Category Archives: Thailand

I had to put up with a 13-hour bumpy train ride on KTM’s Senandung Langkawi from Malaysia to Thailand. It was almost impossible to sleep.

COVID-19: Thailand’s International Borders Likely Closed for Tourists Till 2021

Update Aug 24, 2020: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has agreed in principle to conditionally open Phuket for international tourists from October 1 as part of the Tourism and Sport Ministry’s Safe and Sealed plan. Read here for more information.

More and more indications are pointing to the possibility that Thailand’s international borders will remain closed to tourists until 2021.

At the time of writing, many countries across the world are still battling COVID-19, with some experiencing the second or third wave. Vietnam, one of the few countries thought to have built a success story with its fight against novel coronavirus in the past few months, on August 14 (Friday) reported 24 new COVID-19 cases and one death, bringing the total tally to 929 cases with 21 fatalities.

In the Philippines, the total number of cases has surged to 153,660 after its Department of Health reported 6,216 new daily cases on Friday. Meanwhile, Malaysia is now battling its new COVID-19 cluster in the northern state of Kedah.

Thailand also reported a whopping 17 new coronavirus cases with 15 of them being Thais who have recently returned from India.

According to deputy governor for international marketing at Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Thailand’s international borders might not be opened to tourists until 2021.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and TravelMole, he revealed Thailand’s government was taking a “very, very cautious” approach to the reopening of international borders and that “there has been no talk of or timeline issued for reopening the country to inbound or outbound leisure travel during weekly Covid-19 national meetings”.

Nevertheless, there has been a plea to the Prime Minister of Thailand to reopen borders. On August 4, Glasgow-based journalist and public relations consultant Ken Scott released a video appealing to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to reopen the country’s borders to tourism.

In the video, he also presented proposals for Prayut Chan-o-cha to consider.

Songkran 2020: What You Need to Know in View of Covid-19 Outbreak

It’s the time of the year when people will be planning their trips to Thailand to experience Songkran, or the Thai New Year festival.

Unfortunately this year, due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, things have taken an unusual turn.

Earlier on, it was reported that the Thai government had plans to extend the Songkran 2020 holidays by two days, thus giving the Thais a total of nine-day long break including Saturday and Sunday. This was so that the measure could help stimulate the national economy. However, the cabinet did not give this proposal the green light.

Songkran 2020: What You Need to Know
Songkran 2020 amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Songkran 2020 will fall on April 13 to 15. However, unlike past years, Thailand has cancelled all public Songkran celebrations in a move to prevent and reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

Here’s what has been reported about all major Songkran 2020 celebrations in Thailand so far:

Khao San: World’s biggest water fight Songkran on Khao San Road scrubbed, with beauty contest, religious events also cancelled (Source)

Pattaya: Official Songkran events cancelled (Source).

Chonburi: Bang Saen district cancels all official Songkran activities (Source).

Phuket: Patong Songkran official events cancelled (Source).

Khon Kaen, Phetchabun, Buriram: Also cancelled their Songkran festivities (Source).

Koh Phangan: Signature full-moon party on March 8 cancelled (Source).

While these official, state-sponsored Songkran may have been cancelled, it is believe that small-scale celebrations in major areas would still take place, and could be just as wet as usual.

If you are planning to take the risk to participate in the Songkran celebration this year, please exercise extra precautions as Covid-19 is highly contagious.

At the time of writing, Thailand current records a total of 53 cases of Covid-19.