Australian newspaper The Age has a quite peculiar story today regarding the safety of foreign tourists at Thailand's Full Moon Parties. While we agree that people should at least try to remain in control at these events, there is one quote from an outgoing Australian honorary consul that really jumped out at us:
"What do you do if you are out of it from taking this stuff and you are dragged away in the night and raped by a pack of Thai guys?"
It seems extremely irresponsible to narrow this down to Thai guys -- especially considering the vast majority of victims tend to know their assailant. While I don't doubt there are Thais there raping and robbing people, taking a "us and them" attitude is not wise as there are plenty of well dodgy foreigners there too.
The story also has some bizarre statements about kratom (a local leaf that is chewed -- generally as a mild stimulant -- you need to chew a lot of it for a prolonged period, for the sedative effects to kick in).
Yes, the Full Moon Parties can be dangerous -- they're certainly not our idea of a fun night out -- but if you decide to go, the best advice we can give is stay in control.
Good to warn people about these silly parties. They are a disgrace.
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I agree I wouldn't narrow it down to Thai guys - but predatory Thai guys are hanging out there in search of prey. Of course there are scumbags who come to the party as tourists also in search of prey. Events like this are feeding grounds for the predatory among us. But you can't tell these kids nothing. There buddies went to the Full Moon Party, and they're going to go to the full moon party. And their buddies got trashed, and they're getting trashed.
#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I agree: extremely irresponsible journalism. "Pack of Thai guys"... Given the context and the way it reads, they might as well have said "pack of Thai dogs". I'm sure every Australian guy who goes to full moon parties is an absolute angel. And notice how the line is in quotations but it isn't clear who actually said it. (I assume it's this 'honorary consul' guy but it's not clear).
And kratom? The stuff that old people chew up in the hills that teeth to get black but few (if any) other issues? Strange how they mention DEET, a serious potential hazard, just once and then focus in on kratom.
I agree that people should be warned about these parties, although the same sh*t commonly goes down at raves and festivals in the US and elsewhere. The bottom line is that if you get hammered, take drugs and drink buckets of 'something' anywhere in the world, things can get bad in a hurry.
This is fear tactic reporting at its worst.
There is a huge difference between people getting drunk and people going to a periodic and large event for purpose of same.
If I go down to the Picking Cowboy and get drunk, my risk of assault there or between there and home is miniscule. Off the charts small. But if I do the same thing at the Full Moon Party I have significantly increased my risk, because predators are drawn to events like this. They understand there is a lot of anonmymity attached to it. And it's timeline is predictable, so someone with ill intent can anticipate when to be there and organize / plan for it. If you get drunk in your own backyard, with familiar people and surroundings, you are much safer.
So yes, Rave parties and the like - that ****'s stupid. Going to something like that is stupid. Asking for trouble. FMP is at the top of the stupid list.
Now having said that, it's a free country. You want to be stupid, have at it.
#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Irresponsible hardly. It was one line. The article is actually quite good. Far more irresponsible to tell kids these fmps are safe because Thai buddhists are such nice friendly people - that's what a lot of these fools think.
#8 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Madmac, when you were young, did you really listen to anything older people had to say about events like this? I darn sure didn't.
#9 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
When I was young Neosho I wasn't in to the party scene. I went to a military University, and then became an Army Officer, and never was a really heavy drinker or partier. I liked my women, but I didn't go to parties like this to find them. Were I young today, this place still would not be a draw for me. Not part of my makeup.
#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
@Leonard - unless the Fullmooners are sitting on the beach chewing through a bunch of leaves, the story is factually incorrect. Characterising solely Thai men as gang rapists isn't accurate, and, given the setting I reckon is a very irresponsible statement to make. You don't. ok then.
When it comes to gang rapes at FMP I think Thai men was definitely the more prolific perpetrators. The reason is simple -their home court. They have organizational and social link advantages that transients lack. So I don't think it was all that unfair. They are also much more likely to be FMP repeat offenders, since they are on home ground and can easily return repeatedly.
#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Nope. Never been to a Thai Island. I don't like the Ocean very much.
