Trip reports forum

My SEA Trip So Far...

  • thatvaletguy

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2010
    Posts: 14

    It's 60 days in my SEA so far and I've been to:
    THAILAND

    -Bangkok
    -Chiang Mai
    -Chiang Rai
    -Burmese Border (1 day)
    -LAOS
    -Luang Prabang
    -Vang Vieng
    -Vientiane
    -4,000 Islands
    CAMBODIA

    -Phnom Phen
    -Snooky-Ville
    -Siem Reap

    Back in Bangkok for the moment, and catching a flight to Hanoi on Tues. morning to travel south to Ho Chi Minh City.

    These are a few of my favorite things...(do do do do do):
    -Cambodia in general exceeded my expectations, theres so much to do! (Especially for a young lad such as myself). Sihanoukville's beaches were amazing! It's a great idea to take a break from the constant hassle of the vendor's by checking out the beaches down south (Otres was my favorite, but don't travel there at night).
    -If you're up for it and have the funds, you should try a shooting range in Phnom Phen, shooting an AK-47 was very...entertaining.


    -In Laos, 4,000 Islands was a VERY refreshing break from Vang Vieng. Had to make a 45 min boat trip up river for a cash advance cause I didn't listen about no ATMs on Don Det (Who Knew?) The hammocks were a nice touch with the bungalows we stayed in. Complete relaxation!


    -Bangkok goes without saying, I mean SO much to do! Shopping, FOOD, clubbing, drinking, FOOD, massages...never ending pampering paradise! I could go on and on and on.


    -Chiang Mai was definitely livable. A little more mellower than Bangkok, and easy to get around. The temple sitting on the top of the mountain overlooking downtown (Don Sutep sp?) was a great adventure, you have to do it.


    SOME VALUABLE THINGS I LEARNED AS A FIRST TIME TRAVELER TO S.E.A:


    -Never trust anyone that approaches you trying to "help you out", "give you a good deal on a tuk tuk", or try to fit you with a suit. (Those suit guys are PUSHY!)


    -Never take a tuk tuk for 10 baht =)


    -Always padlock your backpack zippers


    -Instead of giving up your passport to rent a motorbike, offer a credit card or a chunk of cash as deposit


    -Better yet, if someone says "My friend..." don't even acknowledge, and continue walking.


    -No matter what you've learned online or in travel books about scams, you'll still get scammed and you have to just deal with it and move on. You have to experience firsthand to learn their tricky ways.


    -DON'T EVER take the bus from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang...BAD IDEA! Being impatient, I wanted to get there the quickest and the cheapest, and I paid dearly with a dangerous bus ride.


    -Don't buy anything on Ko San Road unless you have some serious haggling skills.


    -You don't always need AC, fans do quite well.


    -Smile and enjoy yourself =)


    That's enough rambling for now, I will continue to post on my trip. A FANTASTIC place to be!


    BTW, anyone traveling to Vietnam solo...shoot me a message.


    THANKS!

    #1 Posted: 12/3/2011 - 15:28

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Boy, it sounds like you are really enjoying yourself. Good for you.

    #2 Posted: 12/3/2011 - 17:22

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I have a better suggestion for Phnom Phen.
    Visit the Killing Fields and S-21 Prison and be so shocked and heart-broken that the thought of touching an automatic rifle makes you sick.

    #3 Posted: 19/4/2011 - 19:59

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    I'm with you there, jnelson.

    #4 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 16:30

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    I've been to Dachau, but the thought of touching a German P08 doesn't make me sick. The AK-47 didn't cause the murders in Cambodia. This is akin to saying go see a multi-car accident and the thought of driving will make you sick. For many people, shooting is fun. Why is it someone always has to piss in someone elses porridge? When I as in Somalia I saw real, live, nastiness up close and personal. It didn't take away my pleasure for target shooting. An associate of mine got a finger blown off there and still went hunting a month and half latter back home. Having empathy for the victims of Khmer Rouge psychotic behavior has nothing to do with enjoying firing an automatic weapon. They are not related things.

    #5 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 17:17

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    Dachau is a great example, because I guarantee it that after you went and saw that landmark you weren't offered to go to a shooting range to pop off a few rounds from a Luger. Why? Because it would be a massive display of disrespect to the victims of that horrific event. Yet people who stop off at the two before mentioned sites in Cambodia typically make the gun range their last stop of the day. It baffles me why some tourists, after witnessing evidence of mass murder and torture would want to go fire a gun.

    Target shooting of course has nothing to do with genocide, but to say the AK-47 didn't cause murders in Cambodia is absurd. Your putting to use a product of a violent past for your own enjoyment. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

    #6 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 17:58

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    I could not disagree more. They are not related events. I would agree that having the shooting range just outside of the killing fields or S-21 or the like, just as having said shooting range outside the gates of Dachau, would be in extremely poor taste. I went to Dachau and I owned (let alone shot) a Luger. They are not related. Owning a Luger is not being disrespectful to the victims of Dachau.

    What you implied here is that he shouldn't be going to the range at all. That INSTEAD he should be going to one of these sites and that would put him off of shooting - indicating he shouldn't be shooting. This is akin to be going to Kanchanaburi, visiting the graves, but then at some other point rejecting shooting a Japanese Arisaka rifle because it was the principal weapon used to coerce the POWs.

