Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstration Violence in Bangkok

This is to advise and update U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Thailand that there have been multiple reports of violent clashes the afternoon of Friday January 17 at several protests sites in Bangkok.  One incident occurred near the National Stadium and MBK shopping mall at Pathumwan Intersection downtown.  Another attack occurred near the Government Center on Changwattana Road in the northern area of the city.  Casualties have been reported, although details are unconfirmed.  Additional crimes involving weapons and explosives related to the ongoing political situation have occurred at protests sites in recent days.

Protest marches continue throughout the city and mass rallies at major intersections. They include: Asoke, Pathumwan, Lumpini, Victory Monument, Ratchaprason, Lat Prao, Silom, and Changwattana.  Avoid protest locations.  Be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational, and can escalate into violence without warning. You should exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings.  Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news and media reports for additional information and details.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Thailand enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Thailand.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 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).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov. The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878.