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Thailand advice please

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1. Posted by dauphine (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

dauphine has indicated that this thread is about Thailand

I'm planning a trip to Thailand and haven't heard any positive experiences anyone's had, only really negative ones, ie: a man from my hometown was thrown in jail because someone had planted drugs on him in the airport, or a couple claimed they were drugged on a bus and robbed, etc etc...

To anyone who's backpacked through Thailand, what are some safety precautions you can recommend or things to be aware of?

Much appreciated!

2. Posted by frosty (Full Member 107 posts) 9y

Quoting dauphine

I'm planning a trip to Thailand and haven't heard any positive experiences anyone's had, only really negative ones, ie: a man from my hometown was thrown in jail because someone had planted drugs on him in the airport, or a couple claimed they were drugged on a bus and robbed, etc etc...

To anyone who's backpacked through Thailand, what are some safety precautions you can recommend or things to be aware of?

Much appreciated!

You always hear the excuses, someone planted drugs on me, or someone was drugged in a bar, etc. If drugs were planted in someone's bag it was done by someone the accused drug dealer knew! Police don't have a real reason to plant drugs on someone, there are enough fools that actually try to smuggle drugs to make their day! Why is it so often someone who is young is the person accused of being the drug courier? Maybe it is because they did do the crime and since they got caught they have to have an excuse!

Around 12 million tourists visited Thailand in 2006 - very few were "set up" as drug couriers, very few were drugged and robbed! In Canada do criminals ever claim to be "set up?" Are Canadian citizens (or visitors) ever robbed, raped, swindled or cheated in Canada? Bet it probably happens more than Thailand!

Don't trust anyone with your belongings (or your hotel key) that did not come over from your home country with you and you probably won't get in trouble! Don't hang around with dopers and you probably won't get in trouble!

Thailand does tourism very well! Transportation is efficient and cheap! Accommodations are very reasonably priced, something for everyone from cheap $2 flops to 4000 baht luxury hotels. Food is cheap - street food very cheap! Restaurants from cheap basic to fancy pants expensive places. Lots of food courts where you can really pig out cheap!

I find more positive posts on Thailand than negative ones. When traveling any where always take normal precautions, if something feels funny - don't do it! Keep your bags in sight all the time, if you leave them with someone else to watch make sure that person is someone you know a long time - not a someone you just met!

On buses, planes, trains keep your valuables with you at your seat and not in the storage locker out of sight! Especially money, electronics, passports and important documents. Don't bring any valuable stuff with you that you would really miss if it turned up missing. Use security boxes in hotels you stay at. Don't flash a lot of money around. Try to have small bills available to pay for cheap items.

Read up on Thailand and see what interests you and make your plans accordingly! Do plan on staying in Bangkok a few days, don't bypass that city! You don't have to go to a beach to get some sun, even Bangkok has plenty of sunshine!

Have fun!

3. Posted by Chada (Full Member 118 posts) 9y

You are very young but I think you are old enough to fly to Thailand and witness this by yourself. Who would want to plant drug on you if you are at the decent place as a decent traveler who come here as the guest of the country? I wonder how many youngsters would admit that they willingly possess the drug when they are caught for doing so. The best excuse would be "I have no idea… someone plant this on me !!" etc….. right? Drugs and drug-addicted people gather themselves at some corners of the country, where they belong to. Some visitors come to Thailand specifically for those corners. Believe me, I can even tell from the posts on the internet without meeting the person yet 'who are coming to Thailand for those stuffs.'

I've been living in Thailand since I was born. I have never seen the drugs with my eyes. By thinking good, doing good, keep good companions and go to good places, you should be safe.

You can find almost everything in this country, Thailand. If you come for culture, nice sight-seeing, nice friendships from local people, you will get it. If you are here for drug, you'll get it too, but whether the police will get you are not is another story.

Traveling means leaving your house take real life lesson about the world. There are all good and bad lessons out there. Thailand is just like other countries in the world. It is not heaven. You have to take normal precautions. Take one rule for example……a young woman should not walk out alone in the evening or night time to the place that can be suspicious to be unsafe, …….. this basic rule should apply when you are either in downtown Vancouver/Toronto or in slum area in the middle of Bangkok, don't you think?

Simple rules, … things you don't do in your country, don't do them here……. things you don't trust in your country, don't trust them here too.

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Victoire,
You have already received some good advice. I will only add two suggestions. First, try to find someone to travel with. It is just safer and more fun with another along for the adventure. If you don't have someone now, try the TP 'Travel Companions' option. If that does not work, head over to Khao San Road once in BKK. There are plenty of travellers in your age group in the KSR area. Just be flexible in your travel plans and I am sure you will find someone that will travel with you.

My other piece of advice is to use the gov't run bus system. Most visitors use the private bus companies because the travel shops book them for you. The private bus system is more convenient, but it is worth your time to get yourself over to the bus station. There are many reports of theft on the tourist buses, very few on the gov't run system. The Thais use the gov't licensed buses, you should as well.

Send me a PM if you have questions on Thailand.

5. Posted by dauphine (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

I completely understand the "oh that's not mine, it's been planted" excuses, especially on young people. But the man from my hometown I mentioned, he's in his fifties, I know he's not into drugs (he's an old family friend) and I trust that he certainly would never smuggle, but his theory is that an actual kid/person smuggling chucked his stash onto him for whatever reason, fear of being caught, perhaps? Not to mention, who the hell hides drugs in the hood of a sweater you're wearing? It's so out in the open and easy to see/smell/find! Who knows, just a theory, I was only worried that the same thing might happen to me.