    You're "better suggestion" isn't a better suggestion. Those places are well worth visiting, but so is the range. How often does someone not in the business get an opportunity to fire an AK-47? It's a lousy shooting gun, but it is fun to shoot. There was a value judgement in your initial post on the subject, and that judgement was that he shouldn't be shooting period. Maybe you didn't intend to convey that, but it is what you conveyed.

    #7 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 18:22

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    I agree with Mac here.

    And to add: The AK47s were the weapon of choice but it still was a Cambodian person that pulled the trigger to kill his/her own countrymen. You also don't say that after that experience you wouldn't want to talk to an older Cambodian anymore who could have been (not unlikely) responsible for a few murders. Neither do you say such things about germans and other people who were responsible for genocide.

    #8 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 18:58

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    My argument isn't against guns (I am but this isn't a political site) but the fact that its irresponsible and a little ridiculous for people to go to the killing fields, sign their name in the guest book with words like "never again", and then hop in a tuk tuk and go to a shooting range.


    The AK in itself is not disrespectful, but going to shoot one right after visiting these sights is. Did you fire off your luger the same day? That is the connection I think that is lost on people. But the images you see of teenage khmer soldiers with this weapon slung over their shoulder does create a negative connotation.

    And the shooting range is not well worth visiting compared to what Cambodia has to offer. S-21 and the gun range are not of equal value. While your at the shooting range why not buy a few chickens or a goat to shoot, because I mean where else does someone not in the business get a chance to do that?

    #9 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 19:12

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    The gun lobby will always try to justify anything. No matter what the statistics say, or how tasteless something is. Cambodia is a bizzare place to be able to do something like firing off AK47s for fun.

    Maybe this is an idea for a travel business. It could be called Tasteless Tours. Maybe open a branch in Colombine. The advert could go something like this: (Gravelly voice, beloved by advertisers) 'In the morning tour Colombine High, then in the afternoon you get your own chance to fire off semi automatic weapons and find out yourself what it really feels like to be soooo powerful'.

    #10 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 19:42

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  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    First of all, I'm not a gun lover myself.

    But now you've slightly changed your argument. Your original comment said and implied that after visiting S21 and kiling fields people would not want to fire a gun and that it is bad taste anyway.

    I do agree that it would be strange/tasteless to go shooting directly after those visits but the OP never mentioned that. He just posted it just like he could have posted that he loved Paintball, or driving carts.
    I don't see the harm in that.

    #11 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 19:43

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    eastwest-

    Your right. I made the assumption in the beginning that either-
    a. this person did the tour and ended it with the shooting range
    b. didn't go to either places and just went to the range.

    Which too me are both negative. But the argument changed slightly and so I changed mine because I believe just because you can do something while traveling (i.e. hunting endangered game, buy women/men for sex, etc.) doesn't mean you should.

    (also not trying to start that argument but hopefully it helps explain what I think on this specific issue)

    #12 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 19:50

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    I'm just wondering about some other potential trips available from Tasteless Tours. How about in the morning visit some of the main Civil Rights movements sights in the Deep South. In the evening attend a mock Klu Klux Klan lynching. You could wear the robes and everything. That'll appeal to a certain type of tourist, I'm sure.

    #13 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 20:35

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Now we cut to the core of it. Were this shooting range in Thailand (and Thailand does have one where you can fire the M-16A2, the Barreta 9mm, among other military weapons) would you also object? Or because Cambodia has a history of extreme violence is it only a bad thing to do in that country?

    I lived in Germany for a long, long time. Germany certainly has a history of gun violence that exceeds just about all others. I was still a member of a shooting club there. Was that in poor taste? Should there be no shooting clubs in Germany?

    The truth is that neither Nokka nor Jnelson believe people shouldn't be shooting period. Your position on people shooting and on guns in general is negative, so you kept modifying your arguement as you went. And that's obviously what comes through in your posts. The OP had a good time at the range. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing, unless you object to shooting. There is also one of these ranges (maybe more, I don't know) in Vietnam. And some of those very weapon types were used to kill American and South Vietnamese soldiers, not to mention Montagnards and Hmong and Bru and others allied with the US / South Vietnamese. Does this mean shooting those weapons there is also tasteless?

    And they are not of equal value? Only in your opinion. How about going to the beach and enjoying the ocean? That's not of equal value either is it? And it's more dangerous than going to the range, given the risk of skin cancer. Are you down on that too? You are comparing apples and oranges. And you are making a judgement call that's none of your business. People who don't enjoy shooting are not going to go there because the OP said he had a good time. And if people do enjoy it, it's not your business. Your position on this issue is, frankly, sanctimonious and wrong headed.

    #14 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 20:55

  • tinoh

    Joined Travelfish
    13th February, 2010
    Posts: 40

    I don't see the point why it is disrespectfull to shoot an AK 47 right after going to the other 2 sights. Is it ok to go there the next day than or shouldn't you go at all?
    I did the shooting also on the same day as visiting killing fields and the SS-21 prison. I don't see the connection between this particular weapon and the killing of the khmer rouge. Yes the AK47 is a weapon of massdestruction. And Yes it is also big fun to shoot one at a shooting range. In europe we don't have the opportunity to fire one so that is why for me the shooting range is one of the attractions of Cambodia. .

    #15 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 20:57

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    The definition of sanctimonious is hypocritically pious or devout. So if you are going to insult opposing opinions at least use the correct vocabulary. There is zero need to be hostile, this is a discussion board that ultimately changes nothing besides opinions.


