Two UK tourists, walking along the beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand were accosted by a group of youths. The man received multiple stab wounds from a long knife, the worst resulting in a heavily bleeding head wound. (October 2012)
If you’re like me, you probably discount some of the Thai on foreigner violence that occurs in the country in areas like Pattaya, Patong Beach, and Bangkok. I am guilty of it. It happens the world over, I just figure if you’re out after midnight in one of those places, the probability for something to happen – violence included, is higher. Much higher than strolling around during the day or early evening hours.
Over eighteen years in Thailand, I’ve started to think more about it. Since having a child, I started to think a lot more about it.
Krabi has been a real sleeper. I mean, literally. Shops close in downtown Krabi town by 6 pm, 7 pm, and definitely by 9 pm nearly everything is closed up except some bars on Chao Fa, and the Thai girly bars.
There have been a number of incidents in Krabi recently – a girl from Denmark was raped allegedly by a Thai tour guide. A woman tourist had her thumb cut off by Thais on Chao Fa Road who wanted her purse. These two tourists from the UK are surrounded by multiple Thai guys who assault them, stabbing the guy with a knife over and over before he was able to fight them off.
This is all recent news – not over a year. Things like girls being followed in Thara Park by the river during broad daylight hours – by a Thai with his sexual organ out of his pants – happen much more often than the public knows. Shootings, knifings, drugged drinks… how much of it really goes on and isn’t being shouted about in the media? Thailand’s media doesn’t have a reason to shout it.
Your safety in Thailand is NOT guaranteed. Thai style is to push incidents out of the news as soon as possible, so it doesn’t affect incoming tourist numbers. Someone was saying the other day that Thailand will receive 20 million visitors in 2013. I wonder what the true rate of violent attacks on foreigners is in the country. Most incidents are either not reported or not followed up – that’s my guess.
What do you think? Is the entire country of Thailand unsafe? A foreigner had his arm nearly severed by a guy with a machete on a motorbike that followed him and his Thai girlfriend a short while back…
In Surin – of all places.
Is the gulf between what tourists are seen to have, and the abject poverty of a good portion of the Thai population – to blame?
If so, it sure won’t be getting better anytime soon.
I think some Thais in search of easy money are looking at tourists as easy pickings more than ever. The UK tourists attacked above in Ao Nang will likely file a police report and leave the country. What will happen to the 5 or so guys that brutally attacked them?
Unfortunately, if they have any ‘connections’ at all – they’ll be free to fuck off some more in the near future. Maybe they’ll be cutting YOUR head the next time they’re fucking off. Maybe your neck?
I think – and I fully believe this, after hours… say 10 pm – being out in Thailand as a foreigner is not safe. You shouldn’t feel safe because it can leave you vulnerable. You shouldn’t do anything that might attract attention to yourself to increase your likelihood of becoming a target, a victim.
I notice that as time goes on, Thailand feels less safe to me. I know partly it is a function of having a new family and having been here long enough to stop overlooking the negatives. I do think that violence against foreigners is becoming more common, and is actually tolerated too well for my liking.
I wish there was some large expat group that could survey members and see what the masses thought. I wish I could find out – have tens of thousands of expats moved away from Thailand for greener grass somewhere else? Cambodia?
American Man Murdered in Ao Nang and Son beat up.