Thank you for your advice, every single bit from everyone is valuable information to me.
I'm concerned though, about guesthouse robberies. I'm not going to leave my bag on the beach if I should go swimming, and I'm obviously not planning on taking it in the water, so how safe are the average guesthouses, in your opinion or experience?

Thanks again!

6. Posted by dauphine (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree with you 100% about the young people and their excuses, but this man from my hometown, he's an old family friend, and when he told us what happened, it really scared me. The drugs were sitting in plain view in the hood of his sweater and he had no idea they were there. Now if he'd really been smuggling, they'd have been hidden and stowed away, not sitting in a baggy in a hood...Easy solution to that problem though is to not wear a hood...

A few people now have mentioned not to leave anything in my room at a guesthouse if I go out...but I'm not about to haul baggage down to a cafe for breakfast or onto the beach for a swim...whats all this I'm hearing about guesthouses being broken into and robbed? Obviously that could be likely in the seedier areas of course, but they're making it sound like it's everywhere!

thanks again for all your advice!

7. Posted by dauphine (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

Quoting dauphine

I completely understand the "oh that's not mine, it's been planted" excuses, especially on young people. But the man from my hometown I mentioned, he's in his fifties, I know he's not into drugs (he's an old family friend) and I trust that he certainly would never smuggle, but his theory is that an actual kid/person smuggling chucked his stash onto him for whatever reason, fear of being caught, perhaps? Not to mention, who the hell hides drugs in the hood of a sweater you're wearing? It's so out in the open and easy to see/smell/find! Who knows, just a theory, I was only worried that the same thing might happen to me.

Thank you for your advice, every single bit from everyone is valuable information to me.
I'm concerned though, about guesthouse robberies. I'm not going to leave my bag on the beach if I should go swimming, and I'm obviously not planning on taking it in the water, so how safe are the average guesthouses, in your opinion or experience?

Thanks again!

AH CRAP THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A REPLY TO FROSY!!!

8. Posted by dauphine (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

Quoting dauphine

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree with you 100% about the young people and their excuses, but this man from my hometown, he's an old family friend, and when he told us what happened, it really scared me. The drugs were sitting in plain view in the hood of his sweater and he had no idea they were there. Now if he'd really been smuggling, they'd have been hidden and stowed away, not sitting in a baggy in a hood...Easy solution to that problem though is to not wear a hood...

A few people now have mentioned not to leave anything in my room at a guesthouse if I go out...but I'm not about to haul baggage down to a cafe for breakfast or onto the beach for a swim...whats all this I'm hearing about guesthouses being broken into and robbed? Obviously that could be likely in the seedier areas of course, but they're making it sound like it's everywhere!

thanks again for all your advice!

  • **THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A REPLY TO CHADA!!****
9. Posted by frosty (Full Member 107 posts) 9y

Quoting dauphine

I completely understand the "oh that's not mine, it's been planted" excuses, especially on young people. But the man from my hometown I mentioned, he's in his fifties, I know he's not into drugs (he's an old family friend) and I trust that he certainly would never smuggle, but his theory is that an actual kid/person smuggling chucked his stash onto him for whatever reason, fear of being caught, perhaps? Not to mention, who the hell hides drugs in the hood of a sweater you're wearing? It's so out in the open and easy to see/smell/find! Who knows, just a theory, I was only worried that the same thing might happen to me.

Kind of a feeble excuse that "some young person" stashed dope in the hood of his sweater while he is wearing it!

Sometimes people go to jail because they are simply stupid!

If you keep an eye on your own gear AND DON'T ALLOW ANYBODY to stick his stuff in your clothing - you shouldn't get into any trouble!

P.S. Did your "50 year old friend" turn in the young doper to the Thai police? Should be easy to find out who he was, after all your friend let him in real close to him for whatever reason.

[ Edit: Fixed quote ]

10. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 9y

Hi,

We've just left thailand to come into Loas, and I never once felt in danger, threatened or in any kind of trouble in thailand. I was paranoid to bits at KL & BKK airports that somebody was going to plant drugs in our bags but this was purely from watching too many movies like 'brokedown palace' & 'midnight exress'. I have a tendency to get myself worried over nothing! Thailands tourist industry is booming & without it a lot of people would have no way to survive. Once you have your wits about you and dont do anything you wouldnt at home you will be fine. Just remember, buying or taking drugs has penelties a lot severer in thailand thn at home, so dont be stupid and stay away from them!

As for your backpack, I havent heard from anybody that has had clothes stolen from their room, and we always left our backpacks in our room. We have moneybelts containing our passports, money& credit cards, and travel documentation on us at all times. If your guesthouse has a secure safe that you have the key to, you can leave these here. Even if your backpack was robbed, make sure nothing too important is in it. you can buy clothes for next to nothing in thailand but your not going to get another passport as easy!

Thailand is an amazing country, and I have heard no bad reports from anybody I met, besides being harrassed by tuk tuk drivers in bangkok & the odd scam, but if you do your research you can spot these a mile away and avoid all of this. Dont listen to stories about a friend of a friends uncles cousin, because that turns into chinese whispers! Listen to the posts on travellerspoint and you'll be fine

Enjoy!