    I don't think I am a better person for not shooting guns in Cambodia or more devout. But I also think there is better things to do. So yes in my opinion going to pay respect and bear witness to one of the worlds most terrible atrocities is a far better use of ones time than going to a shooting range. But I'm willing to bet this isn't a fringe belief. And yes shooting those weapons in Vietnam is also tasteless but not in such way that it is in Cambodia.


    I personally left the Killing Fields drained, horrified, and so shaken I struggled to light a much needed cigarette. But then again I saw a group after pose and smile next to the tower of skulls (I'll leave out the nationality).


    Nokka is not far off in his/her opinion, why don't we pay a few thousand extra dong and we can reenact particular battles.


    "And if people do enjoy it, it's not your business."
    That is a dangerous comment. Thats the same argument for the sex trade, or at least
    what people tell themselves.


    #16 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 21:26

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    My opinion on the sex trade is the same as on the firing range. What two adults (and let's not talk about Pedophelia and other obviously deviant behavior) choose to do is their business. Certainly not mine. Some 90% of the men here engage in it. I'm not in the judgement business.

    Again, there is nothing wrong with going to the range in Cambodia and firing and AK-47. You don't want to do it, fine. But there is nothing wrong with it. Tasteless is a pejorative and it doesn't apply here. It's not tasteless. Nor is it tasteless to do it in Vietnam - or anywhere else. It doesn't carry any more meaning than riding a roller coaster. It's just something fun to do. Your putting holes in a piece of paper. It harms nothing. Just because weapons have been and can be used in a destructive way, doesn't mean that when people enjoy them responsibly they are doing something wrong.

    And yes, you were being sanctimonious. The word was properly applied.

    #17 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 21:37

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Absolutely, here at Tasteless Tours we don't care what people think, or how tasteless what we do is. As long as we have FUN. Yeeeehaaaa.

    Hey, this looks great fun, too - take a look.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL9iYboM3MU

    #18 Posted: 20/4/2011 - 22:23

  • tinoh

    Joined Travelfish
    13th February, 2010
    Posts: 40

    Yes shooting at a living thing is very tastless. But like MadMac said going to a shooting range and shoot at a paper target is just like riding a rollercoaster. Fun!

    #19 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 02:42

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1952
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    At least 2

    How can you claim not to be in the judgment business when, in the same post, you reiterate your judgment that someone is sanctimonious.

    Some people just dislike the idea of exploitation....I don't think that makes them sanctimonious. Defend it all you like, it's just not pleasant when you're the one being exploited. Personally I feel very sorry for the cows...must be terrifying to have rocket launchers and AK47s fired at you (even if they usually miss) and they don't get a dime out of this.

    Found another video with an actual cow in it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOiaN3Dm3Gc&feature=related

    Although the Cambodian guy was quite willing to do anything the foreign tourist wanted as long as it meant relieving him of hundreds of dollars, you can see he's still having a slight problem figuring out what the actual point of shooting a $300 cow with a rocket launcher is...but hey maybe there will be a few bits left and you can make some soup or a barbecues.

    I don't really get what the fun part is and I don't think he does either ....but if mad foreign tourists want to dress up in silly rambo outfits and pay a fortune to shoot at cows then who's he to complain. Pity about the cow that could be working in the rice paddy but it's more valuable as target practice.

    #20 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 06:49

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
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    "How can you claim not to be in the judgment business when, in the same post, you reiterate your judgment that someone is sanctimonious."

    OK, I'll admit this is a bit ironic. I should have added a reserve clause: I'm not in the judgement business except when people are being sanctimonious.

    "Some people just dislike the idea of exploitation....I don't think that makes them sanctimonious. Defend it all you like, it's just not pleasant when you're the one being exploited."

    BUT, and here's a big but, they have already decided that selling sex is exploitative. And that is because they see sex as something different from other human activities. And that comes from cultural attenuation. We have been culturally conditioned to view healthy sex as something that occurs within the context of some sort of romantic relationship. Not as an economic relationship. But that is a cultural orientation, not an innate one.

    "Personally I feel very sorry for the cows...must be terrifying to have rocket launchers and AK47s fired at you (even if they usually miss) and they don't get a dime out of this."

    Throwing a cow into a field and using it for target practice is cruel and wrong. Killing for pleasure is sadistic. I have no problem with people casting dispersion onto this activity. But the OP wasn't shooting at cows. Or he certainly didn't indicate he was. He was target shooting. Again, nothing wrong with that.

    "Although the Cambodian guy was quite willing to do anything the foreign tourist wanted as long as it meant relieving him of hundreds of dollars, you can see he's still having a slight problem figuring out what the actual point of shooting a $300 cow with a rocket launcher is...but hey maybe there will be a few bits left and you can make some soup or a barbecues."

    You are mixing apples with oranges. Firing at a shooting range or firing at an animal for no purpose other than some sadistic pleasure taken in the act. Yes, if JNelson wants to be judgemental about that, I'll support him. So we have two caveats. If they threw live humans out there as targets, I'd support him against that too. But paper targets - sorry charlie. The paper ain't feelin' no pain.

    "I don't really get what the fun part is and I don't think he does either ....but if mad foreign tourists want to dress up in silly rambo outfits and pay a fortune to shoot at cows then who's he to complain. Pity about the cow that could be working in the rice paddy but it's more valuable as target practice."

