MICHAEL YIP

I AM A

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Hello,

I'm Michael Yip

I am a video producer and photographer by profession. As a photographer, one of my core skills is in dance event photography, as one of only a handful of photographers experienced in covering dance events, performances and portraits. I got a chance to countries around the Asian region capturing visuals to help participants of the events immortalize their moments. If you are interested in bringing me over to your festivals/events. Just head over to the contact section and drop me a message.

Through GEMNUINE - the idea co., my team and I also provides Brand Management and PR services. Our core expertise is in helping brands evolve and attract the current market. We also provides Digital Marketing and Management services, from web designs to social media management. Drop me an email today at mike@gemnuine.com and let us know how you want us to help you.

If you are stumped by the photo, yes, I dance as well, mainly Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, West Coast Swing and Argentine Tango. I have since stopped performing due to injuries but if you are looking for performers for corporate events/functions/parties/festivals. Do drop me a message as well as I manages some of the dance teams that is currently making the rounds performing for various clients.


Education
Kolej Bandar Utama/Central St. Martin

Diploma in Arts and Design

Kolej Damansara Utama

Diploma in Telecommunication Engineering

SMK Damansara Utama

SPM


Experience
Photographer/Video Producer

MIKE YIP STUDIO

Branding and PR

GEMNUINE - the idea co.

Digital Marketing Solutions

Abood Media Sdn Bhd


My Skills
Photography and Video Production
Brand Management and Solutions
Public Relations
Digital Marketing Solutions

14

Confirmed Bookings for 2018

4

Confirmed Destinations for 2018

6

Confirmed Dance Festivals for 2018

4

Talks Confirmed for 2018

WHAT CAN MY TEAM DO

Photography and Video Production

As our core business, this is what we are good at, capturing visuals that brings out the best for your brand.

Branding and PR

Through GEMNUINE, we specializes in helping brands redevelop, redefine and create a comprehensive marketing strategies reach the target market.

Social Media Marketing

Abood Media Sdn Bhd's core strenght in Digital Marketing Services focuses on Social Media Management and promotions.

Web Design

We also design and revamp websites as part of Abood Media Sdn Bhd's services.

Live Event Streaming Production

As part of a new offering from MIKE YIP STUDIO and partners, we also provides Live Streaming services for Events through dedicated sites or onto social media platforms.

Efficient

We pride ourselves at being good and efficient in what we do and we always try our best to deliver services that exceeds our client's expectations.

I also blogs

US wants Airlines to Ban Cameras in Checked Bags



Recently, the buzz that got around the photography world is that the American government is encouraging the Airlines around the world to ban cameras, laptops and various other electronic devices from checked luggage, citing risk of batteries causing fires.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the recommendation was made in a paper that was recently filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency that’s part of the U.N.

The FAA conducted tests that involved placing a heater against a fully-charged laptop’s lithium-ion battery, causing the battery’s temperature to continually rise. The agency found that overheating batteries and aerosol cans in close proximity to one another can cause fires and explosions in less than a minute — events that could bring down a passenger plane.

Batteries packed with other permitted items such as rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and nail polish remover also caused large fires. These fires can burn up to 1,100 °F (594 °C), close to the melting point of aircraft aluminum, and are responsible for 3 cargo jet crashes and 4 pilot deaths since 2006, the Associated Press says.

As a result of these findings, the FAA is recommending that electronics larger than a smartphone should be banned from checked luggage unless they’re specifically approved by the airline. Other major agencies and companies, including the European Safety Agency (the FAA’s European counterpart) and Airbus, agreed with the recommendation.

The ICAO is responsible for creating global airline safety standards, which may then be adopted by member countries and airlines. This proposed ban will be considered during an ICAO meeting within the next two weeks.

Here’s the proposal that was submitted by the FAA:



If the ban goes into effect for international flights around the world, it could cause issues for photographers who need to transport large amounts of camera equipment in checked baggage. One possible solution, however, might be to separate your lithium-ion batteries from your cameras and equipment and bring them into the cabin with you in carry-on baggage.

