is Thailand safe?

Oct 13th, 2002, 02:25 PM
  #1  
paula
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is Thailand safe?

The attack on Bali is shocking- more so because it was so unexpected. It would appear that the US is better at issuing travel advice than my own govt(UK). I had been planning a trip to Penang( have been already and never felt in any danger) but I will have to rethink this. I have been to Thailand only once and am returning next year(?) Do the Thailand experts here think that what happened in Bali could happen in Thailand. I know that the Indonesian govt has a somewhat lenient attitude towards terrorist groups ( or so my govt says) but what is the situation in Thailand? Of course no-one has definite answers but opinions count for a lot.
PS If it is true about the Indonesian govt then it is sad as so much harm has come of it- both in lives and livelihoods.
 
Oct 13th, 2002, 03:31 PM
  #2  
Marilyn
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First of all, yes, it could happen in Thailand. It could happen anywhere.

Second, Indonesia is a predominantly Moslem country, so there may very well be more support from the population and more laxity from the governement toward extreme Islamic organizations. However, Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable. Which does NOT mean it couldn't happen in Thailand.

I will continue to travel frequently as I have done for the past 35 years, and I will certainly return to Southeast Asia and specifically to Thailand. But I will not be going to any predominantly Moslem countries any time in the foreseeable future. That includes Indonesia and Malaysia.

I find this very sad, but we all have to draw the line where we are comfortable.
 
Oct 13th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #3  
paula
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thanks for your thoughts marilyn. It is sad isn't it, that we will choose not to go to Malaysia and Indonesia. I know that there are people here on this board who would tell you you have more chance slipping getting out of a bath than being bombed in Bali( and I know because someone actually said that!) but I think when you have family at home that is a somewhat selfish attitude.(and besides which although I like to think I am adventurous, I am a bit of a coward!)
 
Oct 13th, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #4  
Marilyn
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Paula, I think there is a big difference between being adventurous and being foolish. I have certainly been adventurous (hitchhiked from Transylvania to Istanbul in 1973) and occasionally foolish (never mind!) but I try to minimize the latter. In recent years I have made some "safer" choices when traveling (not in choice of country, but in immediate decisions) and have not regretted it. With hindsight, I know I did the wise thing.

For those who feel comfortable going to Malaysia or Indonesia, great. I wish them wonderful and safe travels. It's a big world and there's a lot to see. I certainly won't see it all before I die, anyway, so there are always choices to be made.

I'm not so eager to go somewhere where a certain percent of the population wants to kill me just because of my nationality, without any regard for my humanity.
 
Oct 13th, 2002, 06:54 PM
  #5  
kang
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Dear Paula,

I agree with Marilyn that Thailand is a different story. Up to this point, we still don't know who is behind the Bali tragedy and why. The best assumption now is that it had something to do with the Muslim extremists. If that holds true, and it probably will, then you don't have to worry too much about similar terorist activity in Thailand. Less than 4% of the population in Thailand is Muslim and they are moderate Mulisms. In fact, there are posibilities that the Indonesian Muslim extremists are actually pursuing their own domestic agenda, not acting on the internation scale. Domestic explosive issues, as far as I know, are basicly non-existent in Thailand.

I would suggest that you continue your planning for your Thailand trip, and be more careful while you are there. Avoid Muslim countries for now. Other than Thailand, there are also some other good places. Singapore would be a good alternative, and China, Cambodia would be interesting too.

My view is that the international terrorism is going to be a very long term problem for all of us. Life is short and we cannot afford to allow terrorists running our lives. Go on with our plans but make wise and informed decisions and I think we will be OK.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 12:00 AM
  #6  
Paula
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Marilyn
thanks again for reassurances!
Kang
I appreciate your input. I HAD thought Thailand would be (relatively) safe but it is good to hear other opinions.
Re Bali
as I am ignorant really about the politics and beliefs of the region, I am at a loss to know why it would appear that fellow Indonesians( assuming this is the case) could set out to destroy the economy of Bali.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 12:44 AM
  #7  
askjeeves
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Anywhere where an American(or a mistaken for American) crowd gathers is potentially unsafe. Anywhere and that includes America itself, Europe, SEAsia and yes even peace loving buddhist Thailand.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 05:15 AM
  #8  
orgy7
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in thailand, Burmese rebels are more of a problem..

