I don't want to start any debate or arguement but I just need to know what's currently happening in Thailand. I am clueless until I got this travel warning. I am planning to visit Bangkok and Pattaya at the end of this month and now I am worried about my safety. Can anybody comment on this article?
Persons who plan to visit Thailand,
Due to the political instability in Thailand, the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun, Songkhla, Phuket, Pangnga, Krabi and Bangkok are not safety places for you to visit. Please avoid to travel to the above-mentioned provinces or avoid to travel to Thailand for your own safety. Vi advise you to cancell your trip to Thailand if you do not want to take risks.
If you are in the above mentioned provinces, we advice you to avoide policestations, music conserts, cafés, bars, nightclubs, railway stations and airports.
After the massacre in Tak Bai, Narathiwat, Thai policemen and military officers are the main and only targets of the peole attacks. Please double check that you are not standing or sitting near them nor visiting their offices. Leave the suspected places immediately.
Hat Yai Railway Station has been bombed at least 3 times before. If you are planning to travel to Malaysia from Bangkok, be wise and do not use the rout. The city of Hat Yai is the most dangerous place in Thailand.
Be informed that the coming operations are targetting for Thai policemen and soldiers only. The operations will be performed by Patani liberation movements that are not under our control. Therefore, we are not responsible for the damages or lost after this warning.
P. P. PULO
I am planning on moving to Thailand in August of 2005 to teach English so I have been trying to keep up to date with the current events of the country. So far the U.S. government hasn't released any travel warnings or even posted information about the recent apparent massacre. I was wondering how you came across this warning? I have heard that I should avoid travelling in the far south along the border with Malaysia but this warning even includes Bangkok.
Does anybody else have any information about the political climate in Thailand or about this warning and the group that released it in particular?
PULO is the organisation thought to be behind some of the attacks in the south. They put out the press release (posted by the OP) just after the latest massacre down there.
They made a similar threat to Bangkok at the start of 2004 and nothing came of it. That is not to mean that something won't happen this time - tempers are certainly running high.
The areas the attacks have been taking place in are not really popular tourist destinations in their own right, although it is possible to travel through them to go to Malaysia.
Hat Yai is the main transportation hug of the south - if you are going overland to Malaysia by bus train you will pass through Hat Yai 90% of the time (there are ways to skip it, but most just barrel through).
At this time, I wouldn't suggest don't go to Hat Yai, but I would suggest keeping abreast of events and read the Nation newspaper once in Thailand to have an idea of what is going on. I say the Nation over the Post as the Post's reportng of this issue has been appalling.
Up to now, there have been no attacks aimed primarily at western tourists and no attacks in any of the big destinations. For the moment I'd say continue your trip as normal, but keep an eye on the news.
Hope that helps
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Up to now, there have been no attacks aimed primarily at western tourists...
Let's drop the word "western". There are quite a number of asian tourists in Bangkok too like myself which could be easily mistaken for a Thai. I mean, the terrorists wouldn't ask for my nationlity first, would they?
I live in Bangkok. It is still busy and many pleasurable events are coming up. I am not trying to promote any tourism industry, but I live here I have many Caucasian colleagues who still live happily here. I can confirm that what is happening is purely a dirty political game.
Our major election is coming up early next year. Presently,the improvement in economic situation is not perfect but in fine positive level. Usually, in modern political world, the best way to attack the opposition party is to destroy good result in economic operation. The SET is sensitive to everything even idiot threatening. SET index here has been hurling up and someone wants to bring it down. Another way is to try to damage tourism industry. It's true that it's not safe in 3-4 provinces down south. But one of my colleagues who is from Pattanee told me that it has been like this since long ago. It's a matter of people's nature and character, nothing to do much with any organization or group or whatever entities who are trying to make use of the situation to build their depiction.
I am going to Pattaya in a few weeks time, after longer than 5 years not visiting there. Several other plans are more to come.
The most unhappy people are those who cannot stand seeing other people living in happiness. And we happen to have people of this kind living in our territory. But don't worry, the majority of this country are happy people, so the ethnic will be extinct soon.
Please, travellers,..... don't become victims of stupid threatening.
Thank you everyone for the insight and perspective. I have no intention of altering my travel plans but I am going to keep an eye on the situation and would appreciate any updates from those who are closer and better informed. Thanks.
Heh...they don't target tourists, only police, so I reckon if you stay far away from police stations...hm... Anyway, I was a tad worried as well, but I just got back from Phuket a few days ago, and it was fine.
I agree that we shouldn't think too much about it, just have fun. I am going again beginning December...so that you go!