The smile slips a bit more.

Dec 23rd, 2006, 01:42 AM
  #1  
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The smile slips a bit more.

Thailand is the Land of Smiles. But it is also the real world and the smiles are not always there.

Last year, muslims living in the south near the border told Thai (buddhist) shop keepers that they would murder them if they dared open on Friday, (the muslim holy day.)Also:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...TPStory/Travel

I have seen some Thai on Thai violence here in Bangkok, and a while ago heard of a tourist beaten up by Thais for no apparent reason.

It used to be a safe place for money but increasingly, pick pocketing and such is occuring. Despite my efforts, I had my pocket picked in 2003, 2004, 2005 (almost 20,000 baht gone). I now take much firmer precautions.

But people can go to jail for very minor reasons here. A British TV documentary on a jail in Bangkok showed a Brit who had been in jail for several months. His crime: He had overstayed and hadn't had the money to pay the fine. We might think our own country's prisons harsh but try reading Warren Fellows' book: The Damage Done. He admitted he was a drug smuggler but he went through 12 years of hell in a Thai prison for it.

So, why this thread?

I have been coming to Thailand for 21 years and am in Bangkok at present. Yesterday I visited the market near Yaowarat in Chinatown. Full of knick-knacks and cheap junk with things mostly costing 20-80 baht.

Crossing the road, I entered the market only to have my photo taken by a man in uniform. I walked a bit further and he hit me on the arm twice with a stick. I thought he was a policeman so did not hit him back. He did it again and demanded that I leave the market. It turned out that he only spoke 3 words of English.

I tried to find out why he wanted me to go but he started shouting at me, pointing to me and shouting to the crowd about me, all in Thai. I did not have a clue as to what was going on. He was humiliating me and I think insulting me too. In the end I had no choice but to leave the market as this thug in uniform ranted at someone who was obviously a tourist.

I later found the Tourist Police (phone 1155 or Bangkok Tower, New Petchburi, 19th floor) and complained to them about him. I thought he was police but was told he may have been market security. I have never, over years seen market security there, and there is only cheap junk that no one is going to steal so I don't know.

I have left this matter in the hands of the Tourist Police and will let you know how they deal with it.
kaneda is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 02:30 AM
  #2  
 
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No sympathy at all for drug dealers. They are the scum of the earth who has destroyed lives and families. Shame they don't have the death penalty for them in ALL countries.
featherbrain is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 05:12 AM
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There would be no drug dealers if there were no drug buyers. We all share in the blame.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 05:55 AM
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i do not agree with the presumption you have made with this message...

in our opinion thailand continues to be one of the most tranquil and safe places to visit in the world....the thais and their government and business community are among the most welcoming in the world...

are there and will there be troubles there from time to time...of course

will they single out people from time to time whom they consider suspect....yes and well they should...

is security an issue...yes

will one faction fight another faction within the country....show me a country that does not have issues...

i am not sure why you posted this but it does nothing to enhance either ones safety or willingness to travel to thailand...

my thoughts
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 08:12 PM
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Don't really understand the point of this thread. Sounds like you had an unpleasant experience (but certainly not typical of Bangkok at least in my experience). Pick-pockets are all over the world. Nothing new here. Though in 30 years travelling it's never happened to me,fortunately.
Can't wait for my next visit in February.
12 years of hell in a Thai prison for drug smuggling? He got off lightly!! Drug abuse for some people becomes a life sentence as it should be for all who are part of supplying it.
The smile slips a bit more?? Not for me! Thailand remains my favourite destination in the world by a long way and the Thai people are surely among the most decent, caring and welcoming hosts that any traveller could come accross.
LeighTravelClub is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 08:22 PM
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The smuggler should be grateful that he wasn't in Singapore. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 11:57 PM
  #7  
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I was trying to point out that many of us travel to foreign countries and are often innocents abroad, not sometimes realising how close we could be to a bad experience.

I would like to think my own experience here was a one-off but am curious to see how the tourist police deal with it. I have travelled extensively world wide, and this is a first from someone in a uniform.
kaneda is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 01:19 AM
  #8  
 
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What are you talking about? They aren't going to do anything about it. I don't know why you got hit with a stick but it didn't happen to me when I went to the market. My advice is that when somebody in a foreign country in a uniform hits you with a billy club and tells you to go away that you ought to just go away. If the person was being reasonable and you just didn't know it, or know the reason, then it would be the right thing to just go. If the person was not being reasonable, when hitting you with a stick, then why try to reason with him and/or ask why? He's not being reasonable so that route would certainly be useless.

You got pickpocketed not once, not twice, but three times before taking "firmer" precautions? The vast majority of people don't get pp'd once.
mrwunrfl is online now  
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