    First of all, you keep connecting his event to shooting at cows. They are not related. Secondly, some people enjoy walking around dilapitated markets in Laos. Frankly, I don't get what the fun part is. It's boring. But if people want to do it, that's fine with me. Shooting at the range, or going to a Laos market, are morally equivelent. That is, they don't have moral value one way or another. They are just something to do. If it doesn't interest you, don't do it. But why do you have to piss in someone elses cornflakes because they like it?

    #21 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 10:29

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    Again I have to agree with Mac here.

    As I said before, I'm no gun lover and opposed to people owning guns. They are dangerous tools in the wrong hands but that's not the point here.

    Perhaps Mac was wrong by using the arguments of "because you can do it there" because this triggered all the wrong reactions and it was thrown on the same heap by Nokka & nelson.
    There is a distinct difference between shooting at a paper or a live animal or human being and it's not fair to use that argument. When people discuss car racing on race tracks "because it's possible" the "opposition" do not categorize immediately the fans as lunatics and start saying that they could also race on the highway or over the african plains. Most people are actually happy that those people have a designated space where they can fulfill their dream without harming others.
    There is a clear line and it wouldn't be fair to focus on something that the OP or Mac did not advocate. Simple because it's different altogether.

    #22 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 11:19

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    OK. This is getting ridiculous. You wanna shoot? Shoot. You don't like shooting? don't shoot. The OP liked it and if you don't your preaching ain't gonna change it.

    I never tell people to go to the killing fields or the torture museum cuz' I don't see the point for me. I was familiar with the history and pain before I came. But in Cambodia it can be cheapened to a feel good (or don't feel good) tour. Then most of the young folks are off to beer and a good meal. But the skulls and fields don't interest me. There are so many better things to do in Cambodia. Why sign "never again"? Nothing I can do to stop what people will or won't do. I can only hope.

    What bothers me is people on their high horse on a website for us to help people out or to share our tales not to pass judgement on anothers way to live. Live and let live but protect the young and vulnerable. Other than that, slice the cows neck and eat it, or shoot it, there is nothing I can do either way if I don't like either except refuse to support that which I don't like. Leave the kiddies alone but shoot cows. I think thats an easy choice.

    #23 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 13:13

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    I eat meat. So obviously I don't have a problem with being carniverous. However, I don't buy into torturing animals. So I would never throw a cow out into a field to take target practice on it. I have moral issue with that, yes. Kill the cow as quickly and painlessly as possible to get the meat is one thing. Torturing it for some perverse pleasure is another. Other than that, Thomas, you and I see eye to eye.

    #24 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 14:12

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    Since when is a dissenting opinion preachy? I like to think some type of responsible traveling is possible, others don't. You wanna buy another human being for an hour go ahead, launch ordinance at animals, rock a bikini in a Muslim village. You won't be the first nor the last. We disagree fine but don't get angry because not everyone agrees with you.

    I was done but the last reply really bothered me.
    "There are so many better things to do in Cambodia." A big reason why people come to countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos is because they are very cheap. Why? Because all three have been devastated by civil wars, land mines, bombing, etc. We don't only travel there because they are beautiful places to visit. Is it preachy to suggest that you take a break from enjoying a weak currency/desperate economy to visit a historically important site for 2 hours?

    If it is then call me minister jnelson

    #25 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 14:27

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    The whole conversation was revolving around guns MM. I didn't bring up the subject and the cow thing is just one example of the way foreigners impose their right to have a blast when on holiday on other cultures. Traditional markets are boring, lets get them to set up cow shooting ranges and techno rave parties. We treat these countries as if they are only there to entertain us.

    Whatever.

    To get back to the OP, I was interested in the comment about the bus from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. Just wondering if it's a worse idea than the boat trips which are not that safe or comfortable either.

    #26 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 14:47

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Again, I have no problem with advocacy of visiting these sites. I agree, just like the military cemetary in Kanchanaburi, there is great value in visiting these places and be reminded of how things can devlove in societies. What I objected to should be obvious. That one can appreciate the impact of one place (the genocide museums of Cambodia) does not mean one can't enjoy another separate actvitiy (a shooting range). Your implication is that you SHOULD visit said museums and by virtue of that, you SHOULD NOT visit the shooting range. That arguement is not valid. You make an inference that there is something inherently wrong with going to a shooting range and firing an AK-47 - and there is not. It's that simple.

    As for prostitution, the libertarian in me says if two consenting people want to buy / sell sex, that's their business, not mine. Just as it says if two men want to have sex together that's their business not mine. Others, on moral grounds, disagree. I'm OK with the dissent with this caveat - if you disagree and are vocal about it, I hope you are equally vocal about like indigenous behavior. There was a book I read here once (I wish I could remember the name) that was basically a series of interviews with different expats living in Thailand and their impressions. One woman, a feminist professor teaching here, said how she found older white men in the company of young asian women (not underage) so revolting that it was hard for her to accept. She never once mentioned seeing older Thai men in the company of young Asian women difficult to accept. Either she was blind, ignorant of her environment, or racist in that she had one set of standards for white men and another for Asian men (because it's their culture). THAT I find extremely irritating. I have a Thai wife here, and I'm not in the game, but I know guys who are, and their worth as human beings doesn't change for me in that respect. I know guys who are sexually loyal to their wives who are lousy human beings, and I know guys who are not who are basically good guys - and everything in between. Do you object to the massage business? You are buying a physical service from another human being there too. You see sex as something different, but understand a lot of people don't. As Thomas says, you liking it or not liking it won't change it. It's an organic part of SEA society, particularly in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    #27 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 14:58

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    I did find SBE and nelsons remarks about responsible tourism interesting.
    Some of their examples are valid while some others aren't in my opinion. A main part of responsible travel is that a local shouldn't take offence and wearing a bikini in a muslim village certainly is insensitive and irresponsible.
    However, living in Cambodia, I know for sure that Cambodians absolutely do not take any offence when a westerner wants to shoot an AK47 at a paper target so I wouldn't call it irresponsible travel. They might take offence with shooting a cow and the food situation might also make it inappropriate so that would be irresponsible travel as well.

