3 Sep 2008

Warning but no travel ban for Thailand

10:24 am on 3 September 2008

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is asking travellers to Bangkok to register their journey on its safe travel website, because of the state of emergency in place in the city.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej imposed the state of emergency in the Thai capital just hours after violence erupted between pro- and anti-government demonstrators.

Australia, South Korea and Singapore have issued travel warnings, with others likely to follow.

A spokesperson for MFAT, David Courtney, says New Zealanders in Bangkok should avoid marches and protest hot spots, and should comply with any restrictions or instructions given to them by Thai authorities.

He says demonstrations are localised to small areas of the city, and a ban on travel to the country is not warranted at this stage, but is asking travellers to register on the ministry's safe travel website.

The ministry says 444 New Zealanders are registered as visiting Thailand, but it expects many more are in the country at this time.