Transporting camera equipment on flights has become much more regulated in recent years due to safety and terrorism concerns. The US temporarily banned cameras in the cabins of planes from a number of Middle Eastern countries earlier this year, and the TSA recently started requiring a separate screening of cameras in security lanes.

(via Chicago Tribune)

REVIEW: DJI Osmo Mobile


Recently, I got hold of the DJI Osmo Mobile as I was looking for a hand held stabilizer to shoot videos. Several reasons why I went for the Osmo Mobile instead of buying the other range of products is quite simple:

1. Price wise, it's quite ok (RM1,099 or USD300).
2. I can mount any phones to it.
3. I can use the GoPro with it (with an adapter)

What I don't like about it:

1. It only came with 1 battery
2. The USB to RCA cable used to charge the Osmo is so small that you will easily misplaced it
3. Should have come with the external charger + extra battery (cause getting those added unnecessary cost for me)
4. The angle of the hole for tripod mount on the side of the joystick is in a weird angle



The Osmo Mobile gimbal itself is quite easy to use, charge it up with the supplied cable, download DJI Go into your phone, sync the 2 devices together (brand new ones will require a firmware update that takes about 15min to do) and you are ready to go.

I've used it for about 2 months now, and I must say that I did not regret buying the Osmo Mobile. I've used it on several shoots and with phone technology these days, I am shooting at 4K with great results. Most of my clients doesn't even realize that some of the footages they receive was shot from a phone! Yes, I'm still learning and figuring out how to smoothly do certain stuff but in general, it is easy to use. Much more easier than my old steady-cam rig that I had to mount a beta cam onto.


With an adapter, I even save money on a GoPro Karma gimbal as I can mount the GoPro cameras to the Osmo and use. Only downside to it is, the GoPro do pick up a bit of noise from the Osmo (Might be due to the gimbal constantly moving to right itself due to the weight of the GoPro). So if you are not planning to use your GoPro with sound, it's a good fit.

That's about the gimbal itself. Now, the DJI Go software itself. It connects to the Osmo via Bluetooth so you can still use your wifi to do Live Streaming when you needed to. Overall, the software is quite intuitive, simple to use and with a bit of practice, easy to navigate around (it is less cluttered compared to the DJI Mavic interface).


The one part that I wish they'd improve on is the tracking system. If you intend to use the system to do vlogging, it's OK. Slow moving objects, just walking about (as long as the side you want it to track faces the camera) works smoothly. The problem came in low light, it will hunt for the subject even after you lock the box in. And if you intend to track a faster moving object, it'll go haywire. I was trying to use it to track a dance routine, but when we go into the fast movement, I can see the Osmo going bonkers and start rotating about looking for the subject it was locking into even though I am just in front of it. If they found a solution for that, I would say it's going to be my go-to device for all my dance demos and performance.

Photo quality wise, it works off your camera's sensor, so on that, I won't comment much as I am still using an old Note3 and you know how the quality of a Note3 is like. The DJI Go app itself does not shoot in 4K but a workaround to it is, I do the video recording off another app while I use the gimbal. It doesn't really affect the device itself, you can still rotate, tilt and move with the Osmo, only thing that will be disabled is the ability to control when you want to start recording on the Osmo itself and rely on poking the screen with your finger.

Overall, I am quite happy with it, didn't regret spending money on it as it's one of the things I carry with me whenever I work. A little "Pro-Tip" for you before you start using yours, always balance the phone or the GoPro (adapter mounted) on the gimbal first before you turn the Osmo on. It will work less hard in making your camera balanced which means your device consume less power.


A friend of mine used his without balance and the battery lasted only 2 hour ish (continuous use) with the joints heating up fast while I managed to use it for up to 4 hours and there was less heat coming from the joints. A balanced Mount would mean that your camera will be facing upright (like the photo) even without the power turned on. An unbalanced mount will have the camera dropping to the side before getting upright after the power turned on.

Well, hope this helps. Will update this post with more things as I discover more about the device. Until then, here's a video montage I shot in Bali using only my phone with the Osmo Mobile.



