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recommend accommodation in Bangkok

  • johancp

    Joined Travelfish
    26th February, 2013
    Posts: 11

    Hello everyone.
    I'm flying to Bangkok this Friday and will be in Bangkok Saturday morning. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good place to stay. not too expensive and a place to meet other people would be nice, though i would like my own room for at least the first couple of nights.
    I'm a 20 year old guy who will be solo-backpacking in SE Asia for 2-3 months.

    PS. Do i need to book in advance?
    Thanks in advance.

    #1 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 03:59

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  • LeonardCohe-
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    Not too expensive could mean $20, $50 or $100.

    #2 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 07:15

  • johancp

    Joined Travelfish
    26th February, 2013
    Posts: 11

    Well i can't really be specific since i don't know the prices in Bangkok. I'm looking for a decent, well priced guesthouse that is for backpackers, not a family friendly hotel.

    #3 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 08:24

  • LeonardCohe-
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    I can't be specific because you refuse to state your budget. Any guesthouse will welcome families.

    #4 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 10:04

  • johancp

    Joined Travelfish
    26th February, 2013
    Posts: 11

    Didn't mean it like that. It is just that i don't have the same budget as a family on vacation. A guesthouse in the 20 dollar region, maybe a little less is probably the limit. I don't want to spend too much on accommodation. Is it possible to get a good place for 10-12 dollars?
    Thanks in advance

    #5 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 10:17

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    I'm presuming you'll head for Party Central at KhaoSan Rd./Rambutri if you're 20 and single. That area has hundreds of guesthouses to choose from. A scruffy, small room will set you back around $7 and the cheapest clean A/C hotel I know around there is $15. That's a guide for you.
    You're arriving in the morning so have a look around. Some places have communal areas but KSR parties all night so I'm sure you'll have no problem meeting people.

    #6 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 11:07

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
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    Warning Will Robinson, Warning!

    KSR is full of... well it's a place that might be best avoided if you're not into freaks.

    Try Sukhimvite. Pay a little extra.

    #7 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 11:29

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    He's 20 Where else would he want to go! Sukhamwit is for Arabs,Asians and Russians.....and guys 40+ with beer bellies.
    My son and his friends love KSR. It's an age thing. The place is party central.
    Yes, it's full of freaks but it's also got a young party crowd.

    #8 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 12:23

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 914
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    Baan Tepa Boutique Hostel was really nice - use the Chao Phraya Express boat to Thewet Pier

    (I would book ahead)

    #9 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 13:04

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
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    The area around Khao San Road is loaded with inexpensive guest houses, as sayadian mentioned. You can get some great deals on and around Soi Rambuttri and Thanon Phra Athit, where there are some good, old school guest houses. Just check this site for info on them ... http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation/thailand/bangkok_and_surrounds/bangkok/khao_san_road/all#3

    Further north, and closer to the river than the place daawgon recommended (which looks really nice) is the neighbourhood near the Thewet Temple (Wat Thewet) where there are 3 or 4 decent guest houses with nice rooms (ensuite bathroom and a/c) for under $20 CDN.

    I've been staying at this place for my last couple of visits and it's been quite good ... http://www.shantilodge.com/page/shanti-bangkok

    This place has a really nice common area where it's easy to meet people, and you can make a reservation over the internet without having to put down a deposit. There's an excellent massage place two doors away, laundry across the road, and a couple of good quality riverside bars/restaurants in the immediate area for sunset beers. The water taxi is very close, which is great for getting to the area's main tourist attractions, and you can walk to the Khao San Road area in less than 30 minutes if you want.

    #10 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 18:05

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  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

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    I know an old guy who likes KSR. $12 rooms in Bangkok are dire. $20 gets you a basic room.

    #11 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 20:29

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
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    Sayadian,
    My son likes it only slightly more than I do. But he has an aversion to going to places with a lot of other westerners. He doesn't do Sukhimvite either. But I think he's an outlier, as it seems to me that the western kids all like to cluster together.

    #12 Posted: 19/3/2013 - 22:35

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Leornard
    Just behind the Royal hotel which is the big, expensive hotel at the top end of Sanaam Luang and parallel with Thanon Ratchdamnoen is a hotel where you can get a spotless A/C room for 450 bahtl. It doubles as a short-time place but that only happens on the ground floor. It's very security conscious too. It advertises itself as the Palace hotel but this doesn't translate the same in Thai on their card so you have to seek it out behind the Royal. (It does have an English sign saying Palace so why it's got an entirely different name in Thai baffles me). The area has got the odd guesthouse too and is much more 'real Thailand' than Banglumphoo. KSR is a few minutes walk across the eight lanes of traffic on Ratchdamnoen. It's also a great place to practice your Thai with the hundreds of hookers that hang around there. [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
    TBH. I'd stick with the other options mentioned above but I thought I'd let you know that you can get a decent room for $15.
    Madmac
    My sons are half-Thai and love KSR. Don't forget a lot of young Thais also go there to party.
    Not everybody is walking around looking like an Indian holy man in bare feet, unkept hair and a loin cloth, though I admit I have seen quite a few like this there.

