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Mourning Thailand takes steps for visitors

dpa logodpa 26/10/2016 Hathai Techakitteranun

Thailand may be in mourning but wants foreign tourists to feel welcome, even making entry to certain attractions free for them until the end of January.

Thai authorities are offering free entry to certain museums, archaeological sites and historical parks across the country until the end of January 2017 to attract more visitors to the country, local media reported.

Following the government's request to suspend celebrations and festive or entertainment activities as the nation mourns the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on October 13, many concerts and social events have been cancelled.

However, many restaurants and entertainment venues have resumed their activities gradually, from resuming alcohol sales to playing music.

A group of entertainers from the Philippines told DPA their band stopped performing for one week after the king's death, but resumed their singing sitting down, without their usual dance routine.

The famous full moon party on the southern island of Koh Phangan reportedly went ahead on October 17, with the next one scheduled for November 15.

Thailand's annual festival of Loi Krathong, when Thais make wishes as they launch decorated rafts onto the waterways and which takes place in November every year, has received the green light from the government.

However, some provinces have reportedly cancelled it, and fireworks and loud music are banned, according to the country's tourism authority.

DFAT has asked Australians travelling to Thailand during this mourning period to demonstrate respect for the Thai people, and refrain from any behaviour that may be interpreted as festive, disrespectful or disorderly.

It advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.

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