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Bangkok travel alert now yellow amid escalating anti-government protests

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan raised its travel alert level for Bangkok and its surrounding areas to yellow, advising tourists to be cautious and pay close attention to their safety when traveling to the region destinations amid escalating anti-government protests in Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

“MOFA is urging Taiwanese travelers planning to visit Bangkok for business or pleasure to be careful and pay attention to their personal safety,” said MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) at a routine news conference yesterday.

Under MOFA's four-color travel alert system, yellow, the third-highest warning level, means travelers should take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel.

The highest level of warning is red, followed by orange, yellow and gray.

An orange travel alert advises travelers to postpone their trips, while a red alerts warn travelers not to enter the area in question under any circumstances.

A “gray” travel alert for Thailand had been in place since early last month.

MOFA's move to impose a higher-level travel alert came as anti-government protesters in Bangkok tried to storm the prime minister's office on Monday.

Kao yesterday also urged Taiwanese nationals not to visit crowded areas in Bangkok and avoid wearing yellow and red clothing during visits to the country.

There have been scuffles between pro-government “red shirt” supporters and “yellow shirt” anti-government demonstrators.

MOFA will continue to monitor the latest developments in Thailand and make timely adjustments to its travel alert system. In case of emergency, Taiwanese nationals in Thailand can call the emergency hotline of Taiwan's representative office in Bangkok at (081) 666-40066 or 666-4008 for help.

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