Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 4 February 2015, 11:55 NZDT
  • Still current at: 1 March 2015

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High Risk

There is high risk to your security in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla because of ongoing politically-motivated and criminal violence, which occurs on an almost daily basis. There are indications that westerners may be specifically targeted.  We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these provinces.  The Thai Government has warned tourists not to travel to these areas. 

There is high risk to your security along the disputed Thailand/Cambodia border in the provinces of Sa Kaew, Buriram, Surin, Sisaket and Ubon Ratchathani and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to this area. Thai and Cambodian troops are deployed in this area and have on occasion engaged in armed conflict. 

There is high risk to your security along the Thailand/Myanmar border and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to this area. Sporadic conflict near the Myanmar/Thai border occurs between the Myanmar military and armed opposition groups as well as between Thai security forces and armed criminal groups (such as drug traffickers). 

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Thailand due to the threat from terrorism and potential for violent civil unrest and we advise caution.

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Political Tension/Civil unrest
On 22 May 2014, the Thai military took control of the government in a coup. Martial law is in place across Thailand and gives the military expanded powers to enforce law and order. 

New Zealanders throughout Thailand are advised to exercise caution and monitor the media to stay informed of developments.  We recommend adhering to any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.  According to various National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) announcements and under martial law, individuals may be detained for criticising Thailand’s current political situation, the NCPO, or the monarchy, and are prohibited from holding  political gatherings of more than five people. New Zealanders throughout Thailand should be wary of making political statements in public and on social media. 

From November 2013 until the coup in May 2014, Thailand experienced large-scale political demonstrations. There were a number of violent incidents involving explosive devices and firearms in the vicinity of protest activities and buildings linked to political figures in Bangkok, resulting in injuries and deaths.  

Since the coup, there have been a number of small scale protests in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand in response to the military’s actions.  Further protest activity is possible and may result in violent clashes with the military or civil unrest. 

New Zealanders throughout Thailand are advised to avoid any protests, demonstrations, and large public gatherings, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to quickly turn violent.  Before travelling to Thailand we recommend you check with your insurance provider that they will continue to cover you for claims arising from the current situation.  Some travel insurance policies may exclude cover during a coup d'etat and your insurance may be invalid. 

Terrorism
There is an on-going threat from terrorism in Thailand, including outside the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla. New Zealanders are advised to exercise a high degree of personal security awareness in Thailand. There have been a number of explosive device incidents in Bangkok and other cities. On 1 February 2015, there were two explosions outside a Bangkok shopping mall in a tourist area, which caused some injuries. 

Particular care should be taken in public and commercial areas, including landmark places known to be frequented by expatriates or foreign tourists, public transport facilities, hotels, bars, tourist resorts and shopping areas.  We recommend you maintain vigilance and comply with any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities. 

Landmines
There is a danger from unexploded landmines in areas surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple (known as Khao Pra Viharn temple in Thailand) and the Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temples, located on the Thailand/Cambodia border. If you are travelling in this area we recommend you remain on well-used roads and paths.

General travel advice
It is a requirement under Thai law to carry photo identification at all times. A  New Zealand driver’s licence or a photocopy of the biodata page from a passport would be adequate identification in the first instance. 

New Zealanders travelling or living in Thailand should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Thailand are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Bangkok, Thailand

Street Address M Thai Tower, 14th floor, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Bangkok Postal Address PO Box 2719, Bangkok 10500 Telephone +66 2 254 2530 Fax +66 2 253 9045 Email info@newzealandembassybkk.com Web Site http://www.nzembassy.com/thailand Hours Mon-Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs

See our regional advice for South East Asia

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New Zealand Embassy Thailand

Street Address
M Thai Tower, 14th floor, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Bangkok

Telephone: +66 2 254 2530

Fax: +66 2 253 9045

Email: info@newzealandembassybkk.com

Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/thailand

Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs

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