    Sometimes I think that some people are oversensitive when it comes to "responsible" travel.

    If your concious is fine with it, locals don't take offence with your actions, it won't hurt the local economy and the environment doesn't get disrupted because of your actions, for me that's responsible travel.

    Perhaps I missed something and I would find it interesting to see what others have to say about it.

    #28 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 15:24

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Clearly everybody enjoys different things and what suits some doesn't others. To be honest, I just find the whole idea of WANTING to fire an AK 47 (or a rocket launcher) rather strange. Especially in Cambodia of all places. I mean, the AK47 isn't a sports gun, is it - its a military gun. I don't know about the States, but in the UK you can't go down your local rifle range and blast away with an AK 47. You shoot at bits of paper with a rifle, I assume. For me, its the fact that the AK 47 is and was used as a gun which kills people the issue here. That's what it was designed for - and most probably it was used plenty in Cambodia's recent, bloody past. It is THAT, which I find so odd about this particular activity. I just find it a little depressing that some people don't seem to connect the two - and simply think of it as another fun thing to do.

    #29 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 16:01

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Nokka
    what about the 98k Mauser. Now that fine shooting rifle certainly killed plenty of Americans and Brits - not to mention a host of others. Do you find it a problem to be target shooting with that rifle? I fired one in Germany. I also fired an MG-42 (as the MG-3 in it's modern configuration) and a P-08 which I owned. Should that be something that's organically offensive? You don't like firearms and don't want to participate, fine. But if I do, what's that to you?

    You are not being logical in your thought process. The reason for this is because you simply can't relate to the idea of enjoying firing a military firearm. I don't have a problem with that. If YOU don't want to shoot, nobody should be twisting your arm to make you. But understand that applies to you, not the rest of us. There is NOTHING inherently wrong with firing an AK-47 or any other weapon. That you and Jnelson are products of societies which strongly disparage the use of weapons has doubtlessly influenced your perspective on this subject. What is so irritating is that not only do you not want to shoot yourself, but you don't want anyone else to. You find it, at a minimum, tasteless, and at some level something that should be prohibited. That position is extremely irritating. The OP had a good time firing an AK, and you guys don't like that. I mean seriously, WTF?

    #30 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 18:15

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    I really wish the OP would come back and clarify what it was he shot at with the AK47 that was so... entertaining.

    If your concious is fine with it, locals don't take offence with your actions, it won't hurt the local economy and the environment doesn't get disrupted because of your actions, for me that's responsible travel.

    Sure, great in theory. But it's a bit of a tall order. People tend to automatically assume that their cultural values are universal. How many tourists bother to watch how locals interact with each other to see what's culturally acceptable and what's not? It doesn't even cross their minds that they need to adapt to the host country's way of doing things when on holiday.


    My conscience is fine, look all the other tourists are doing it so it must be OK. No idea what offends the locals but look all the other tourists are doing it so it must be OK. Local economy? Huh? I'm just on holiday man. Environment... yeah all these empty beer cans and stuff lying about on my beach every morning sux, why don't they clear up.

    #31 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 19:48

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    "Sure, great in theory. But it's a bit of a tall order. People tend to automatically assume that their cultural values are universal. How many tourists bother to watch how locals interact with each other to see what's culturally acceptable and what's not? It doesn't even cross their minds that they need to adapt to the host country's way of doing things when on holiday."

    SBE
    That's my big knock on those who talk smack about sex tourists. You don't like it? Fine. But when a "local" does it, then it's OK? Because ALL the locals are doing it. I live here. I see it all the time. Thai and Lao guys are all banging hookers. That's what they do. So if you don't like sex tourists, you don't like locals. Can't have it both ways. That guy you bought the chicken and rice from? You can bet when he has the cash, he's doing it.

    And I would be very surprised if anyone here gives a **** whether or not some tourist goes to a range and shoots an AK-47. They don't care. This isn't that kind of society. You guys use some weird extrapolations to rationalize why it's a bad thing. They don't. It's not bothering them, they don't give a ****.

    "I'm just on holiday man. Environment... yeah all these empty beer cans and stuff lying about on my beach every morning sux, why don't they clear up."

    You spent any time in a Thai village lately? Cleaning up trash isn't exactly one of their strengths. And there isn't ONE tourist to point the finger at.

    What offends people here is having a big mouth and hassling people with it. That's the number one complaint. This is a society of image and face. Give someone **** here, they'll hate you for life. Your beer can observation belies your origins and biases. They don't give two shits for who throws a beer can on the ground. They all do it every day.

    Bottom line: The only reason any of you object to this kid going to a shooting range is because you come from societies that find such things objectionable. Your own biases are blasting through here. You don't care about local culture in reality. You're only giving lip service to that. Local culture when it's a quaint which direction to put your foot is all cool, but when it's cock fighting or whoring, then down comes the hammer. But, of course, only when non-locals are doing it. When locals are doing it, well, we'll just look the other way... its hypocritical.

