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Old 02-03-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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1. No, I do not think Thailand is a third world country. However, I do not think Thailand is developed enough to be first world either.

2. No, Thailamd is not filled with terrorists. Thailand is a place terrorists are targeting for a future bombing. Also, areas where westerners are known to be their targets. This is a proven fact.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
1. No, I do not think Thailand is a third world country. However, I do not think Thailand is developed enough to be first world either.

2. No, Thailamd is not filled with terrorists. Thailand is a place terrorists are targeting for a future bombing. Also, areas where westerners are known to be their targets. This is a proven fact.
There are travel warnings for southern Thailand (Muslim dominated) especially by separatists who want a separate state or want to join with Malaysia, since most there are Muslims of Malay ethnicity but Thai Buddhists. But Phuket is generally safe. I think most separatists tend to fight with the government. The rest of Thailand has not had any problems with terrorists.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
1. No, I do not think Thailand is a third world country. However, I do not think Thailand is developed enough to be first world either.

2. No, Thailamd is not filled with terrorists. Thailand is a place terrorists are targeting for a future bombing. Also, areas where westerners are known to be their targets. This is a proven fact.
Thanks, I appreciate you for sharing your views and that you do not think Thailand is a 3rd world country filled with terrorists.

1. It's a bit vague. If I understand correctly, your opinion seems to be that Thailand is a second world country? I'm saying that because you don't think it's a 3rd world country and don't think it's a 1st world country either. Do you mean that in an economic sense, or what? What kind of development are you talking about?

2. To say "Thailand is a place terrorists are targeting for a future bombing" isn't really saying much because terrorism and terrorist threats can be found all over the world. The United States is also seen as a future target for terrorism. The Boston Marathon bombing is a good example, not to mention recent shootings at schools, universities, and so on. Wouldn't you consider the bombing threats made by North Korea to be terrorist threats? Such threats have been aimed at numerous countries throughout Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. Threats have been made regarding the Winter Olympics.

The other problem related to the statement is that you mention it as "future bombing". Future? In other words, something that hasn't happened is enough reason to be considered something to be wary of? Does that really make any sense? Do you see what I'm saying?

You also say "Also, areas where westerners are known to be their targets. This is a proven fact." A proven fact? Really? Terrorists might want to be everywhere at once, but it just isn't possible - and that's a fact. That's a psychological tactic to instill fear. It's almost like saying, "Don't go out into the dark because you might be eaten by a Grue."
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Thanks, I appreciate you for sharing your views and that you do not think Thailand is a 3rd world country filled with terrorists.

1. It's a bit vague. If I understand correctly, your opinion seems to be that Thailand is a second world country? I'm saying that because you don't think it's a 3rd world country and don't think it's a 1st world country either. Do you mean that in an economic sense, or what? What kind of development are you talking about?

2. To say "Thailand is a place terrorists are targeting for a future bombing" isn't really saying much because terrorism and terrorist threats can be found all over the world. The United States is also seen as a future target for terrorism. The Boston Marathon bombing is a good example, not to mention recent shootings at schools, universities, and so on. Wouldn't you consider the bombing threats made by North Korea to be terrorist threats? Such threats have been aimed at numerous countries throughout Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. Threats have been made regarding the Winter Olympics.

The other problem related to the statement is that you mention it as "future bombing". Future? In other words, something that hasn't happened is enough reason to be considered something to be wary of? Does that really make any sense? Do you see what I'm saying?

You also say "Also, areas where westerners are known to be their targets. This is a proven fact." A proven fact? Really? Terrorists might want to be everywhere at once, but it just isn't possible - and that's a fact. That's a psychological tactic to instill fear. It's almost like saying, "Don't go out into the dark because you might be eaten by a Grue."
I think the Muslim separatists in Thailand mainly have a beef with the government, unlike those in Indonesia (although they might too) whose main purpose seems to terrorise westerners. But correct me if I'm wrong. BTW is it still safe to travel in the southern provinces? I heard there were incidents of trains being blown up or hi-jacked. You also hear about kidnappings in parts of Mindanao.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I think the Muslim separatists in Thailand mainly have a beef with the government, unlike those in Indonesia (although they might too) whose main purpose seems to terrorise westerners. But correct me if I'm wrong. BTW is it still safe to travel in the southern provinces? I heard there were incidents of trains being blown up or hi-jacked. You also hear about kidnappings in parts of Mindanao.
As far as I know, the beef is among muslim extremists with the government as you said. The areas of difficulty are mostly along the southernmost provinces such as Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla, etc. Bombings have occurred. The extremists tend to move back and forth across the border at remote locations. Most of the atroscities seem to be aimed at Buddhhist Thais. It's very seldom, if ever, that foreigners are involved. People, including Buddhist monks have been murdered. The problem seems to go beyond the actual extremists at times. This is just my opinion, but it seems occasionally a few young punk wannabes have been involved in murders of innocent farmers with the idea that the extremists would be blamed. I can only guess it was just for the thrill of it, or maybe under the influence of yaa-baa. Most of the time though, breakouts of fighting occur at remote forest camps that the military come across during patrols.