*This is not a paid review, I bought the device and used it for work and was asked by some friends about my thoughts on the Osmo Mobile. Rather than repeating myself, I write a post about it.

Ratings :

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Accommodation: Grandpa Resort, Bali

On a recent visit to Bali, I stayed in Canggu, slightly away from the usual tourist haunts as I was also involved with the Latin Experience Bali and the studio that is hosting the workshop is located about 15min walk from where I stayed. The venue of choice is this Resort/Guest House named Grandpa. Yup, kid you not. It's Grandpa Resort. To find the place is quite tricky too as the road turning into the area is like a small back lane stretch but it opens up to a wider space with paddy field to the left and right.


Of course, tourist development would take a foothold of the area as that's one of the island's main source of income and guest houses and villas sprout up left, right and center. There's not much signs along the road that indicate that you've arrived at the guest house. Even the one at the entrance of the road is tiny. If you intend to drive to the Guesthouse, it's safer to go by Bike. Taxi/Grab/Uber that goes in there had to navigate their way out of the road in reverse. Not an easy feat to do, especially at night with no lights lighting the path. Hopefully, as the Guest House improves itself, they will light up the road as well.


There's limited rooms in the Guest House, by my estimate, about 20 rooms are available? There are several tourists there that's on long-stay so if you plan to stay for months, can always ask them for a special rate. The staff are quite accommodating so they sorted out my check-in in quite a quick manner.
Verdict: 




The area looks clean but then, they do have a few housekeeping staff constantly roaming around cleaning the garden area when the guests are not ready for them to clean the rooms. There's also a pool in front of the entrance/reception area and just below it is the cafe area where our breakfast are prepared. Didn't get to chill in the pool though as the only time I was at Grandpa was to sleep and recharge my equipment. But overall, the place feels comfortable to relax in, felt like I was staying in a private villa with my own team of servants. As the staff was always around when you need to ask them something or request for things.
Verdict: 




The rooms are huge! For a single person to stay in there. It's even bigger than my room back home. Comfortable bed, plenty of lights coming into the room thanks to the floor to ceiling window but the walls are not that thick so what happens in the next room, if the volume is slightly high, can be heard in the room. Only thing I'm not so sure about is the pillow, not sure how often they change the pillow cases between guests so even though it was comfortable, I had to drop the rating as 1 of the 2 pillows had smell of sweat.

Verdict: 




The wash basin is located within the room itself but that is ok, especially when the ones in the room are the one using it and you are not expecting to have crowd of people in the room. The toilet itself is quite spacious, strong shower but of the 4 nights I was there, the 1st 2 days, the hot water heater did not work so it can be a bit torturous especially after a long day out and you want to have a nice hot shower to relax the body before bed. Other than that little problem, it served the purpose it was build. 

Verdict: 



Overall, the place is quite nice, beautifully designed, cozy as there's only limited rooms and waking up to sunrise across the paddy field is also wonderful for a change. Price wise, the rates when I got the place is quite reasonable too. But because there's so many other villas and guest houses in the area, if I were to be in Canggu area again for work, I might not stay in Grandpa again and check out the other GH or Villas around the area.

If you are feeling adventurous and know how to ride a bike, you can also rent a bike at the reception area. I didn't ask about the price as I had my own car to drive around while I was in Bali. Well, it's been a long time since I last been to Bali, there's so much changes over the years and so many places yet to be rediscovered that I do hope to travel back there again soon, to visit friends and to check out more places. in the beautiful island.

Grandpa Resort Bali

Gg. IV No.2, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Phone: +62 822-3618-3607
Waze: https://waze.com/ul/hqw3yu7sv5

Ratings :

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Cleanliness/Ambiance :


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Value For Money :



Map :

10 WAYS to HONOR the KIZOMBA CULTURE


This is an article shared to me recently from this page. Am sharing it here as a reminder to myself about respecting the culture of the dance we embraced even though we are not from the Angola where the dance originated from.

