Because of the ongoing violence in the deep south, all major Western governments are currently advising people not to travel to or through Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces unless essential, and nearly all are advising against travel to Songkhla province too; following on from this, insurance companies are refusing to cover travel in the affected areas. The four provinces encompass the city and transport hub of Hat Yai and several of the main border crossings to Malaysia: by rail from Hat Yai (and Bangkok) to Butterworth via Padang Besar and to Sungai Kolok; and by road from Hat Yai via Sadao, from Yala via Betong, and down the east coast to Kota Bharu.

The routes to Sungai Kolok, Betong and Kota Bharu pass through particularly volatile territory, with martial law declared in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces; however, martial law is only in effect in certain districts of Songkhla province, and not in Hat Yai itself.

The provinces of Trang and Satun are not affected, and it’s still perfectly possible to continue overland to Malaysia via Satun: by a/c minibus from nearby Ban Khuan to Kangar, or by ferry from Thammalang to Kuala Perlis or the Malaysian island of Langkawi; or by boat from Ko Lipe to Langkawi. For up-to-the-minute advice, consult your government travel advisory.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

Backpacking Thailand can mean staying in fun-packed hostels and idyllic beach bungalows, eating noodles so tasty and so cheap you’ll swear off all other food …

11 Apr 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
These amazing photos of Thailand will intensify your wanderlust

These amazing photos of Thailand will intensify your wanderlust

Professional photographer Ian Barin shares some of his favourite pictures of Thailand.  Thailand. It’s everything you’ve heard; a beautifully complex co…

08 Mar 2016 • Ian Barin insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month