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Southeast Asia forum

Travel warnings for Canadians?

Posted by ke11y on 31/8/2006 at 11:14

My boyfriend and I are planning on travelling around South East Asia (mostly Thailand) for 6 months or so. We're both Canadians. I've been reading on the Canadian Government Voyage website that there are several travel warnings for varoius places. Most stating that Canadians should avoid travelling to certain regions due to terrorist attacks on westerners, bombings, landmines, hijacking, kidnapping, etc.

Can anyone there or who has recently been there tell me what it's really like right now? I still want to go but I'm wondering how serious the warnings are. How often the threats are actually taking place or if it has just been random, isolated events.

Also, If we just avoid certain areas, highways and border crossings and provinces listed will we be relatively safe? Thanks ke11y

#1 ke11y has been a member since 29/8/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by tsargood on 31/8/2006 at 17:06

Hi, I would not take the embassy web site info too seriously.... It's in their best interest to recommend you stay away, just so they can say 'I told you so' if in the unlikely event something does happen to you.
I have contacted my embassy (Australian) eveytime I have entered a so-called 'dangerous' country and have been advised against going, I have never had a problem.
I have extensively travelled the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa and found that common sense is the best precaution.
Have a look what other countries are on the 'dangerous' list...I bet it’s most of them by now..... anyway you could get hit by a bus while walking down your own street!
We cannot live in fear, other wise the terrorists have got what they wanted.
Just use your head and make all your own decisions, I'm sure you will have a great time, on the whole Thailand is a safe place, as is the rest of SE Asia. Enjoy

#2 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87
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Posted by marianwarren on 31/8/2006 at 18:06

Hi Ke11y

I believe embassies issue warnings as a disclaimer in case someone wants to sue their arse! If you waited until everything was perfect you would never leave the country.

As tsargood has mentioned use commonsense, don't let 'fear' prevent you doing what you want to experience. I had an unplanned visit in Kashmir during the continuing never-ending civil war and had the most memorable time there (This was a serious 'red' flag on the embassy no-no list). Only the occasional noise of weapons firing and a heavy military presence. This could happen at home!

Obviously if the bombs are flying and people are being killed left, right and centre don't go there. Trust your gut feeling.

But I love gentle Thailand ... the only threat of violence I have ever witnessed was 2 pissed pommies in Khao San Rd.

It's a wonderful world ... explore, experience and embrace!

Regards

Marian

#3 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

Posted by tsargood on 31/8/2006 at 19:29

If you have 6 months, consider Cambodia, I loved it! Start off in Thailand though. Laos is also a must!

#4 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87
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Posted by tsargood on 31/8/2006 at 19:31

And watch out for those pissed pommies!.... and Aussies for that matter!

#5 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87
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Posted by steviej on 31/8/2006 at 19:48

Yo, Ke11y,

You'll probably find if you search every country on your government foreign office website the heading of potential indiscriminate terrorist bombing and the such like will be there on every page
.
I once printed off the advice given for visiting Spain a couple of years ago just to make the point to my fellow colleagues at work. I deleted all reference to Spain and after printing, handed it to them for scrutiny. They ALL said that they would never go to the place in question. This seemed strange as around 13 Million Britons visit there every year. ;)

The look on their faces when I explained where it was most delightful.

So, like the others have said, use your head and trust your instincts. South East Asia is probably the friendlest place on earth.

Enjoy..........................

chill
steviej
_____________________________

Who wants Fat Hair.......................

#6 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by steviej on 31/8/2006 at 19:55

Just to back that up I've just had another look at the UK FCO website and this is the warning for Spain: (I've deleted all reference to Spain so you get the idea).

Terrorism

On 22 March 2006, and following a series of minor attacks in the first few months of the year, which resulted in only light casualties and damage to property, the ****** terrorist organisation *** announced a "permanent ceasefire" effective from 00.00 hours on 24 March 2006.

***** shares with the rest of ****** a threat from international terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets. You should be vigilant and follow local instructions as necessary.

Ten bombs exploded on trains in ****** on 11 March 2004. 192 people died. A group purporting to represent Al Qaida claimed responsibility. You should be aware that terrorists have previously targetted ******* trains.

You should remain aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The ******* authorities are fully aware of the impact of terrorism and are taking measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant. Disruptions from real or hoax terror attempts can be expected. You should follow the instructions of the local police and other authorities.

Would YOU go??? ;)

chill
steviej
_____________________________

Who wants Fat Hair.......................

#7 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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