One cannot expect somebody who's never been to Angola – or knows nothing about its troubled past – to fully grasp how the simple act of dancing, singing and socializing has always served as collective catharsis for its people. As Achille Mbembe, highly respected Cameroonian philosopher and political theorist puts it:

"Music has the capacity to marry soul and matter. Indeed, in Africa, music has always been a celebration of the ineradicability of life, in a long life-denying history. It is the genre that has historically expressed, in the most haunting way, our raging desire not only for existence, but more importantly for joy in existence – what we should call the practice of joy before death".

A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON

One of Princess Diana's most iconic images ever is her sitting next to a 13-year old Angolan girl, Lizete, who had lost her left leg to a landmine while going to get groceries with her mother in Huambo, a then war-torn province in southern Angola. At the time Lady Di visited Angola in 1997, Lizete had been waiting 3 years for a prosthesis.

Up to that point, Angola was virtually unknown to the average westerner; understandably so as war, famine, destruction and death were the only images typically associated with the country since the mid-1970s.

The Angolan civil war ensued soon after independence from Portugal in 1975. The transition of power in the Portuguese colonies was notoriously rushed, cumbersome and, overall, poorly executed. In the particular case of Angola, there was the added factor that the USA & USSR (former Soviet Union) had a huge appetite for geo-political control of a key, natural resource-rich country located in a strategic region of southern Africa. As a result, this led to a brutal civil war that was only interrupted in May 1991 soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall and with the subsequent end of the Cold War. After the first democratic elections in September 1992, armed conflict resumed and prolonged for another decade.

Arguably, no other PALOP country experienced more suffering in the post-independence era than Angola. Millions of lives lost; families broken apart and displaced from their homes; some mothers lost several sons in combat; often children became orphans of both parents; folks lost contact with loved ones as they were fleeing war-affected areas and never saw them again.

For decades, and before the crude oil boom, before the kuduro hype overseas and before the current exportation of kizomba to European dance floors, kizomba was probably the main (if not the only) source of pride for Angolans – together with banga, that indescribable "swag" Angolan men and women apparently tend to possess.

10 WAYS YOU CAN SHOW RESPECT

It is rather popular now in the so-called kizomba world for people to talk about and reiterate the importance of respecting "the culture". Recently, we were asked: to Angolans, what does that mean, exactly?

Perhaps, it is easier to just pinpoint ways in which kizomba aficionados can demonstrate a greater understanding and appreciation of Angolan culture as far as kizomba is concerned:

1. In debates of this nature, we strongly suggest you avoid saying things such as: "what's the big deal? It's only a dance. Get over it." Otherwise, when you do that, Angolans might feel that you are willfully ignoring all the historical background outlined above.

2. Make an effort to try to learn as much as possible about the country's history and how it's intrinsically tied to the birth of semba and kizomba. By doing so, you're indirectly showing empathy for all that grief from years past.

3. Yes, dance is an art but that doesn't mean you should do whatever pleases you with kizomba under the umbrella of "evolution". If you exercise your personal creativity as a dancer or instructor within reasonable boundaries, you're also honoring the plight of millions of people who used this same music and dances (semba, kizomba, etc) to purge the pain of humiliation inflicted during nearly 500 years of colonialism and to bury their sorrows during almost 30 years of civil war, death and destruction.

4. Avoid tweaking your Facebook name to include some ridiculous variation of the words "Kizomba" and "Semba" solely for marketing purposes (regrettably, even some Angolans do the same 🙄).
5. Be humble and understand that it takes years to master kizomba/semba and that you will not achieve the required level of competency to teach others after attending 2 or 3 workshops at a big festival somewhere in Europe. And, when you are finally ready to start teaching the dance, make sure that you equally empower yourself with knowledge of the socio-cultural environment in which kizomba was born decades ago. That way, you can grasp how and why it grew in Angola (and in the PALOPs at large) before hitting your local dance scene in Paris, New York, Toronto, Sidney, etc.

6. If you know too well that you teach neither kizomba nor semba, then that's fine but just make sure you advertise as such in your classes and demos. That will prevent you from being labeled an opportunist or, worse, an impostor.

