The Thai Bureau of the Royal Household has announced that the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, along with other royal palaces and locations would reopen from 1st November.
The announcement comes as Thailand makes the last preparations for the arrival of fully vaccinated visitors from 46 countries who are eligible for quarantine-free travel from 1st November.
The reopening of Bangkok’s most famous attraction, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, will allow tourists once again to explore the beauty and splendour of the historically significant and much-revered site.
The Grand Palace complex, within which the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaeo is located, was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and safety measures are in place at both venues to help ensure the safety of visitors and staff. This includes the compulsory wearing of face masks at all times, body temperature screening upon entry, handwashing facilities, and registration on the Thai Chana application.
Social distancing will be observed at service points in the complex, and common contact surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected every 20 minutes, while medical professionals will be on standby in the case of emergencies or first aid being needed.
The opening hours of the Grand Palace complex are daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm with an entry fee of 500 Baht per person. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance or online (online tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance).
The other royal palaces and locations also reopening on 1st November are:
- Bang Pa-In Palace in Ayutthaya;
- Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai;
- Chang Hua Man Royal Project in Phetchaburi;
- Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok;
- Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in Bangkok.
The Arts of the Kingdom Museum in Ayutthaya will reopen on 19th November.
Thai authorities are predicting that around 1 million foreign tourists will arrive in the country between 1st November and the end of March next year.
That is considerably down on the numbers normally arriving in the country during the peak travel months but is a step toward a recovery.
Thailand has been targeting higher value visitors as part of their recovery campaign, who will spend more during their stay, to partially offset lower numbers of arrivals.
Visitor numbers are also likley to be impacted by Thailand being at the highest alert level for US travellers and strict quarantine requirements for travellers from china returning home.
Many commentators do not expect normal levels of foreign visitors until 2024. In 2019 almost 40 million people travelled to Thailand. In 2020 around 6.7 million people visited Thailand, the vast majority in January and February prior to travel restrictions being imposed.
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