On October 13, 2016, Thailand's beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 88. The government immediately declared that the country would be in a year of mourning, with the first 30 days (until around November 13, 2016) being especially somber. Thai's are expected to wear black and refrain from participating in any celebrations or festivals during that time.
What does Thailand's year of mourning mean for visitors?
If you are planning to travel to Thailand in the next few months, be aware that some restaurants, bars, and clubs may be closed or have different hours. Trains, planes, and bus schedules may be disrupted, and there may be a more somber air on beaches that are normally teeming with loud, late-night party goers.
Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace will be closed to the public, as this is where the funeral rites are going to be taking place.
Thailand's Tourism Authority has encouraged visitors not to cancel their plans, but lists these recommendations:
"• Many Thai people will be wearing black or white clothing as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors but if possible, they should wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public.
• Visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour.
• Most of the traditional and cultural events will be taking place as usual, although the celebrations may be changed for appropriateness as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
• All transport, banks, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual.
• The related authorities have stepped up safety and security measures for all Thais and visitors to facilitate their travelling around the country." (source)