7. If you're a promoter and you organize only urban kiz-oriented festivals/socials, do not sell them to the (naïve) masses as kizomba events. It is becoming increasingly clearer that nowadays these are two separate dances which ultimately provide distinct experiences on the dance floor.
Same applies to DJs – be truthful to who/what you are and folks will respect your craft accordingly. At the end of the day, there seems to be sufficient market in almost every major kizomba scene for both camps.

8. The etymology of words can often get diluted with time. There are plenty of examples of elements from African culture whose names were eventually lost in translation after being "exported" to the transatlantic diaspora(s). "Kizomba" has a rich, specific meaning in Kimbundu which Angolans would like to preserve as the dance explodes across the globe. Thus, avoid using and abusing the abbreviations "kiz" or "kizz" merely out of convenience and/or for commercial reasons.

9. When you go to a social, do socialize! Don't just try to get as many dances as you can, i.e. as if you're at the gym and you have to complete a set number of weight-lifting exercises. That's not the point nor the essence of the dance.

10. When you go to kizomba events – especially evening ones – always look your very best and dress to impress. This is valid for both men and women and it's actually a deep-rooted aspect of the kizomba culture.

Based on our observations at certain kizomba events, we could have expanded this list further to 20 or 30 items. However, the key point we're trying to emphasize here is that kizomba per se is more than just a "ballroom dance" - at least from an Angolan standpoint.

EACH ONE OF US HAS AN IMPACT

For us, Kizomba is not only a platform to reunite with friends and to debut your new shoes/outfit; it is above all a vehicle for social gathering, a pretext to eat and drink and – for a few hours – forget about the hardships and vicissitudes of this life. So, every time you take the floor, embrace the essence of the dance, for you have been given the opportunity to witness and honor a profound history.

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Well, start looking at kizomba as the brown sugar in that lemonade and your experiences might be totally different. For the better.


2018 Dance Festivals & Competitions in Malaysia


Friends been asking so I guess now is better than later to post this up. To help you guild through the throngs of festivals that will be happening in Malaysia for 2018! The list will just be on Festivals & Competitions and not the regular parties that is held on a regular basis. For that, you can check out this link for the regular updates on venues to dance every week of the year.

Without further delay, here's the listing! If you would like to include your dance event or competitions in my list, please drop me a message via the contact form or click on the Facebook Messenger button at the bottom right of the screen to drop me a facebook message. Please note that this listing is for Dance related events only.

FEBRUARY

I'M YOUR DJ ASIA - Holiday Edition in KL

Date: 8 - 10 February 2018
Venue: Capri by Fraser Kuala Lumpur
Website: https://www.facebook.com/IM-YOUR-DJ-1376004512718045/
Promo Code:
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1478136595542476/

MARCH

Miri AfroLatin Fiesta 2018

Date: 2 - 4 March 2018
Venue: Meritz Hotel Miri
Website: www.malf2018.comPromo Code: Michael18
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/miriafrolatinfiesta/


Kizchata

Date: TBC
Venue: TBC
Website: TBC
Event Page: TBC


APRIL

ALFA 2.0 : Afro-Latin Fest Asia

Date: 27 - 30 April 2018
Venue: TBC
Website: www.alfa-asia.net
Promo Code:
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/alfa.asia/


JUNE

KK Latin Kiz

Date: 29 June - 1 July 2018
Venue: TBC
Website: TBC
Promo Code:
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1575692152449035/


JULY

ALIA : Afro-Latin Invasion Asia

Date: 25 - 30 July 2018
Venue: TBC
Website : www.aliafestival.com
Promo Code:
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/aliafestival/

AUGUST

Zouk SEA 2018

Date: 3 - 5 August 2018
Venue: Glory Beach Resort, Port Dickson
Website : zouksea.weebly.com
Promo Code:
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/176963782860894/



There you have it, the list for 2018. Which will you be attending? For organizers that'll like me to cover their event, I provide photography and some videography services.

Just drop me a message and we'll work out some arrangement from there. Ya? If your event is not listed, do let me know too and I'll put it in.

