Mae Hong Son at 14.45 and arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 16.15.

The fare for a one-way ticket is 3,100 baht* and 5,800 baht* for a return trip ticket. (*the fare includes airport tax and other charges and fees)

Contact information:
PB Air
Tel: +66 (0) 2261 0222
Fax: +66 (0) 2261 0227
Web site:

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Amazing ATP Thailand Open 2007

Date: 22nd-30th September

Venue: Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok

The Amazing ATP Thailand Open, Thailand's premier international sporting event takes place from September 22-30, 2007 at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. Southeast Asia's only ATP Tour event, the Thailand Open 2007 boasts a star-studded field that includes Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas, Paradon Srichaphan and Benjamin Becker.
More information click here

Bangkok Fest & Fun

As part of the ongoing Bangkok Fest & Fun campaign, tourists visiting Bangkok between now and December 2007 can purchase a Bangkok Fest Mileage Card and shop at various outlets, becoming eligible to take part in a lucky draw to win 80-baht’s weight worth of gold* (equivalent to roughly 880,000 baht). To be eligible for the draw, tourists simply have their Bangkok Fest Mileage Card stamped and validated at various tourist spots around the city.

Each card costs only nine baht and is available from more than 1,200 branches of Thailand Post Co., Ltd. nationwide, until 30 November 2007.
Proceeds from the sale of the cards will be donated to The Chaipattana Foundation, founded by His Majesty King Bhimibol Adulyadej of Thailand, and Friends in Need (of “PA”) Volunteers Foundation Thai Red Cross.

Contact:Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 (120 automatic lines)
Fax: +66 (0) 2250 5511 (two automatic lines)
please call 1672.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bangkok’s 9th International Festival of Dance and Music

Date: September 9 - October 11, 2007

Venue: Thailand Cultural Centre

Its been nine years since Bangkok took its first steps towards establishing itself as a Southeast Asian cultural hub. Its been nine years since Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance & Music set the ball rolling. Today the festival has garnered a reputation for excellence presenting only the best from around the world to discerning audiences in Bangkok. In keeping with this tradition the ninth edition (Sept 9-11 Oct) of the festival has in store acts that will find favour even with the most demanding of patrons.

As Thailand celebrates His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday this year, the festival in effect is dedicated to Him and opens with a spectacular performance paying homage to the musician in His Majesty. During his reign His Majesty has penned some 48 compositions, many in the blues style and the opening act, ‘His Majesty’s Blues Concert’, has 25 of Thailand’s leading singers giving voice to some of these compositions. Accompanied by an orchestra, singers like Ford Sobchai Kraiyurasen, Jennifer Kim, Radklao Amaradit, Ta Surachai Wongbuakao and Ben Chalatit Tantiwut among others, will more than do justice to the compositions. Pongprom Sanitwong Na Ayuthaya, producer, composer and musician is the man behind this amazing project. It was in 2006 that over a 100 Thai artists, cutting across label lines came together in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne. A four set CD album was also released which soon became a collector’s item. This blues concert is another opportunity to hear rare compositions in concert and makes for a fitting opening to a spectacular festival.

View programme click here

Friday, August 24, 2007



Date: September 9-16, 2007

Since its inception eight years ago, the World Gourmet Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line up of some of the world’s best chefs. Several food festivals are hosted throughout the world, however, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is the only hotel to bring award winning Master Chefs under one roof for a week long celebration of outstanding food, superb wines and to share tips and information on how to create award-winning cuisine.

Confirmed participating chefs are:

  • Patricia di Benedetto, ByeByeBlues, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

  • Paul Wilson, The Botanical, Melbourne, Australia

  • Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York, USA

  • Romain Fornell, Caelis, Barcelona, Spain

  • Douglas Rodriguez, Gaucho Restaurants, London, UK

  • Steven Snow, Fins Restaurant, Sydney, Australia

  • Nicole Krasinski, Rubicon, San Francisco, USA

  • Roberto Donna, Galileo, Washington DC, USA

  • Suzanne Tracht, JAR Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

  • Susur Lee, Susur Lee, Toronto, Canada

  • Katrina Kanetani, Pier Restaurant, Sydney, Australia

The event is coordinated and overseen by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Executive Chef Nicolas Schneller and Shintaro Chef, Satoshi Sawada and Biscotti Chef, Danilo Aiassa.

Each chef will host two evenings in one of the hotel’s restaurants; and a cooking demonstration either for lunch or dinner. You may catch them all at one time at the seven-course Gala dinner on Thursday, 13 September 2007.

The World Gourmet Gala Dinner promises to be a unique and memorable affair. A cocktail reception will take place from 7:00 pm followed by a seven-course dinner and entertainment. A live auction will feature exciting travel prizes that showcase sister Four Seasons hotels around the globe.

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok proudly extends support to HRH Princess Soamsawali’s “Save a Child’s Life from AIDS Project” under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society which provides medicine for pregnant mothers who are afflicted with AIDS. A portion of all proceeds from the Gala dinner will be donated to this charity.

Tickets are available through Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok on

+66 (0) 2 250 1000 or


Thailand recently joined other major Asian aviation hubs in implementing security measures recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The following restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels in hand-carried luggage are effective from 1 June 2007, and are applicable for all commercial flights departing from airports in Thailand.

Liquids, aerosols, gels (including drinks, creams, perfumes, sprays, gels, toothpaste, lipstick, lip balm and similar substances) in containers of no more than 100 ml each must be placed in a transparent re-sealable 20 cm x 20 cm plastic bag with a capacity not exceeding one litre. Only one sealed bag per person is permitted, and this must be presented separately for security checking.

Liquids, aerosols, gels, drinks, creams, perfumes, sprays, toothpaste, lipstick, lip balm and all similar substances in containers exceeding 100 ml must be placed in checked-in luggage.

Medication, baby food/milk and special dietary items must be presented separately for screening.

In addition to the transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, each carry-on item(jacket, suit pack, personal computer, cell phone, and any accessories with metal components) must be presented separately for screening at the security check point.

Items Not Allowed
  • Liquids, gels, pastes and lotions in excess of 100 ml. Containers over 100 ml, even if only partially full, must be discarded in the bin provided.
  • Overpacked open bags
  • Sharp items

Duty-free items should not be taken out of their sealed bag, and passengers should be aware that they may be asked to present receipts for proof of purchase.

Source: Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited announcements