    #32 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 20:40

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Mac, neither I, nor anyone else as far as I'm aware, has said people should be prohibited from shooting at all.

    You are right on one thing though - the UK now has pretty strict gun laws largely put in place after the massacre of schoolkids in Dunblane some years ago. Most who live here, I think, are thankful for that. It still doesn't stop completely gun crime, though - we had a terrible example of this in northern England recently, when a guy killed 12 largely random people with a shotgun in a rural community. However, our gun crime stats are tiny compared to those from the US - I know which system I prefer.

    Some people do wish to shoot, though. Farmers need a shotgun to keep down vermin. And I don't really have a problem with a well regulated gun range, so long as it is well run and tightly controlled.

    Its a matter of context, though. It really doesn't come over as fun to me, that tourists should wish to fire automatic weapons in a country so recently traumatised by those very same weapons.

    #33 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 20:49

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    Following basic cultural rules in a country your visiting is not a tall order. Its 2011, hop on a computer and read about the country your traveling to. Simple things like not pointing your barefeet at someone or knowing where to cover up isn't asking alot. I'm not saying you should adopt their culture or religion but come on, being on holiday isn't a free pass.

    And its not only this. Many people visiting a country also abandon their own cultural norms. There is a reason some nationalities have a better reputation abroad than others.

    Because everyone is doing it is probably the weakest excuse I have read so far.You seeing other tourists litter, treat locals badly, and not supporting local economies isn't a green light for you to jump in. I'm no saint by any means but is there no limit? Isn't this why people are always trying to find the new island or jungle refuge? Aren't parts of Ko Samui, Phuket, Vang Vieng examples of when this kind of mentality happens?

    #34 Posted: 21/4/2011 - 21:01

  • tinoh

    Joined Travelfish
    13th February, 2010
    Posts: 40

    I still don't see the connection between firing an ak47 at a firing range in cambodia and all the killings that have taken place in the same country. I don't even think that the AK killed that many people, they had trees and axes and stuff for that. And many starved to dead. It's not the weapons or the lack of food that killed those people is the khmer rouge. People kill not weapons or whatever.

    IMO I have been in the army, I know what a weapon can do and I know how to handle one. I would never fire it at a living thing(unless it's war), but it has always been a small dream for me te fire a AK47 and in cambodia you are allowed to do that. If I could do it in Holland I would have done it here allready, but it is probably cheaper over there...

    #35 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 00:07

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Nokka
    The reason you prefer your system is because you grew up with a culture that actively discouraged gun ownership among any other than the upper class (who hunted on preserves) and that didn't have a culture of individual rights of self defense of life AND property. The US has a VERY different culture in this respect, and it's laws reflect it's culture, not the other way around. You prefer your way, and that's fine. Some US states have pretty strict gun laws (though none as severe as England, which has decided it's citizenry should not be allowed to have guns at all), but midwest states have populations that don't want that. Does that mean English culture is better? No, it means it's different. I lived in Europe for a very long time, and European disdain for American cultural norms (which runs way paste gun laws) is tied to European's basically upset that the US replaced Europe as a model upon which other societies seek to emulate, that and American economic (until recently) and military dominance (as well as dominance of the entertainment industry). Europeans have always felt culturally superior to Americans (and honesly speaking, everyone else as well).

    "Its a matter of context, though. It really doesn't come over as fun to me, that tourists should wish to fire automatic weapons in a country so recently traumatised by those very same weapons."

    It doesn't have to come over as fun to you. That's the point you're not getting. Jnelson implied there was something wrong with the OP shooting the AK, and there isn't. Simple as that. You don't want to do it? Don't. No one is going to twist your arm. My irritation was that he was being knocked for doing something that is perfectly OK.

    As for the rest, I do agree that when in a foreign country you should try and abide by it's social norms. And I also agree that doesn't mean you don't have to adopt them. However, what I do find irritating is when a tourist comes here and does something (banging a bar girl) that in this environment is perfectly acceptable and normal and people are coming down on that, but if a "local" does the same exact thing, then it's not an issue. All of these "locals" that guys are engaging with in some way, shape or form either are doing it, or were doing it (or if they're too young, are going to do it). But somehow they get a pass. So if you want to pass a value judgement on prostitution here, I have no problem with that. But pass it on the "locals" too.

    And for the record I didn't use the phrase (or rationale) "everyone is doing it" anywhere in this discussion. The point is whether or not this behavior is offensive to social norms here. And it's not.

    #36 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 00:13

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make.

    Its also not a question of preference, the majority of people after extensive polling and research are in favor of stricter laws. In fact being from America, the connection between guns and tragedy should be much more obvious to us. When I see a handgun or assault weapon, my first thought isn't a shooting range but Columbine, Virginia Tech, or the 20,000 some odd people who die of gun related deaths a year.
    Thats context and thats why I think it is in poor taste to shoot an assault rifle in a country even now still struggling to come back from a violent and turbulent past. I think there is a valid argument that there is a valid link.

    "everyone is doing it"
    i was responding to SBE post on his thoughts on care-free tourism.

    #37 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:08

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make.