Videos: Latin Experience Bali 2017


You've seen all the photos from the Latin Experience Bali 2017. Now, here's the videos from the 3 days festival! Hope you enjoyed the videos as much as I enjoyed making them.

Highlights of The Latin Experience Bali 2017



Performance by Damaris Morales



Performance by Sea Safari



Performance by Salseando Group



Performance by Cebu Salsa Club



Performance by Yoannis Tamayo Solo #1



Performance by Zam & Jacintha



Performance by Dance Blaze



Performance by Cuban Salsa Indonesia Feat Amar Singh



Performance by Yoannis Tamayo Solo #2



Performance by Yoannis Tamayo Solo #3 (Bonus routine)



It was a fantastic weekend with the Cuban Salsa Indonesia team putting the weekend together. A team of superwomen with unlimited energy getting all the accommodation sorted for the participants, getting all the instructors out to the workshops on time and every night, host the party and after party til the wee hours of the morning.

Much respect to the girls and what they do. Looking forward to the Latin Experience 2018 as I was told that it will be even more epic than what we experienced this year.

Travel Advisory : King of Thailand's Funeral Ceremony


If you are planning to pay a visit to Thailand towards the last quarter of October, here's a travel advisory for you to take note. The Royal Cremation Ceremony will be held in Bangkok from October 25-29. It will be a sad time for Thai people, but the country will remain as welcoming as ever for tourists and you will still be able to enjoy your trip. Although there is no need to change travel plans, please be respectful and if you are visiting Bangkok or other areas of Thailand in October.

The funeral ceremonies for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej will take place in Bangkok from October 25-29. The actual cremation ceremony will be on October 26 at Sanam Luang, the ceremonial ground in front of the Grand Palace. This has traditionally been the venue for royal cremations and is where the intricate funeral pyre has been constructed by specialist workers and skilled artisans. Replicas of the Royal Crematorium will also be on display in every province in Thailand and candlelit services will be held in every town and city around the country during the funeral period.

Antique gilded chariots will be used in the royal processions that carry the funeral urn to Sanam Luang. The largest chariot used in the procession is so big and heavy it will require more than 200 men to pull it.


Key dates for October 2017
October 5: Awk Phansa Buddhist holiday. Public holiday nationwide.
October 13: First anniversary of King Bhumibol’s death. Public holiday nationwide.
October 25: Funeral ceremonies for the King commence in Bangkok.
October 26: Cremation ceremony for the King. Public holiday nationwide.
October 27-29: Religious ceremonies continue in Bangkok.


*Timeline for the cremation ceremonies:

  • October 25

A royal merit-making ceremony will be held at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace complex at 5.30pm. This is to prepare for the moving of the royal urn the following morning.


  • October 26

At 7am the royal urn containing the King’s body will make the short journey from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to the Royal Crematorium on Sanam Luang. The Royal Cremation Ceremony is scheduled to commence at 5.30pm. The actual cremation is scheduled for 10pm. In final tribute, there will be performances of traditional khon masked dramas and orchestral performances from 6pm on October 26 until 6am the following day.


  • October 27

The collection of royal relics will take place at the Royal Crematorium on Sanam Luang at 8am.


  • October 28

At 5.30pm, a merit-making ceremony will be held for the royal relics at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace complex.


  • October 29

The royal relics will be moved at 10.30am from the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall and will be enshrined in the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall. Later in the day at 5.30pm the royal ashes will be enshrined at two temples in Bangkok; Wat Ratchabophit and Wat Bovoranives.


  • Other dates

Rehearsals for the royal procession are scheduled to be held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on October 7 and 15.

Etiquette

If you’ve visited Thailand before you will already know the immense amount of love and respect there is for King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The late King was regarded as the ‘Father of the Nation’ and for many Thais his death was like losing a member of the family. Please do not underestimate how much the King meant to Thai people and do show consideration during this time. Some Thai people have been wearing black since the King died. Others did so for a month during the official mourning period last year. With October 13 marking the anniversary of the King’s death, the majority of Thai people will again be wearing black from this date until the cremation ceremony is complete. Visitors won’t be expected to do the same, but out of respect for the Thai people and the late King, please do try to wear a black top or a white top with a black ribbon on October 13 and October 26. But if you can wear a black ribbon throughout the period from October 13-27 that would be a lovely gesture and one that will be appreciated by the Thai people you meet. After the King died last year, black ribbons were handed out for free to tourists at airports, hotels and shops and it is likely that this will happen again ahead of the funeral.