    #13 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 02:38

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
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    My son's girlfriend is all Thai - and she likes KSR too. But my son and I share this particular aversion to Haight Ashbury revisited.

    #14 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 08:28

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

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    Posts: 2148
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    Most Thais don't bother going to KSR because they live an hour away in the surburbs. Ratchada gets far more Thais partying. If you want a Thai nightclub experience go there. Some nice big clubs there playing decent music.

    #15 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 09:00

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "If you want a Thai nightclub experience go there. Some nice big clubs there playing decent music."

    Thje kids who go to KSR Leonard don't want the "Thai nightclub experience". They want the "hang out with other backpackers and smoke weed" experience.

    #16 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 10:53

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    KSR goes on all night. Is this usual for the rest of Bangkok nightlife? I thought things had to shut down by 2 a.m. If that's the case there is a powerful reason for young Thais to go there.
    'The kids who go to KSR Leonard don't want the "Thai nightclub experience". They want the "hang out with other backpackers and smoke weed" experience.'
    Madmac
    You are generalising. There are a lot of bars and nightclubs there. Sure, there are a lot of 'hey man I've just been with my guru in the Himalayas' types but my boys actually don't like weed. In a way I think I'd prefer if the eldest did. He phoned me once from KSR because him and his friends were too drunk to find the end of the street and their rooms. I am not joking! I had to lead them back swaying from side to side to the hilarity of the locals.
    You've got to start seeing it through their eyes just because you and me hate it isn't going to stop it going on.
    ;-)

    #17 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 12:01

  • JohnnyM

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2012
    Posts: 23

    Sure, there are a lot of 'hey man I've just been with my guru in the Himalayas' types




    Really? First time I went there in 1994 there were few of those straight from Paraganj - but now its pretty much a mainstream backpacker/gap year/college crowd.


    There's a whole thesis to be written about KSR's mirroring of the hippy trail's transformation/commodification throughout the late 70s/80/90/00s - but it was only ever well off westerners on a long holiday anyway - maybe the current college/gap year crowd is more honest .. but there's a topic for another day..


    Anyway - its not my fave place - but it is what it is and as much a part of Bangkok as Camden is part of London. It also has the highest concentration of budget places to stay than anywhere in asia and is pretty handy for the river and The Grand Palace, Chinatown, Railway station etc etc

    #18 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 13:06

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    Johnny
    I agree about the gap year crowd and that's what I was telling Madmac. Walk across Thannon Tanao and look at the Trok parallel with it. The mix is interesting. The hippies are still there, barefoot, along with the drunken English teachers. As far back as the mid eighties KSR was pretty much a backwater. Lek's guesthouse, The Central, Suzie 's. Not much else. No it wasn't just rich Westerners, people could earn enough in those days in six months to make an extended trip to Asia.
    It's now very much like any High Street on a Saturday night in UK but much cheaper.

    #19 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 13:56

  • JohnnyM

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2012
    Posts: 23

    No it wasn't just rich Westerners, people could earn enough in those days in six months to make an extended trip to Asia.


    I should have qualified that when I said rich - I meant rich by asian standards.


    I pretty much agree with you though. I tend to use KSR interchangeably with the area around it - but you are right - there is a difference, and its interesting to see sois nearby at different stages of development similar to how the actual KSR was at different stages in its past



    #20 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 14:27

  • DSawyer

    Joined Travelfish
    9th January, 2013
    Posts: 48

    The New Siam 2 in Banglamphu Soi Rambuttri...this is a great place to stay at the $25 range

    #21 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 17:37

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 2148
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    Hanging out with dopey drunk backpackers. Couldn't think of a worse night out.

    #22 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 19:00

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

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    New Siam 2 is not so new now and small rooms. The bathrooms are 1sqm. Tiny pool like a bathtub right in the front of everybody at the reception. Food is no good nearby.

    #23 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 19:02

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
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    Food is no good nearby.

    Right. In just this one place in all of Thailand.

    Hey johancp,

    If you are still reading this thread, I'd love to hear where you wound up staying, how much you paid, and what you thought of it. Cheers.

    #24 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 20:29

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    "I thought things had to shut down by 2 a.m. If that's the case there is a powerful reason for young Thais to go there."

