Security Message for U.S. Citizens: August 7, 2016 Constitutional Referendum in Thailand

Citizens across Thailand will be voting in a constitutional referendum on Sunday, August 7, 2016. The Embassy would like to remind U.S. citizens that while traveling in Thailand you should exercise caution and avoid crowds and demonstrations. The National Council for Peace and Order has banned political gatherings and placed restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. Security forces have additional powers, including the right to control movement and search for weapons. U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened military presence throughout Thailand for this event. Individuals—including foreigners—may be detained for publicly criticizing the National Council for Peace and Order or the monarchy. In the past, security operations against possible demonstrations have led to disruptions to traffic as well as to some public transport services, and restricted access to some areas around major shopping and hotel districts in central Bangkok. Additional measures could be enforced at any time. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor international and Thai media. Always avoid areas where there are protest events, large gatherings, or security operations and follow any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities. Although violence is not expected, even gatherings or demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate.

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 The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is +66-2-205-4000. You can also follow us on Twitter @acsbkk.

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 The after-hours emergency telephone number is +66-81-881-1878.