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Overall, Is Thailand Still Safe To Visit?  
User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2888 times:

So as I'm watching the news about the protests, I was not really concerned given the fact that these protests in Thailand have become quite "popular" amongst the people....




Until I learned that the protests turned fatal.

My question is this: I am due to fly out to BKK on May 19 with NH. Later, I would fly out to HKT on May 27 with Air Asia to come back to BKK on June 2 to catch the flight back home.


In a nutshell, is Bangkok still safe? I'm planning on just sticking to the touristy areas like Silom and Sukhumvit while in BKK and headed out to Patong while in HKT.

Are there any precautions I should take? Any tips?

All help is appreciated.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1993 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Well I have not been in Thailand for 9 months. But I would go back again... Even right now. Patong is great in HKT! I rented a motorbike from Patong for the 3 days I was in HKT... Ended up in the Hospital but hey thats what being young is all about  Wink.


Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2840 times:



Quoting LatinTraveller (Thread starter):
is Bangkok still safe?

I wouldn't bet on it. Remember the last time there were riots? Back then, BKK was basically shut down by the protesters, and tourists were stranded. Most of them couldn't even leave the airport to go back to the city centre.

If I was you, I'd choose a different place to go (unless it's a business trip).


User currently offlineBHMNONREV From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2789 times:



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
Quoting LatinTraveller (Thread starter):
is Bangkok still safe?

I wouldn't bet on it. Remember the last time there were riots? Back then, BKK was basically shut down by the protesters, and tourists were stranded. Most of them couldn't even leave the airport to go back to the city centre.

If I was you, I'd choose a different place to go (unless it's a business trip).

I would concur...

I just returned last week from a trip to Koh Samui, and the only way I would go back now is via a routing that would avoid Bangkok. I believe places like Phuket and Samui are still OK, but Bangkok?? No way..

Bangkok Airways has flights daily from SIN to Samui if the outer islands interest you.


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

Well guys, I am in a rut..

One side of the story tells me that the protests are mainly political and that it does not affect tourists. As long as tourists do not take place in the protests one will be fine. The US has not even advised (AFAIK) Americans to defer their travel to the Kingdom.

The other side is telling me not to go for the fear of possibly paralyzation of the country. At the same time, I would be there for two weeks and I would be flying OUT of HKT. If worse comes to worse, would it not be possible to get a flight from HKT to another city other than BKK and fly home from there?

I really want to go so I am trying to think of back up plans that might come in handy, but it would all have to involve flying since without a visa, I can't cross over to Thailand's neighbors(Burma, Laos, or Cambodia).

I have no familiarity with Thai politics or what not, but I have been hearing people telling me to just go since it is a political affair, not affecting tourists. Then again, it is still a month before I leave. On top of that, wouldn't there be more security at BKK to prevent another takeover by the protesters?

Thailand seems like an amazing country to visit and a lot of planning has gone into this trip. Passports being expedited at the last minute. Books bough. Calls made. Etc, but if I HAD to choose another location, I would not really know where else to go. I chose Thailand since the American dollar still has SOME upperhand over the baht. What would be Plan B? I heard that Chile and Argentina are BOTH great places to visit, but who wants to go visit a country during the wintertime?


H.E.L.P.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2786 times:



Quoting LatinTraveller (Thread starter):
Are there any precautions I should take?

Use common sense, avoid the protesters and they say not wearing anything red or yellow is a good idea.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
If I was you, I'd choose a different place to go (unless it's a business trip).

Why should riots in Bangkok scare him from flying to HKT? Would the mobs looting Strasbourg prevent you from goiing to Bordeaux?
I'd definitely go, perhaps reduce the stay in BKK and take advantage of the low prices.

]


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2784 times:

Well the low prices include...


1. 897 on NH LAX-NRT-BKK-NRT-LAX
2. $50ish for Air Asia's BKK-HKT-BKK
3. Hotel in BKK for around 150-200 a week for each of us (Le Fenix Sukhumvit or Dream Bangkok? Help me out!)
4. Same amount for myQexpress.Phutet (??)

Would they get any lower?


User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2777 times:



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
I wouldn't bet on it. Remember the last time there were riots? Back then, BKK was basically shut down by the protesters, and tourists were stranded. Most of them couldn't even leave the airport to go back to the city centre.

Though the tourists couldn't leave the country, I don't think they were really in any danger. So, it was still safe, but they did get an unwanted extension of their holiday.

I've got a friend who's been in BKK for a few months, he's touring the region and decided to hang around there a bit. Yesterday he posted tons of pictures of him posing all over the city, in front of crashed busses, in front of the military. Quite funny. You also see that a lot of people go on about their normal business. People mingle with the soldiers, or just hang around and look at the action. For the moment it seems the "action" limits itselves to skirmishes between the red and yellow factions and the army.

I do hope for him it stays like this...



I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

Having been to the country, I would go again in a heartbeat. Even though I mostly stayed in rural village in the north, demonstating is a natural feature of Thai politics.