    Its also not a question of preference, the majority of people after extensive polling and research are in favor of stricter laws. In fact being from America, the connection between guns and tragedy should be much more obvious to us. When I see a handgun or assault weapon, my first thought isn't a shooting range but Columbine, Virginia Tech, or the 20,000 some odd people who die of gun related deaths a year.
    Thats context and thats why I think it is in poor taste to shoot an assault rifle in a country even now still struggling to come back from a violent and turbulent past. I think there is a valid argument that there is a valid link.

    "everyone is doing it"
    i was responding to SBE post on his thoughts on care-free tourism.

    #38 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:09

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make.

    Its also not a question of preference, the majority of people after extensive polling and research are in favor of stricter laws. In fact being from America, the connection between guns and tragedy should be much more obvious to us. When I see a handgun or assault weapon, my first thought isn't a shooting range but Columbine, Virginia Tech, or the 20,000 some odd people who die of gun related deaths a year.
    Thats context and thats why I think it is in poor taste to shoot an assault rifle in a country even now still struggling to come back from a violent and turbulent past. I think there is a valid argument that there is a valid link.

    "everyone is doing it"
    i was responding to SBE post on his thoughts on care-free tourism.

    #39 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:10

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make.

    Its also not a question of preference, the majority of people after extensive polling and research are in favor of stricter laws. In fact being from America, the connection between guns and tragedy should be much more obvious to us. When I see a handgun or assault weapon, my first thought isn't a shooting range but Columbine, Virginia Tech, or the 20,000 some odd people who die of gun related deaths a year.
    Thats context and thats why I think it is in poor taste to shoot an assault rifle in a country even now still struggling to come back from a violent and turbulent past. I think there is a strong argument that there is a valid link between the two.

    "everyone is doing it"
    i was responding to SBE post on his thoughts on care-free tourism.

    #40 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:12

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make.

    Its also not a question of preference, the majority of people after extensive polling and research are in favor of stricter laws. In fact being from America, the connection between guns and tragedy should be much more obvious to us. When I see a handgun or assault weapon, my first thought isn't a shooting range but Columbine, Virginia Tech, or the 20,000 some odd people who die of gun related deaths a year.
    Thats context and thats why I think it is in poor taste to shoot an assault rifle in a country even now still struggling to come back from a violent and turbulent past.
    "everyone is doing it"
    i was responding to SBE post on his thoughts on care-free tourism.


    sorry i didn't mean to post twice and i can't delete it

    #41 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:13

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    I still stand by my comment that there are other things to do in Cambodia besides visit the killing fields. Jnelson I learned all about the Khmer Rogue situation before I came to Cambodia. I was hurt by it and had enough. I would rather spend my time in places for their beauty that you say most don't come for. See? You can't assume. You can't extrapolate my "other things" comment to fit everybody nor can you assume we all come here cuz its'cheap. I grew up watching reruns of old tv shows like Mutual of Omaha's series (Mac might remember) showing indigenous peoples around the world and Cousteau's underwater world and all I wanted to do was see the natural wonder of places like Vietnam and the "Orient". I never new about Koh Samui and full moon parties and tubing in Laos. I never even knew about backpackers in Asia. I was living in Japan (which ain't cheap) and a friend invited me to Bangkok. My green eyes were open.
    I see your points. I am not a big gun supporter but if others wanna shoot at targets so be it. That is my point. I support good tourism but there is only so far I can go in my support of it. Actually, I want to shoot an AK at least once. I know most of us here are probably not the worst tourists. We all have discussed many subjects and seem to do most things mostly right. Most of us try not to harm others and show respect. But beyond all of that it is still to each his own. Mac is right about different ways of being raised and the way people are taught about guns. He is right that many white women make grand assumptions about white men and Asian women. Funny thing is, sex with a white chick backpacker is about as easy as buying a bar girl. So we have to look at our circle of friends and see what is really going on. If we want to change that then fine. But that is where we start.

    #42 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:20

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
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    "I'm an American who grew up in Texas, a bigger gun culture there is not. And I am very pro strict gun control. Location you grew up doesn't always equal your opinion and that is a broad assumption to make."

    You are definitely in a minority. Texas stands firmly in the corner of gun ownership and the usage of same in self defense. The position of the population on that subject is quite clear.

    American culture is violent, and you will not legislate that away. Laws come from culture, not the other way around.

    Be that as it may, whether you personally are uncomfortable with the idea, the fact is that the Cambodians are not. He was not doing anything that was culturally obtuse. That's the bottom line. Your comment indicated he was doing something objectionble in the context of his environment, and he wasn't.

    #43 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 01:54

  • SBE

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    You're still in the judgment business I see MM.

    SBE

    That's my big knock on those who talk smack about sex tourists. You don't like it? Fine. But when a "local" does it, then it's OK? Because ALL the locals are doing it. I live here. I see it all the time. Thai and Lao guys are all banging hookers. That's what they do. So if you don't like sex tourists, you don't like locals. Can't have it both ways. That guy you bought the chicken and rice from? You can bet when he has the cash, he's doing it.

    That's the second time you've picked out something I said and gone on to talk about the sex industry. Please could you show me where I've mentioned anything whatsoever about sex tourists or the sex industry. Go on, where. Where have I said whether I like it or not? What makes you think I'm the least bit interested in your opinions on the topic. You really seem to have a bee in your bonnet about prostitution, even though it's completely off topic There's not a single mention of it anywhere in the OP. Also you've yet to come up with a single argument that I haven't seen a zillion times before on TT....if you must preach to me then could you at least think of something original to say. Otherwise I might nod off. Zzzzzzzzzzplop

    And I would be very surprised if anyone here gives a **** whether or not some tourist goes to a range and shoots an AK-47. They don't care. This isn't that kind of society. You guys use some weird extrapolations to rationalize why it's a bad thing. They don't. It's not bothering them, they don't give a ****.

    and

    Be that as it may, whether you personally are uncomfortable with the idea, the fact is that the Cambodians are not

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression you've never been to Cambodia. Aren't you extrapolating a bit? And would you please stop telling people how they feel and what they think.

