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Russian tourists told to avoid Bangkok - but Thai resorts remain 'calm and safe'

By The Siberian Times reporter
10 January 2014

Siberians can continue travelling to their number one winter sunshine destinations, says Rostourism.

A tourist from Novosibirsk, Siberia enjoying a winter break in Thailand. Picture: The Siberian Times

The country's Federal Tourism Agency Rostourism urged Russians to avoid Bangkok amid expected political turmoil in the coming days. But official Irina Shchegolkova made clear this advice did not apply to other Thai resorts, for example Pattaya and Phuket, which are popular winter escapes for hundreds of thousands of Siberians. 

'Tourists called and wanted to know if they could cancel the tour and return money. But no complaints have been received from those who are currently taking rest in Thailand. The situation is calm and safe', Shchegolkova said. 

She made clear: 'The recommendations are related to touring Bangkok. At present, tour operators are changing package plans. They also inform tourists, who leave for Russia from Bangkok, about the need to go to an airport four hours before the flight due to the fact that key highways can be shut off.

'Following the Russian Foreign Ministry, Rostourism recommends Russian citizens to refrain from trips to Bangkok. Host agencies are advised to cancel tours to the Thai capital for the period of protest actions. Russian citizens, who stay in Bangkok, should take care and comply with all requirements by law enforcers and avoid crowded areas.'

The Foreign Ministry strongly recommended Russians not to visit Bangkok over the plans of the Thai opposition to stage large-scale protest actions in the capital starting 13 January. 

'Clashes between the opposition and government forces are not ruled out,' said the Russian foreign ministry. 'In this connection, we strongly recommend Russian citizens to refrain from trips to Bangkok. We also recommend travel companies serving Russian tourists to cancel excursions to the Thai capital in the period of possible mass opposition actions'.

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