I don't think trains are much of a target, although a couple of decades or so ago, a bomb went off in Songkhla, I think at the train depot, killing a few people. I'm not familiar with any kidnappings that have taken place, but if they have, I'd guess the victims were probably Thai. Generally, foreigners don't seem to be targets. In the past, there had been some instances where buses had been stopped by armed robbers taking money and valuables from passengers, including tourists. It was a concern in the past, but I haven't heard of anything like that happening for quite a long while now.

A lot of foreigners do travel across the border withoout any incident. Most people I know of have said it's been quite safe. There may be a couple of reasons. One is that the extremists probably want to avoid being more easily spotted, which is why most activity like that usually takes place in remote areas where it's easier to hide and escape across the border into Malaysia. Another reason may be to avoid stirring up trouble in Malaysia. A year or so ago, a bomb planted in a motorcycle went off next to a small shop in one of the cities, can't remember which. Cameras are located all over, and the perp was caught on camera leaving the motorcycle and hopping on another motorcycle driven by another person. The camera caught the explosion. I don't remember if anyone was hurt or not though, and I don't know if the bombers were ever csptured. That sort of thing in public areas doesn't seem to happen very often.

While there is some degree of discontent among the residents in the South, one big hassle is that the Thai government doesn't spend much money in that region to help build the infrastructure and modernize the area which would attract more tourists and income into the area. So, in a way, there's a feeling that the area is being ignored or left out. I think that's one reason why some of the locals don't feel like they're a part of Thailand. However, until the extremists cease their activities, it's not a very inviting location for tourism. Songkhla seems to be more prosperous though than Yala and Narathiwat.

I think it's fair to note that it's not like there's problems every day. I think it's also fair to say that one of the problems is getting the locals to help bring the problem of extremists to a halt. A lot of local muslims are afraid if they get involved or snitch, it would put their lives at risk as well as endanger the lives of their family. So people tend to remain quiet out of fear. Again, these are more in remote villages near the border.

Most of the extremists (there are several groups) are based in Malaysia, the police and military of Malaysia do capture and arrest some of these people when they can. Malaysia doesn't want these criminals on the loose either.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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^ you sure foreigners are safe? The government travel advisory seems to warn tourists of possible terrorist attacks etc in the south.

Hat Yai seems to be a very popular destination with Malaysians, along with Krabi.etc.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
^ you sure foreigners are safe? The government travel advisory seems to warn tourists of possible terrorist attacks etc in the south.

Hat Yai seems to be a very popular destination with Malaysians, along with Krabi.etc.
Which government has issued the travel advisory? Any links? Have any foreigners been recently kidnapped in the south? As a destination, it still wouldn't be very high on my list of locations to visit. There's more than enough for me in the Central Plains and the North as it is.

If you're traveling by train or along main highways to or from Malaysia, I don't think there'd be much concern about personal safety. At a guess, the travel advisory is probably meant for adventurous foreigners, particularly backpackers, who want to spend some time visiting the area. For the most part there would probably be no incident, but there is a risk.

There are places elsewhere around the country that may have certain risks as well. For example, I don't think it would be a great idea to wander around the Bangkok slums of Khlong Toei alone at night. Recently, an American woman was found dead in a national animal reserve in Thailand. Apparently, she went there alone and was trampled to death by wild elephants. She was a wildlife photographer and presumably got too close which riled up one of the animals.
'Elephant attack' victim was US woman | Bangkok Post: news
'Fearless' American woman trampled to death by elephants in Thailand identified as Lily Glidden* - NY Daily News

The thing is that it's always a good idea to maintain some basic common sense no matter where you are in the world. But there are some people who disregard that and take risks anyway. Most of the time a person will be just fine. But sometimes things can go terribly wrong when a few simple precautions could've avoided a mishap. For example, in the US, I frequently see people, even with small children, who carelessly walk across busy streets and never once bother to look around to see if it's safe to cross. They seem to take it for granted that traffic will always see them and stop. It's crazy.

There were a few bombings in December in Narathiwat and Yala provinces, and a couple in January. Don't get me wrong from the previous post. There are still tensions in the south, especially in the provinces bordering Malaysia. Here are some newspaper accounts. Again, these accounts don't seem to mention anything about foreigners or in locations where foreigners might be. The first link is to a Malaysian newspaper.
4 explosions rock Thailand in 3 days - General - New Straits Times
4 explosions rock Thailand in 3 days | Patanipost.net
Narathiwat bomb blast injures ranger | Bangkok Post: breakingnews
Two policemen killed in Yala blast | Bangkok Post: breakingnews

The point is that if problems like that are the only thing a person is going to focus on, then sure, it sounds pretty frightening and everything else starts to look grim. But if you look at things in perspective and use some common sense, you realize that it doesn't have anything to do with foreigners.