    My son's girlfriend just like the vibe - in the same way I hate it.

    "Hanging out with dopey drunk backpackers. Couldn't think of a worse night out."

    This was kind of my sentiment. "Backpacking", as a descriptive for people traveling on the cheap, is fine. But there are backpackers, and there are backpackers. Some are coming here to get as much a feel for the indigenous environment as possible, do it on the cheap if they can, and enjoy that kind of an experience. I like that kind. But the ones who bought and read a Lonely Planet guide to Thailand and now want to pontificate about "Thai culture"... brutal. Just brutal.

    "You've got to start seeing it through their eyes just because you and me hate it isn't going to stop it going on."

    I don't even want to stop it from going on. People do go there, so they obviously must enjoy it. I am simply warning people who come here what the deal is and airing my disdain. But I am a libertarian and have no desire to stop that which I hold in disdain. It's like Daytona beech in the US. Probably the last place on planet earth I would be inclined to go - Daytons beech on spring break. I don't like beeches much, I don't like drunk western teenagers at all, and I don't like huge crowds of people in a hot place. Except for the girls doing their wet t-shirt contests, it doesn't have any appeal. Well, KSR would be on that short list of places I just have no desire to hang out in.

    #25 Posted: 20/3/2013 - 21:58

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    Except for the girls doing their wet t-shirt contests.

    Wet t-shirt night by the immortal Frank Zappa-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qd77uYU64g

    I don't think the OP is thinking of going to Daytona maybe Atlantic City ( a tiny bit like KSR)
    To quote JohnnyM.
    'but now its pretty much a mainstream backpacker/gap year/college crowd.'
    So your warning isn't telling the whole story. It's not only a freakshow.

    #26 Posted: 21/3/2013 - 04:11

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 2148
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    I like KSR and the FMPs. It keeps 90% of the idiots away from the better spots so they will remain good.

    #27 Posted: 21/3/2013 - 08:06

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    So where do the other 10% go?

    #28 Posted: 21/3/2013 - 12:33

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
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    "So your warning isn't telling the whole story. It's not only a freakshow."

    OK Johan.

    If you want to hang out with weirdos and other backpackers - KSR is the place to go. If you don't, then avoid it.

    That's pretty succinct I think.

    #29 Posted: 21/3/2013 - 12:36

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

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    The other 10% are spread around I guess.

    #30 Posted: 21/3/2013 - 21:15

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    Most of those 'weirdos' will have a haircut and be wearing a suit within two years and working as corporate lawyers or something similar.The majority are college kids.
    To be serious. It would be nice if people made an effort to go meet locals but there is the language barrier.
    Sukhamwit is no way a place for a twenty year old. So where else are people going to go in Bangkok to party? Bearing in mind most of them will only be there for a few days. Pancake trail man.
    That's the only reason I recommend it to the OP.

    #31 Posted: 22/3/2013 - 08:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
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    "To be serious. It would be nice if people made an effort to go meet locals but there is the language barrier."

    It is a challenge. But my son came here when he was 20. And that was out to Mukdahan. In one week he was riding my motorcycle and hitting the clubs. In ten days he had a girlfriend. By the time he left, three weeks latter, he navigated around here like he'd grown up here. You can do it if you want to.

    #32 Posted: 23/3/2013 - 06:13

  • BuildingMyB-
    ento

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 4

    I generally stay near Asok, but the one time I stayed at Khaosan, it was...as expected. At US$7, I didn't care, particularly because it was a very early wake-up. There was no lock on the door, and I was next to a kitchen. There was a bucket though (which is great if you're into buckets). Yep.

    Otherwise, you can haggle with a bunch of hotels. Maybe just a couple hundred baht off, but the savings could get you a few meals.

    #33 Posted: 15/6/2013 - 23:25

  • Maryanne

    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2013
    Posts: 12

    Khaosan is quite a fun place if your NOT a seasoned traveler and need to mix with other International pleasure seekers etc, Its also quite affordable and easy to get around and shop and eat etc.

    For me I like to stay KSR for a few days just to climatize into the Thai weather and food, I use my time there to plan my days and then I will venture to stay around Sukumvit road which is more Thai and way more interesting for me.

    One of the good things about KSR is chatting with other travelers and finding out cool and interesting places that they have been too, its good for this. But your best experiences are those you have when you break away from the herds and go with your own state of being.

    #34 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 05:45

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 2148
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    "Sukhamwit is for Arabs,Asians and Russians.....and guys 40+ with beer bellies."

    I missed this racist comment before. If you don't like Asians why would you go to Asia in the first place?

    #35 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 15:34

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A939QRRSNV4

    The inverse...