On the beach, the simple advice is to wear what you normally would. Don’t sunbathe nude (which has never been polite in Thailand) and use some common sense when you are away from the beach. Many Thai islands and beach resorts are heavily reliant on tourism so there is likely to be more leeway compared to if you are in a city like Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Despite that, visitors should still be sensitive to the fact that many restaurant owners, hotel staff and store owners will be thinking about the late King. When you go out in the evening wearing a black ribbon or muted colours will be appreciated, but not demanded. To a certain extent, follow the lead of the Thai people around you and assess the mood. It may vary from location to location so use your own judgement. If you are travelling with children the most important thing for them is to be comfortable in the heat. There is no need to make any changes to what you are planning to pack for younger children. For older children and teenagers, try to explain why Thai people are wearing black tops or black ribbons. If your children want to wear black ribbons too, it will reflect positively on you as a parent and won’t go unnoticed by appreciative locals.

Tourist attractions

Most tourists attractions will be open as usual in Thailand throughout October. The notable exception is the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha which will be closed to tourists from October 1-29. On October 26 some other venues in Bangkok and around Thailand may close for the day or close early to allow workers to watch the funeral on television. On all other dates, tourist attractions around the country should be open as usual.

Note: some attractions in Bangkok such as the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Vimanmek Teak Mansion will be closed for restoration work

Transport

If you are travelling around Thailand you can expect flights, trains and buses to run as scheduled. However, there will be extra demand on all transport services into Bangkok ahead of the funeral and out again after the funeral and you should take this into account when planning travel. Vast crowds are expected in the vicinity of the Grand Palace for the funeral with people travelling from across Thailand to pay their last respects.

Flights
International and internal flights will operate normally. There will be extra domestic flights with carriers including Thai Airways and Thai Smile announcing additional services to and from Bangkok to facilitate mourners. With temporary road closures and the potential for extra traffic congestion between October 25-29, do allow extra time to get to and from both of Bangkok’s airports.

Roads in Bangkok
There will be temporary road closures and extra security in place around the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang area which could have a knock-on effect for traffic in other areas of Bangkok. Allow plenty of extra time for journeys between October 25-29.

Trains and buses
Train and bus services on many routes into Bangkok are expected to be busier than usual ahead of the funeral. Book seats in advance if possible. In Bangkok, some of the local bus services that serve Sanam Luang and the Grand Palace area will be free of charge. Bangkok transport authorities will also provide shuttle buses on a number of routes into Sanam Luang.

The airport rail link that serves Bangkok Suvarnabhumi will be free for passengers on October 25 and 26.

Bangkok Skytrain (BTS), Metro (MRT) and Trams (BRT)
There will be free services on all routes on October 26. Some routes will also run free services on October 25. There is likely to be congestion at interchange stations and at other major stations including Saphan Taksin where people connect to boat services to Sanam Luang.

Boat services
There will be additional boat services along the Chao Phraya River for the funeral period. Extra staff will be on duty to maintain passenger safety and access to some piers may be temporarily restricted to ease the flow of people.
Chao Phraya River boat routes »

Taxis and tuk-tuks
Taxis and tuk-tuks will still be available in Bangkok, but road closures will be in effect around the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang which may result in traffic congestion in nearby areas. Allow plenty of extra time if you are travelling to or from the airport during the funeral period. With October 26 being a public holiday there is a chance that traffic in Bangkok could be lighter than usual, but don’t bank on it.