Ahhh let me anticipate - how can I know then? Well, for one, I read a lot. I also watch video. And I was an intelligence analyst for a very long time. Understanding how criminals function is not all that difficult. Gang rapes at FMP are a predatory behavior which require an organized group (or semi organized). Tourists who come there lack this organization because they are transient. I'm sure it happens, but I am also sure that indigenous people have a leg up in this kind of behavior. This has nothing to do with race. If we were talking Daytona Beach I would say your much more likely to be the victim of a gang rape from Floridians. If we were talking Acapulco, I would say you are much more likely to be the victim of a gang rape from Mexicans. Geograghy counts for a lot in group crimes. Now some sort of date rape - all bets are off there. In fact, I would say you would be more likely to be the victim of a fellow tourist because there are so many there.
You will also notice that you mentioned that with petty crime there is a greater chance of being victimized by fellow travellers at hostels. Why? Proximity. It's not that foreigners are worse people or more inclined to crime. Thai's commit plenty of crime. People are people. But when travellers are moving about in circles of like people, those are the people with the best opportunity for petty crime.
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I've been to 2 FMP parties + half moon parties + black moon parties etc - I gave it a try - I just didn't like it much, the second time was worst than the first - it can only go downhill from there. Thais are encouraging this cash cow and ruining the island in the process. The new airport adds to this problem. Backpackers flock there like it;s the best thing in the world. What can I say, people want to party - regardless of the after effects and what it has become. In VV - Laos and even in Goa, India there has been a crackdown on these events due to deaths etc. They have just gotten out of control. What to do? I like smaller low key events personally - it can still be a party and getting **** faced
I like to party to. I just prefer something - I hate to say more sophisticated as that sounds arrogant and snobbish - but with more substance. Going to a good dance club with Argentine Tango or preferably salsa, or a jazz club with a good jazz band in an intimate setting, that works for me. But just a bunch of people getting drunk with bands playing in the background... not for me. Too anarchic. I don't think it should be shut down. I believe in free choice. Even in the choice to be stupid. The number of places like this on planet earth is pretty small. I'm not a control freak wanting to tell everyone else what they can and can't do for their well being. That's up to them to figure out. I'm happy to tell them their stupid. But I'm not going to tell them they can't be stupid. Some people think competetive fighting is stupid. Some want to even ban it. Freedom includes the freedom to be stupid.
#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
@altmtl yeah I've been to quite a few -- not in recent times though -- older and wiser or something like that.
@madmac - think it is important when you're weighing in with an opinion, to make it clear you've never been to the event you're opining on. As mentioned I've been to the event multiple times over the years and I personally know two female travellers who were raped at FMPs - on both occasions by westerners. In one case the rapist was caught and beaten within an inch of his life by a bunch of the very same Thai guys the guy in the story I referenced above characterised as gang rapists.
As I said up top, I feel the statement by the outgoing honorary ambassador for Phuket is irresponsible as it paints a picture where Thai guys are a main risk factor, when that may well not be the case. He also makes statements about a drug that are erroneous. But if you & Leonard reckon that all sounds ok to you, then happy to disagree.
I've done a few full moon parties in my time. They are overhyped busy events that attract all sorts of people. Sure, it's wise to advise the travellers who may be oblivious to the risks they are putting themselves into. Just being heavily drunk ( which seems to be the biggest problem) weakens you and places people in a vulnerable scenario. Travellers should watch their ass when they travel, and look after their drinks.
The biggest problem IMO is bucket drinking, where youngsters are getting drunk too fast and then making poor decisions like doing risky activities. "Kratom coctails" added to that mix may be too much for some, but don't blame it on the coctail, if you've made a decision to order it to 'get off your face' you need to be able to handle it-and if u can't then be careful instead!. Every traveller has a personal responsability to themselves to watch their safety and not 'lose it' when in a crowded mad environment where dangers may lurk from bad elements.
OK, let me make my position clear on the issue of Thais - they are not more inherently anything than any of the rest of us. There is nothing in Thai culture that sanctions rape. The only reason I believe that Thai men are more of a risk factor for gang rape in Thailand is the reason I stated. If it were the US, then American men would be more of a risk factor - for the same reasons.
