I am a frequent traveler to THAILAND. When traveling outside of Bangkok, I often stay at a local guesthouse rather than a conventional hotel. Besides saving some monies, staying in a guesthouse allows me to sample the local flavor and it is a more conducive environment for meeting fellow travelers. In addition, the informal, carefree ambiance of most guesthouses suits my personality better than the somewhat stiff and fabricated environment of many traditional hotels. Guesthouses are usually small family run affairs – ranging from no frills hostels with simple dormitory like accommodations and shared bathroom facilities (popular with the young backpacker crowd) to the luxury “boutiquish” affair with amenities comparable to a small hotel (popular with the older crowd and families). As they say different strokes for different folks!
Although I have been blogging about my trip to Thailand last week – I suspect some of you may still be wondering: “is Thailand safe?”
Now I have to admit when the political protesters blocked the airport I found it hard to be sympathetic for travelers who were bleating about being ‘stuck’ in Thailand. That may have been unfair of me, as, as a passionate nomad, as a traveller who makes her own arrangements as to how, where and when I’ll travel, and where I’ll stay, my thoughts were ‘Thailand is the easiest of countries to leave’.
In my mind I was saying to those nameless people on TV, just get a train south, fly from Phuket, Malaysia or even fly out from Singapore’. I also knew they could go north to Changmai or west to Cambodia. But I also know, many of those people, even those on the so-called various ‘intrepid-type-travel’ programmes that screen around the the world, that even those intrepid travellers would not know what to do either. ( After all they have an entourage of minders looking after them, just out of camera range – it’s hardly intrepid. So to the tv I said, ‘just hole up in your hotel, lay by the pool and wait’. Guess I was jealous – as I wouldn’t have minded an enforced stay (paid for by the airlines or insurance) in Thailand.
So, back to the question, is Thailand safe?
OF COURSE IT IS!
When I was there –only a week ago– there was a demonstration outside Parliament when the ASEAN conference was on, but just as when Oxford St, London, is blocked due to road works or demonstration (or any road in LA, New York, Miami, Sydney, or even when the so-called ‘boy-racers’ disrupt part of my city on a Friday or Saturday night … the rest of us are not even aware of it happening .. all we see is the same as other TV viewers see and it doesn’t affect our life.
So too with any political unrest in Thailand ( insert any other countries name here too) YES it is safe … in fact I have often heard that straight after any major event is when it’s safest to go anywhere – after all the security is on high alert. and the demonstration had nothing to do with travellers:
It was political, not a secuity risk to any traveller. Go there NOW – I’m sure it will be cheaper.
Pecha Kucha Night is a presentation format for creative work originally devised by Astrid Klein and Mark
Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) in Tokyo, Japan in 2003.
The name derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat“). A Pecha Kucha Night is a non-profit orientated event that is part of an international network and consists of a format where presenters show a data slide-show of 20 images, each of which is shown for 20 seconds, giving a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds.
Each event aims to have a maximum of 14 presenters. Presenters (and much of the audience) are usually from the design, architecture, photography, art, music and creative fields. The event format has been replicated in more than 172 cities including London, San Francisco, Seattle, Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Berlin, as well as in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Nelson. Events are usually limited to one each month per city and to a minimum of four events per year.
Pecha Kucha Nights Auckland is currently organising their twelfth event, Wellington hosted their fourth event in late 2008, and Nelson, Hamilton and Dunedin have recently joined the New Zealand contingent. The next one in Christchurch New Zealand is on the 2nd April and features this blogger – the kiwitravel writer – anda presentation on how she became involved in helping create Buddhist monks from 79 ordinary men to celebrate and commemorate the King Of Thailand’s birthday.
Below are some additional links to more information about Pecha Kucha Nights in New Zealand andinternationally:
Last week I was riding a bicycle in Thailand ….. I’m now in the process of writing a story about it – well more about me and how unfit I am, and how hot the day was: keep your eye out for it in a newspaper or magazine.
I did their Bangkok bike trip ( 35k) a couple of years ago and can recommend them: and right now they have 10% off all trips starting after 31st March and includes all of 2010 (they have cycle trips all over Asia — from hours to days long — so if that sounds like something you would fancy, have a look at the website. (and start practising .. not just little rides around a flat city like I live in!)
How to use a toilet – in a Thai train: from person experience
Inside a small silver-lined room, the floor wet and smelly from twelve hours of use, I finally need to use the toilet: it’s about eighteen inches above the floor.
Rolling my pants legs up to avoid the wetness, I clamp my knees together to stop the material falling back down, then drop the waist of my green, Thai fisherman pants.
Climbing up onto the shining edifice – while keeping my knees together – I place my feet either side of the hole, and, with the train rocking alarmingly, hold on. Moments later I reverse the process and leave.
I’m relieved I haven’t been cursed with the travellers disease; the trots, runs, dheli belly, or whatever common name is given to dysentery and diarrhoea, that so, I’m sure I won’t need to come back into the throne-room – well not for a while anyway.