Krabi is much farther north from the border.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Thailand | Travel advice | Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service

The Australian DFAT travel advisory page. 'Do not travel' is the highest level category that they reserve for the worst countries like Somalia, Syria or Iraq. Then again many people seem to go to Hai Yai, in Songkhla province, without problems and Tiger Airways and Air Asia have regular services there. I've also heard warnings against travelling through the area even by train:

Thailand By Train: travelling the Borders
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Thailand | Travel advice | Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service

The Australian DFAT travel advisory page. 'Do not travel' is the highest level category that they reserve for the worst countries like Somalia, Syria or Iraq. Then again many people seem to go to Hai Yai, in Songkhla province, without problems and Tiger Airways and Air Asia have regular services there. I've also heard warnings against travelling through the area even by train:

Thailand By Train: travelling the Borders
Thanks for the links. Like I said, the southernmost provinces are not locations I'd choose to visit any time soon, and those are the provinces where insurgent problems tend to crop up. I'd still think that the chances that a foreigner on any given day would encounter a danger is pretty small, but it is a risk. People should use their own common sense and good judgement before traveling to or through those provinces. Even so, in my opinion, there's not a lot there to attract much tourism. As I also said, the government hasn't really sunk in much money to build up the area, which understandably causes the locals to kind of feel left out. There's more money spent in building up Bangkok, the North, and now the NE. Even Phuket is getting a good piece of the action. It seems to me that more could be done to help build up the South. After all, it's part of Thailand.

I agree that flying between Thailand and Malaysia is more sensible in that it's a much quicker way to travel although not quite as scenic. I'd have to be a bit skeptical that taking the train would be a risky way to travel enough to say don't do it. I did mention that there was a bombing as Songkhla, I'm pretty sure at the train station, but that was years ago. I don't spend a lot of time keepng up with what goes on in the South since my interest is aimed more at other parts of the country.

I don't doubt that many people do indeed go to Songkhla, but at a guess, mostly to the Gulf Coast rather than the part of it that borders Malaysia. Songkhla, or at least Hat Yai, is better developed than the other provinces down there. I have heard that traveling by boat to Malaysia from Satun (along the West coast) is another way to travel. 100-baht sounds pretty reasonable for boat fare.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Thanks for the links. Like I said, the southernmost provinces are not locations I'd choose to visit any time soon, and those are the provinces where insurgent problems tend to crop up. I'd still think that the chances that a foreigner on any given day would encounter a danger is pretty small, but it is a risk. People should use their own common sense and good judgement before traveling to or through those provinces. Even so, in my opinion, there's not a lot there to attract much tourism. As I also said, the government hasn't really sunk in much money to build up the area, which understandably causes the locals to kind of feel left out. There's more money spent in building up Bangkok, the North, and now the NE. Even Phuket is getting a good piece of the action. It seems to me that more could be done to help build up the South. After all, it's part of Thailand.

I agree that flying between Thailand and Malaysia is more sensible in that it's a much quicker way to travel although not quite as scenic. I'd have to be a bit skeptical that taking the train would be a risky way to travel enough to say don't do it. I did mention that there was a bombing as Songkhla, I'm pretty sure at the train station, but that was years ago. I don't spend a lot of time keepng up with what goes on in the South since my interest is aimed more at other parts of the country.

I don't doubt that many people do indeed go to Songkhla, but at a guess, mostly to the Gulf Coast rather than the part of it that borders Malaysia. Songkhla, or at least Hat Yai, is better developed than the other provinces down there. I have heard that traveling by boat to Malaysia from Satun (along the West coast) is another way to travel. 100-baht sounds pretty reasonable for boat fare.
Yes, I mean of course you're more likely to get back alive than not, but I yeah I don't know if I personally feel enough desire to visit anyway, although a Malaysian friend recommended Hat Yai.

Yes, I can sort of see why, I guess. The area has a lot of separatists and is culturally/ethnically part more part of Malaysia. Perhaps it would be better if those southern provinces became part of Malaysia, what do you think? Although it's not a mainly Muslim province even in Phuket I remember hearing the call to prayer each morning from the mosque. What do you think of Phuket, btw? I mean there's Patong, of course, but there's also Phuket Town, which reminded me a lot of George Town, Penang. Karron and other parts of the island, which is considerable in size, are surprisingly not overrun by tourists as the Patong beach area.
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