I'm travelling from Singapore to Thailand (bankok, overland) early part of next year, and am already getting cold feet after reading books and seeing films on drugs and drugs smuggling within the country. Can somebody please put my mind at rest and assure me that it is just paranoia. I'm most worried about leaving belongings in youth hostels and having something planted on me. I don't know how may cases of this there are,(if any) but I would really appriciate some information on this matter.
Many thanks in advance.
I have been to Thailand and you really don't need to worry! I understand where you are coming from after the films and the books but think of the large number of people who go there compared to the small number of people these things have happened to... it is so rare. You just have to careful, as with any place... Obviously you don't let people take your bags, or accept packages but we all know not to do that! We always left our backpacks in our rooms and they were fine. Just before you leave you should take it all out of your bag to check there isn't anything in there that shouldn't be. Thailand is such a wonderful place, don't let your concerns put you off!!!!
Seriously, just be vigilant but enjoy yourself. These countries are amazing and generally very safe... Do not worry yourself, just look forward to a fantastic trip!
Thanks for the quick responce and for putting my mind at ease (a little).
Hi - yes it is a rare occasion when such a thing would happen, however it does! I would say to be suspicious of anyone offering to carry your bags for you - be suspicious of any presents such as trainers etc. where people can put drugs in (a story I read). However this is very rarely likely to happen. If you feel vunerable then you are likely to look vunerable so it's best to put all worries out of your head before you go as so you will look confident and obviously less chance of someone approaching you. If you pack and unpack yourself before you leave for the airport you should be fine. I doubt anyone will tamper with your backpack in a hostel - there are hostels that have security lockers etc. if you were totally unsure or you could even get a combination lock (I have for my backpack) which is only a few pounds and you set a number as to lock the backpack and so no-one else can open it except you because you have the combination lock number. I have been told the disadvantage of this is that it may look like a treasure bag then but I believe it to be safer. Generally the people that get into trouble with the drugs are the unfortunate ones who may not get the money for a return ticket and end up doing a 'deal' with someone as to get money to get home and unfortunately sometimes - on one or two occasions they don't. I believe you have a right to be 'cautious' I wouldn't use the word paranoid. I also believe it is good to be aware of the good and bad that could happen and take appropriate action. However as said before - Thailand and the world is a beautiful place and I believe you should go out and explore - same as I am due to. I plan to hit Rio De Janeiro on my travels - it was described as a very dangerous city in one source - however some cities in Britain (where I live) and everywhere in the world can be dangerous. As long as you have your wits about you and don't look vunverable you should have a whale of a time out there!!! Best of luck
I may add that I have been travelling in Domican Republic, Barbados, Tenerife, Greece, Greek Island of Kos, France and USA. I was attacked once but that was in my home town in Britain. Not once have I been in trouble across. I travelled to Greece mainland and Tenerife on my own. In tenerife in Playa de las Americas - it is supposed to be a little dangerous but I was ok. If you stick to things like - knowing which taxi to get and knowing to follow your instincts - not wander around half drunk at night in the middle of nowhere etc. you should be absolutely fine!! I can guarantee there is good and bad in all the world. As long as you are sensible you are going to be fine. Go and explore - you won't regret it!!