Hotels

There will also be increased demand for accommodation around Bangkok from October 25-29. Many hotels and guest houses in the vicinity of Sanam Luang and the Grand Palace are already booked out. Although there shouldn’t be a problem finding a room in other areas of Bangkok, it’s advisable to book accommodation in advance. It will be an emotional time for Thai people and that includes the workers at your hotel or guest house. If they can’t be at the funeral in person the next best thing will be watching the coverage on television or their smartphone so don’t take it personally if staff appear distracted.

Shops and restaurants

Shopping malls, stores and restaurants will all be open. Some independent stores or family-owned restaurants may close earlier than usual on October 26 to allow staff to watch coverage of the funeral ceremony on television.

Entertainment and alcohol sales

At the time of writing, there has been no announcement of any formal bans on entertainment or alcohol, but the military government have announced guidelines asking entertainment venues to show discretion and respect, especially on October 26. It’s probable that many bars and clubs around Thailand will decide to close on October 26. For other days during the funeral period (October 25-29) it’s possible that music may be toned down and lights dimmed. With the funeral taking place in Bangkok, it will be in the Thai capital where authorities will be particularly keen to see restraint from bars, clubs and entertainment venues. The situation is likely to vary depending where you are in Thailand and may not be decided until nearer the time. Pubs and bars in a city like Chiang Mai will probably be closed on October 26, but small beachside bars on a tourist island like Ko Phi Phi may still be open. Different business owners and police chiefs will interpret guidelines differently, but be prepared for some temporary restrictions on entertainment during the funeral period, especially on October 26.

The above is also true for October 13 which marks the anniversary of the King’s death. Restrictions on entertainment and alcohol sales may also be in place in some locations on October 5, but that is for the Buddhist holiday of Awk Phansa and is not related to the funeral arrangements for the late King.

Hotels will have more leeway for serving alcohol on all of these dates, but again it will depend on the hotel management and agreements in place with the local police.

Media

There will be changes to Thai television schedules ahead of the royal funeral. Light entertainment programmes will be suspended and some broadcasts will switch from colour to black and white. From October 21 to 24, special programmes will be shown to honour His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. There will be live coverage of all the cremation ceremonies from October 25-29.

During October, many Thai websites will also switch their default settings to black and white. This will also extend to social media with Thai companies and private individuals changing their profile photos to show respect for the King.

Visitors to Thailand are politely reminded that the monarchy is a revered institution in Thailand and there are strict laws in place which also extend to visitors.

Attending the funeral

Sanam Luang will attract massive crowds for the Royal Cremation Ceremonies. There is nothing to say tourists can’t attend, but if you do want to go there are lots of rules of etiquette involved. You will need to wear black and be aware that there are restrictions about who and what you can and can’t photograph without causing offence. It will also be a day that will severely test your stamina. The Sanam Luang area will be hot, potentially rainy and extremely crowded. Thai mourners will arrive early and wait patiently for many hours to try and secure their spot. If you are still intent on going it would be helpful if you attended with a Thai person or somebody who can speak Thai and has a good knowledge of Thai culture.

This is also an event that will be attended by heads of state from around the world and security will be heightened. You will probably be asked to show your passport before gaining access to Sanam Luang. Thai people are required to carry ID cards.

As an alternative to attending the actual cremation ceremony, you could attend the full dress rehearsals for the royal procession. These are scheduled to be held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on October 7 and 15.

After the funeral

An exhibition will be held at Sanam Luang from November 1 to 30 allowing visitors the chance to learn more about the funeral ceremonies and traditions involved. The Grand Palace is scheduled to reopen to tourists on October 30.

An announcement is expected in the weeks after the funeral to confirm the date for the formal coronation of the new monarch, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

Life goes on

There is no need to change travel plans, but please be culturally sensitive. This doesn’t mean that you can’t laugh and enjoy yourself during your visit to Thailand in October. Life goes on and Thai people will want you to enjoy your trip. Just use discretion and common sense. This is an historic occasion and it will be a privilege to be in Thailand and experience this once in a lifetime event as Thais bid a final farewell to the man they call the Royal Father.

There you go, do take note on the dates and please respect the ceremony. As tourists, that's the most we can do when we travel.

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MICHAEL YIP
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia