Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 000194
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN CB RP TH UK VM
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE TO BANGKOK FOR STAFFDEL STOPHER
REF: STATE 003414
¶1. (U) Embassy Bangkok warmly welcomes and grants country
clearance to STAFFDEL Stopher to travel to Thailand from January
17 to January 19, 2006, per REFTEL.
¶2. (U) Embassy Point of Contact (POC) David Marsden, Deputy
Chief, SA. Work phone: 66-2-205-4988, Cell: 66-1-205-0474
Fax: 66-2-252-1687, and E-mail: MarsdenDS@State.gov
After-hours emergency number for the embassy is 66-2-205-4108.
¶3. (U) Reservations have been made at The Four Seasons Hotel
(see http://www.fourseasons.com). The hotel is located at 155
Rajadamri Road, Telephone: 66-2-251-6127 and Fax: 66-2-254-5390.
Room rate is USD 125 net (taxes and American breakfast included)
and is within per diem (lodging – USD 125; M&I – USD 57). Please
note that rooms are guaranteed and Embassy may be billed if 24-
hour notice to hotel is not given for cancellations. If travel
plans change, please contact the hotel or POC immediately. Also,
please confirm departure date upon check-in.
¶4. (U) Embassy will meet and assist delegation upon arrival and
¶5. (U) Although visas are not required of holders of U.S.
tourist passports who plan to stay fewer than 30 days, holders of
diplomatic or official passports must obtain visas prior to
arrival. If a traveler is not a U.S. passport holder, please
call your local Thai Embassy for visa information.
¶6. (U) Thailand has an airport departure tax of 500 Baht that
must be paid in local currency upon departure.
¶7. (SBU) SECURITY INFORMATION
¶A. (U) MANDATORY PERSONAL SECURITY TRAINING:
– (U) All U.S. citizen personnel serving under Chief of Mission
authority in a temporary duty status of 30 days or more must
complete appropriate overseas personal security training prior to
travel (04 State 66580). Employees who have completed the
Security Overseas Seminar course at State’s Foreign Service
Institute (FSI) after June 1, 2000 meet this requirement. All
other TDYers must either 1) complete the approved four-day
seminar at FSI entitled “Serving Abroad for Families & Employees
(SAFE)” or 2) have their agency certify to the State Department
Bureau of Diplomatic Security that the employee has undergone
equivalent security training. The contact for this certification
is Assistant Director of Training, DS/T, at telephone (703) 205-
¶2617. Country clearance will not be granted for any traveler
with planned TDY in excess of 30 days if this information is not
stated/certified. POC for additional information is
¶B. (U) CRIME:
– (U) Crime is generally non-confrontational in nature. Criminal
acts are usually crimes of opportunity such as purse-snatchings,
thefts of unattended property, and pick pocketing. Visitors
should be especially alert in crowded buses, streets, and markets
or while on “tuk-tuks.” Visitors should lock valuables in hotel
safe deposit boxes not in their hotel rooms.
-(U) Be aware of common scams and frauds (including credit cards,
in particular). Visitors should only use credit cards at well-
established and reputable businesses. Visitors should be careful
when purchasing branded or copyrighted goods. There are many
pirated counterfeit products in the marketplace; their purchase
is against post regulations and it is illegal to import these
products into the U.S. Be wary of common scams for jewelry,
suits, silks, gems, or antiquities. There are no Thai government-
owned or sponsored gem stores. If victimized, seek assistance
from Tourist Police by dialing 1155.
– (U) Visitors are cautioned from visiting bars involved in the
sex trade. Many of these operate illegally and clients can be
subject to RTG law; they often charge exorbitant drink prices and
cover charges. There are also many incidents of crime against
patrons in these establishments. Drugging and robbing of unwary
individuals is not uncommon. There are frequent reports of
victims being drugged and robbed or beaten when visiting these
bars. The drugs used can cause serious temporary memory
impairment, unconsciousness, and if overdosed, death.
¶C. (U) TRAFFIC:
– (U) The traffic situation in Bangkok can be difficult and
dangerous for both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. All
visitors should be a1ert to traffic patterns and unexpected
motorcycle drivers. Traffic drives on the left-hand side,
opposite from the U.S., although there may be a bus lane that
flows in the opposite direction. Pedestrians should use the
overhead walkways for crossing busy streets.
¶D. (U) TERRORISM:
– (SBU) The threat from transnational terrorist groups to the
U.S. Mission in Bangkok is currently ranked high. Despite
stepped up RTG efforts to monitor its borders, they remain
relatively porous and allow easy illegal access. Transnational
terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),
have utilized Thailand as a transit point.
– (SBU) The threat from indigenous terrorist groups is currently
rated as low. There is no evidence to indicate that indigenous
terrorist groups are planning acts against U.S. personnel or
facilities. The far south of Thailand has experienced incidents
of criminally and politically motivated violence, including
incidents attributed to armed local Muslim separatist groups.
Although Americans have not been specifically targeted in the
past, the indiscriminate nature of past attacks by these groups –
including bombings of public places – indicates a potential
threat to American citizens.
– (U) The State Department is concerned that there is an
increased risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including
Thailand. Travelers to Thailand should therefore exercise
caution, especially in locations where Westerners congregate,
such as clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, tourist areas,
and other places frequented by foreigners.
¶E. (U) OTHER SECURITY TIPS:
– (U) Visitors should avoid making any pejorative comments about
any members of the Thai Royal Family or engaging in disrespectful
conduct within temples or toward religious objects. Such
behavior can result in arrest and/or expulsion from Thailand.
– (U) Precautions should also be taken not to discuss sensitive
or classified matters outside secure environments or over
unsecured and/or cellular telephones, and to securely safeguard
classified or sensitive materials at the Chancery and not at
hotels or residences.
– (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State Department’s
Consular Information Sheet for Thailand and the most recent
Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, which are available via
the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. DOD personnel must
review the PACOM Force Protection Levels for Thailand found at
– (U) In essence, visitors to Bangkok must exercise appropriate
caution and be alert to their surroundings with regard to their
personal security. Suspicious incidents/activities should be
reported to RSO Bangkok (tel. 02-205-4000, 24 hrs/day). On
behalf of US Embassy Bangkok, we hope you have a safe and