 
Oct 14th, 2002, 05:31 AM
  #9  
Dan
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Jeeves, it seems that all must come to realise that while Americans have been the most obvious first preferance target for these folks, they will kill anyone/everyone when they get bored enough. They did not mistake the crowd in the Bali nightclub for Yanks! They have such a narrow focus that the world at large must feel threatened. Very sad for the Aussie, Brit, European and other victims, including the people at home who must now find the travel world limited to them.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 05:48 AM
  #10  
khan
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the way that tony blair and howard has been kissing america's giant butt it would not surprise me that anybody who hates american will hate the brits and aussies.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:38 AM
  #11  
Dan
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And the Germans, and the French, and the Turks, and the Russians, and the Italians..... Hate is sure fun, but requires some distance to provide the ignorance necessary.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 07:19 AM
  #12  
Ryan
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The reality of fanatical Muslim terrorists is that anyone who is not a fundamentalist Muslim is a target. That includes Hindu's, all Westerners, and even their own, more moderate fellow Muslims. While it is nice to strive for peace on earth and goodwill toward men, these people are not playing by those same rules. The fact is it is US (those who follow the rule of law) versus Them (those intent on creating a fundamentalist Muslim world.)

That said, Thailand is not Indonesia in terms of Muslim population and general political instability. However, with so many other places to visit in the world, I'm not inclined to visit that part of the world in the near future. I've been to both Thailand and Bali, and unfortunately, it will be some time before I go again.

Try South/Central America this year instead. Belize and Costa Rica both have great diversity in their beaches and jungles.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 08:08 AM
  #13  
orgy7
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My crass view on the situation has sometihng to do with the fact that I'm half COLOMBIAN and have been too the country many times... When I am in the US. I listen too the news say that COLOMBIA is a war zone, people are afraid too walk the streets.

while in Colombia, I just lived my life, no problems. I never saw much of anything that the US news depicted.. Yet when there was a bomb in the city.. we just said OH well and went shopping on the same street where the bomb blew up the day before..

My point is that some events we see on TV can be sensationalized.. and it seems that a whole country is in chaos but in reality the event just took place in one ciry. on one street

Now I'm reading that people are foregoing thier trips too the whole reigion... this is kind of sad..
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 09:20 AM
  #14  
L
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It could happen anywhere in world. But while at it.....

Thailand is a Buddhist country, but parts of it are actually Muslims. Phuket actually has signflicant numbers of Muslims. I first noticed it when I was there. I saw Mosques everywhere. After I returned from Phuket, I discovered that Indonesian radical groups were hiding in Phuket for many years. It has 35% Muslims in Indonesia.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 09:55 AM
  #15  
Marilyn
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L, it is not just Phuket. In general, the southern part of Thailand, closest to Malaysia, has a higher percentage of Moslems. I believe the small percent of the Thai population that is Moslem is concentrated there. I would guess that the Thai/Malaysia border is a lot more porous than the Singapore/Malaysia border, based only on my experience at the latter.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 10:22 AM
  #16  
Veronica
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As most people will tell you it is a great deal safter than most places in the 'west'.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 08:09 AM
  #17  
Wayne
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Probably much safer then filling up your car at a gas station around DC.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 08:17 AM
  #18  
John
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Phuket does not have too many Muslims. Hat Yai does but it is not a tourist mecca.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 12:41 PM
  #19  
Brenda
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If you read the US State Department travel advisories for Bali (Indonesia) and Thailand for the last year, you'll see that the US was recommending that Americans NOT travel to Indonesia even prior to this awful bombing.
In Thailand, the places to be especially alert would be the southern area near Malaysia, and the borders of Myamar, Laos and Cambodia. And, anytime that terrorism is a risk, be careful of places where large non-native groups gather. With a little common sense, you should be able to enjoy your trip (I have a Thailand trip planned too)
While we want to use reasonable caution, if we cancel all our travel plans and huddle in our houses, we are letting the terrorists win. And we certainly don't want that!
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 01:58 PM
  #20  
Mark
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Unfortunately these countries we are talking about (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia) are very poor and money can open many doors for the bad guys. With a few dollars placed in the right hands terrorists can get past "security" gates, can get police or military to look the other way, and can buy and move weapons. We all just need to be careful when in SE Asia. I also feel very sorry for the Balinese who will feel the brunt of the death of the tourist trade in Bali. Very sad.
 

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