As for FMPs, Raves (I've never been to one and never will), VV (although the water sports looked fun), Daytona beach, Ibiza, etc. etc . etc. -they hold no interest for me and I'll never be going to any of them. Security isn't a huge issue for me - I can handle myself. But for single women, with the obvious issues that have been well documented, I think it's a foolish risk. For young men the risks are lower (not non-existent) but I don't see the point. I think the kids could have a much better AND much safer time if they went to a Thai club in provincial Thailand where they would be unique and find the experience a lot more fun. But again, these kind of events take on a life of their own and you can't tell these kids nothing - they're buddies went, and they're going. And they're going to get roaring drunk, and they're going toexercise bad judgement, and there's nothing we write here that's going to have much of an impact.
#19 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
"I've been to the event multiple times over the years and I personally know two female travellers who were raped at FMPs - on both occasions by westerners. In one case the rapist was caught and beaten within an inch of his life by a bunch of the very same Thai guys the guy in the story I referenced above characterised as gang rapists."
So getting raped by a westerner is better than a Thai?
You are upset that Thais are being called the bad guys?
Who cares. These fmps are a disgrace and the assaults, rapes and even deaths whether they are caused by locals or farangs it's bad news.
There is nothing Thai about these FMPs. If people want a Thai cultural event they will go to Songkran or a Buddhist festival.
#20 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"He also makes statements about a drug that are erroneous. But if you & Leonard reckon that all sounds ok to you, then happy to disagree"
So you are a drug expert and he isn't. You are arguing about minor details. The point of the article is to highlight how dangerous these FMPs are and that's what it does. Minor details don't concern me and journos often get minor details wrong.
Do rapes occur? yes
Do drug setups occur? yes
Does drink spiking occur? yes
Do people buy drugs not knowing what they are getting? yes
Let's focus on the real issues here.
#21 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
#23 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I have to say I concur with Leonard's bottom line here. The article highlights the risks, whether or not you agree with the specifics. I wouldn't label the party a "disgrace" or any other pejorative other than perhaps silly and a touch risky. But I believe people have the right to be silly and indulge in risk. I think Khao San Road is pathetic - but if we are dealing with just these two locations in a country as large as Thailand that indulges people who are attracted to this nonsense, well there's nothing wrong with that. Just remmember, if you get burned in one of these places, don't whine about how the government let it happen. It's on you. You knew, you were warned... whatever happens, happens. You won't have redress like you do back home. That's the risk inherent in this environment but also part of its charm. If you go to FMP under the assumption that the government is ensuring it's reasonably safe, you are delusional. Remmember where you are.
#24 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
You're absolutely correct when you say that Khao San road isn't a Thai thing. The same can be said about these FMP's. They are just things for tourists, completely devoid of 'Thai'ness'.
Of course, the massive hype will drag lazy tourists there in search of 'safety and familiarity', but look deeper and like Leonard say's you'll find they are full of scams and stuff. The original FMP's were much cooler and friendly, they are nowdays a mass tourist organised piece of shite where getting totally drunk and acting like idiots is the scene, wtf??!!
The bottom line is that travellers should be wary and not drop their common sense guard, even with so called familiar tourists who can vary from nice to evil. Thailand attracts all sorts of people and you don't have time to 'suss them out properly'.
Indeed we seem to have formed a consensus on this one.
#27 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
On top of all the dangers, it's just an extremely boring event! Went years ago and I love electronic music, but it was just 10,000+ backpackers sitting around, maybe 15% dancing, and they tossed their used buckets and bottles on the beach and into the sea. The Moon doesn't even set on the ocean side, it sets behind the mountain.
Known a handful of people who had been groped or propsitioned by a multiple of nationalities. In the last 6 years of being here I have not been and will not be back.
#28 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36
Agreed, it's just a heavily promoted 'thing to do' in Thailand. Mostly based on getting drunk with other young people than about meeting really cool people and hearing awesome tunes. Nothing groundbreaking going on there- it's just one big pisshead party.