The Nation newspaper today had a headline on the front page of the business section that immediately struck me as strange. It stated “Tourists urged to skip Bangkok during cremation”. I knew this to be false for sure. Bangkok is a big place and there would be no reason for tourists to cancel their holiday. And to confirm this, the Minister of Tourism, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, just rang me to say that she did not say this to the reporter at The Nation. This is completely false news. I just hope that the international media doesn’t pick this up like last time.
The royal cremation, which will take place from 25-29 October 2017, will only be held in the Sanam Luang area. The only tourist attraction to be affected will be The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to cancel plans due to the cremation. In fact, this is a cultural event of historical importance. I actually know a number of foreigners who are specifically planning on coming to Thailand to be part of this event. And yes, they can do this as long as they wear appropriate clothing. This means black clothes. Elsewhere in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, tourists can carry on as normal. They can wear their usual clothing and visit the usual attractions.