Update: Koh Samui Airport and other airports in southern Thailand are open however there may still be delays, so check with your airline prior to travel. Ferry services between the mainland and Koh Samui have resumed. The ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin has also resumed.
Thailand is preparing for Tropical Storm Pabuk as it makes its way westward into the Gulf of Thailand, where it's due to make landfall on Wednesday 3rd January in southern parts of the country and continue to cause damage until the 5th January. Popular tourist spots such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao and other islands will be impacted, with a high risk of heavy rain and coastal flooding.
The storm has already produced torrential rains and flooding in Vietnam and Cambodia. Meterologists are continually monitoring the storm system as there are concerns it could gather strength in the Gulf and evolve into a cyclone.
Numerous beaches have been closed in the areas to be impacted by the storm system (often marked with a red flag). Follow all local warnings and signage regarding beach closures and do not swim.
Authorities have issued warnings to the public and all hotels, resorts and tour operators. Ferry services from the mainland to the islands and inter-island have been canceled. The ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin has been suspended until further notice due to high winds and rough conditions in the Gulf of Thailand.
Several airlines have canceled flights to/from Koh Samui and flights are also affected flying to/from Phuket and other airports in southern Thailand. Travelers are advised to check with their airline prior to departure.
Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.
Travelers are reminded that a military junta is in charge of Thailand and martial law may be re-imposed in tourist areas at short notice. Martial law allows the authorities to make laws by decree, and to detain, arrest or deport people without reference to the judicial system. These powers are often given to local commanders – basically the local police or army chief can make it up as he sees fit. Decrees made in one area may not apply elsewhere.
Travelers to Thailand are warned that circumstances had changed in the country following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13th, 2016. The 88 year old monarch was much loved and widely respected in Thailand, it's advised to show respect and sympathy to the Thai people. A year long period of mourning has recently ended with a five day funeral ceremony finishing on October 30th.
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