Tourists travelling to Thailand have been warned about new rules
Tourists travelling to Thailand have been warned about a set of new rules introduced for this month.
The nation will cremate its king on October 25, more than a year after he passed away on October 13 last year.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death prompted a mourning period which will end at midnight on October 27.
For the month leading up to his cremation, public festivities and entertainment have been banned out of respect.
Entertainment venues will still be allowed to operate and serve alcoholic drinks, but other forms of entertainment in public spaces will be forbidden.
Travel warning for Thailand holidays: A popular tourist activity has been banned this month
This includes the famous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, which has been cancelled for October.
The huge celebration draws hordes of tourists each month but anyone celebrating in October risks serious penalties.
Thailand abides by the Lèse Majesté law, which states it is illegal to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir or regent.
Sentences for insulting the monarchy range from three to 15 years’ imprisonment per count.
Travel warning for Thailand holidays: Events like the Full Moon Party have been banned
The longest on record for Lèse Majesté is 60 years – reduced to 30 after a guilty plea from the defendant – issued to Pongsak Sriboonpeng in 2014 for six Facebook posts that were allegedly critical of the monarchy.
Even pets aren’t off limits. In 2015, factory worker Thanakorn Siripaiboon was arrested for mocking the King’s dog on social media.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned Britons to abide by local laws and customs when visiting Thailand.
In its travel advice, the FCO said: “Following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej there is an official period of mourning lasting until midnight on 27 October 2017.
Travel warning for Thailand holidays: The King will be cremated on October 25
“There’s likely to be significant disruption to traffic in central Bangkok, especially around the areas of the ceremonies, due to large volumes of people and road closures.
“You should check arrangements locally and if necessary allow extra time for travel.
“You should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people at this time.”
King Bhumibol was the world’s longest reigning monarch, who died at the age of 88 after seven decades on the throne.