1. Avoid wearing red or yellow, except if it is a yellow collared kings shirt. Days are assigned colours in Thailand, and Monday is yellow, which also coincides with the kings birth day. If you are wearing a kings shirt, even if it is yellow, they will leave you alone as a sign of reverence towards the monarchy.

2. Stay away from the main riot areas, but don't be afraid to discover the "real" Thailand. Thai's know that tourism is an important industry, and they won't want to disrespect the farang. (westerners)

3. Enjoy your time. My friends there have said that the protests are waning. Just take it easy, and play things by ear.



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2765 times:



Quoting LatinTraveller (Reply 4):
On top of that, wouldn't there be more security at BKK to prevent another takeover by the protesters?

Not sure. I'd only think this time they choose some other, less economically suicidal way of protesting.

Quoting LatinTraveller (Reply 6):
Air Asia's BKK-HKT-BKK

Have you considered Nok Air? They are partially owned by TG and fly to HKT out of the domestic terminal at Don Muang, which I found to be extremely convenient, especially when flying down to HKT as the check-in on this underutilized airport is a breeze.
I found them better than Air Asia and as soon as I stop being lazy I'll post a TR - so far there is only one here on a.net.


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2723 times:

Nok Air seemes to be more expensive so Air Asia seems to be the winner in this situation. My BKK-NRT flight is due to leave at 11.55p so I needed something to put me in BKK with enough time for check in.

User currently offlineBaguy From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2701 times:

I know you are American, but this is taken from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website

"We advise against all but essential travel to Bangkok. British nationals should also review travel plans to other parts of Thailand. British nationals already in Bangkok and other cities affected by the violence are advised to stay indoors and to monitor the media and this travel advice."

BAguy


User currently offlineCorocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1215 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2699 times:

I would also not hesitate to go. I was there 3 weeks ago and was told this was coming and that the odds of being affected as a tourist were minor - just the airport and curfew stuff. I definately would not have felt in danger. Just do as the others have said and use common sense and don't wear red or yellow. Odds are this will all blow over by May 19th anyway.

User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2687 times:

I wouldn't worry about it. I was in BKK right after the riots which shut the airport down. It was business as usual, and if you stay in the tourist areas, I think you'll be fine.

My cousin and his wife live in Sathon, Bangkok, and they are fine, though they are moving to the US tomorrow. They have wondered though, if there is a possibility of a civil war breaking out in Thailand, not sure though. But as far as I know, most of the demonstrations are peaceful ones. It's not like the Thai people to be particularly violent, usually it's foreigners who enter the country that commit the violent crimes.

Would you cancel your trip to London due to the G-20 demonstrations? They got violent at times. '

UAL


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 7626 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2669 times:

I think the main issue is how much it cost to travel and how far ahead in advance one has to purchase, something happening now after your money is already set is troubling, best advise I have seen so far is to reduce your stay and possibly spend some more time in other nearby countries. The old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Avoid riot areas, hopefully you will not run into a spontaneous one, say a police officer stopping a citizen who goes off. True tourism is about seeing a country and its people and how they live, not staying in a hotel with all the ammenities of home, problem right now is that the country is in turmoil, so to be a true tourist, you may have to experience what the fuss is all about.

Two words, be safe, if you cannot enjoy the trip because you are concerned about your safety, then the decision is automatic. Regardless of what other's say and do, it ultimately comes down to you and what makes you comfortable.

Cheers


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Thanks to all for their advice!


It seems to be that both of the parties have called their demonstrations off, which is good news.


I checked on lonelyplanet.com and most of the travellers said that the main demonstrations were taking place in the non-tourist parts of Bangkok. More than likely, we would be traveling to those parts of town since we want to get a feel for the whole city. However, I'm sure that once we sense danger, we're dipping out of that place!

I guess some of the main precautions is to just register with the American Embassy once I get there...or is that overdoing it?


User currently onlineDanfearn77 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 1818 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2638 times:

I was caught up in the Protests which closed the airports back in Nov/Dec. At the time, on the press it certainly looked worse than what it was. We travelled a bit around Bangkok at the time and came face to face with protestors and the military etc but it never felt unsafe. Even now i would go back. Especially to the touristy areas as they seem to be quite safe and away from it all. On the BBC yesterday a female backpacker said she had seen nothing unusual. When someone called her to see if she was ok she knew nothing was actually up!


Eagles may soar high, but weasels dont get sucked into jet engines!
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2614 times:

It's fine.

It has nothing to do with you, and the protesters would probably tell you to stay safe and go elsewhere if you ventured too close to the action. Pretty much every Thai would keep a tourist safe, even above their own life.

Quoting LatinTraveller (Reply 15):
I guess some of the main precautions is to just register with the American Embassy once I get there...or is that overdoing it?

Do that, even if these protests aren't happening. Not because of the protests, but there have been a few massacres and bombings in the past several years by some Muslim separatist groups... If I'm a country with even a snippet of terrorist activity, I'd register... especially thanks to the Mumbai massacres.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
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