    #36 Posted: 20/6/2013 - 10:30

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    WTF are you talking about Leornard?
    Be rude if you want but a least make sense.
    The mix in that part of Sukhamwit has gradually changed from predominantly European to Arabs, Asian (that is Taiwan, China,Korea etc) and some Russian businesses.
    There you go. Where's the racism? It's an observation.
    And what's like got to do with it? Nowhere did I mention whether I like or dislike anybody.
    Or have I missed something and guys with beer bellies have been alloted a race.
    A slimey comment and being a guy whose family is Asian I take umbrage.

    #37 Posted: 21/6/2013 - 03:07

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    Sayadian
    It did smack of kind of a racist comment - but perhaps not intended to be so.

    At any rate, I'm ove 40, but I don't have beer belly. I go there because it's the center of Salsa in Thailand.

    Sukhimvite has some great places for 20 somethings - including the Bed Supper Club, which I hate but the young set love. It's just not Bannana Pancake - which is a route that should definitely not be encouraged.

    #38 Posted: 21/6/2013 - 03:36

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    Justify what you just said.
    If people take the time to read it properly they'll see I said 'FOR Asians and....'
    So an area has decided to target a different crowd and it now caters for them predominantly.
    That's what I see.Observation.
    Russian,Arab and Chinese got their own music,food, entertainment etc.

    #39 Posted: 21/6/2013 - 03:55

  • bluekiwi

    Joined Travelfish
    24th May, 2013
    Posts: 4

    I recommend you to Sukhumvit area, it is in the heart of Bangkok near BTS skytrain and MRT subway. Sukhumvit also has many rates hotels.

    Have a good day :)

    #40 Posted: 21/6/2013 - 22:45

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    Sayadian
    I said it "smacked of" but perhaps was intended to be that way. That means the tone sounded racist - it doesn't mean that it was racist. See the difference? It did connote that tone, but that doesn't mean that tone was intended.

    I agree that lower Sukhimvite in particular does target those groups. After Soi 12 though, it's more towards anglos. Bed Supper Club and Titanium are two that come to mind that target younger people. La Rueda hits the 30 something crowd. As I said before, KSR and the backpacker ghettos are places I recommend people avoid unless they are looking for a backpacker experience, vice a SEA experience.

    #41 Posted: 24/6/2013 - 03:33

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    This is a travel forum. Replies are succinct and have to be generalised. If it was a thesis or critique of one I'd take your point gladly.
    The fact is I make an assumption about the needs of the OP.
    He may in fact love Arab/ Chinese culture but I was assuming he's just a Western guy looking for the type of scene that most go for.
    So I was making him aware of the demographic changes in that part of Bangkok. Most of the Chinese/Russians/Arabs that like this area have quite a bit more money than your average backpacker so it's also a more expensive area.
    Ironically, if I was that alarmed about racist comment I would avoid this part of the world.You constantly hear casual racist comments from the locals. Ask a Thai what he thinks about Cambodians or think about the Chinese attitude to 'foreign devils'. I am appalled at some of the attitudes I encounter. There's a lot more tolerance of other cultures in UK or US.
    If I can't comment on demographic change without a witch hunt starting it speaks poorly for informative debate.
    Nana has been an Arab area for a long time now and further down businesses prefer to cater for the far wealthier Chinese and to some extent Russians.
    I can see Sihanoukville going the same way. Makes sense for them as the Europeans and Americans no longer have the big money.
    The world is changing.

    #42 Posted: 24/6/2013 - 04:56

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    "This is a travel forum. Replies are succinct and have to be generalised. If it was a thesis or critique of one I'd take your point gladly."

    Fair enough. I'm not trying to be hyper critical either. I know you know what you're talking about and I don't believe myself for a minute you are actually racist. Your observations are harsh - and accurrate. I have no problem with that whatsoever. I was just pointing out how said comment could have been perceived.

    #43 Posted: 24/6/2013 - 09:21

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    I think this discussion has a great deal of relevancy to this thread and threads on this travel forum in general. The present level of 'over sensitivity' and habit of taking offence on someone else's behalf can rip the heart out of debate when people are worried about the perceived nuances of their words. The intended meaning of the commentator has to be respected. In other words stop looking for vague non-intended racist undertones. I never took offence with you anyway it was Leornard's clumsy, ill-thought out assumption that I didn't like Asians. Really uncalled for and ridiculously wrong.

    #44 Posted: 24/6/2013 - 20:26

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6244
    Total reviews: 10

    I do agree that over sensitivity in general, across the western world, is a serious problem. It definitely inhibits meaningful debate.

    #45 Posted: 25/6/2013 - 00:32

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