    "Environment... yeah all these empty beer cans and stuff lying about on my beach every morning sux, why don't they clear up."

    You spent any time in a Thai village lately? Cleaning up trash isn't exactly one of their strengths. And there isn't ONE tourist to point the finger at.

    I do apologize. I wrongly assumed you understand that I was being ironic and would know enough about SE Asia to grasp what I meant. Of course tourists do contribute to the trash problem themselves but visible trash on a beach is not permanent irreversible environmental damage. It's just what tourists notice most. They don't see more permanent and irreversible damage tourism is causing ...like hotels using illegally logged trees for building work which results in soil erosion and landslides or blowing up the karst scenery in Vang Vieng to provide building materials for guesthouses.

    And I am well aware that rural Thai villages have a trash problem. It's a problem in lots of SE Asian countries....in fact rural Thai villages aren't too bad compared to some places I've seen. The reason there is a lot of trash lying about is because there's no organized garbage collection and disposal in most places....people have to deal with it without help from the government. They have nowhere to put the garbage. The problem is especially acute on islands where you'd have to transport waste to the mainland (and then what do you do with it). You could burn it ...but tourists object to the smoke. You could throw it in the sea...but tourists would object to swimming through trash in the water. You could bury it but tourists don't want to spend their vacation on a landfill site and it would contaminate the ground water too.Tourists often don't realize this but I'd have thought you would MM...get it now?

    What offends people here is having a big mouth and hassling people with it. That's the number one complaint.

    Couldn't agree more. It's my number one complaint too ...big mouth people who state their opinions like it's god's own truth and hassle anyone who disagrees with them by applying pejorative labels like "sanctimonious" and "hypocritical" to them really piss me off. So do people who take it upon themselves to assume things and tell me what my own opinions and thoughts are.

    eg You assume that I object to cock fighting and whoring and then go on to conclude that I'm hypocritical and that in reality I don't care about local culture and am only giving lip service to it. Sorry but to quote yourself, your own biases are blasting through here.

    Sorry about the personal rant. I'm off. Do carry on.

    #44 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 10:18

  • swag

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    Location Australia
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    Hi Somtam, I must say this is the one thing I don,t like about Travelfish. There dosen,t seem to be and end to it all. The poor OP made a comment about one thing he happened to enjoy on his trip, and then all hell breaks loose. There seems to be egos and rants left right and centre and I certainly don,t want to take sides but surely from a moderators view there has to come a time to lock off a thread. I certainly really enjoy this site for the views of peoples travel likes dislikes etc but I can only imagine how offputting this must be for newcomers wanted to join in and have a comment and then seeing what has transpired in the previous 44 posts. Anyway I,m sure I,ll get shot down for this but this stuff really s***s me. I,ll just go and don my flack jacket and bunker down for the eventual rant.
    cheers
    swag

    #45 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 10:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    SBE
    It is true that I was linking you and jnelson. Perhaps unfairly. He brought up the sex industry issue. I never bring it up, but I always respond to it for the reasons mentioned above.

    Swag is right in the sense we've gotten off topic (but they do say a conversation that drifts is a healthy conversation).

    So I'll just sum up with I don't think the OP did anything wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with firing an AK-47 in any country where it's legal to do so, and I don't think that's inconsistent with having empathy for the victims of mass murder, wherever that may be.

    #46 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 11:49

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    I agree we all went off but Swag this happens at almost every site. The OP mentioned something that many people all over the place are against. In SE Asia it is like 40% for 40% against and the rest ...meh! So people are always gonna respond to something like that because they would like to promote what they feel is good tourism. Just like ECO people do when people ask about AC rooms and a bunch of posters all think you wanna hear about how you should acclimate like the locals. Then you point out that the locals who can afford it get AC...then it goes round and round. It is the nature of the beast.
    Would be nice to hear the OP's thoughts but I can't blame him if he doesn't want to.
    But I still believe that the majority of us here have done something beneficial in our travels that helps someone, regardless of our differences of opinion.

    #47 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 16:18

  • jnelson232

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 37

    really well put Thomas

    And I also think that none of these postings are rants. I find this debate really interesting and learn new information as well. Some of what Madmac was saying is news to me.

    #48 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 17:10

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Yep - I agree with jnelson. Thomas hits the respective nails on the head. Seldom will everyone agree on everything. I always think it's unfortunate that backpackers who want that "genuine experience" don't spend real time in places where other tourists don't go. The landscape is littered with them. But I have to remind myself that they have agendas that don't jive with that objective. A lot of them are young and want to spend time with other young backpackers - not with people they can't converse with. And they want to see stunning things, not just another haystack that people back home look at and go "so?" The beaten path is beaten for a reason.

    #49 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 17:37

  • swag

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    Slowly pours a nice glass of australian shiraz sips nods the head to madmac,jnelson,thomas.
    I suppose being the devils advocate here my issue is wether Travelfish is a forum for informative travel info or do we do down the track of LP TT forum were the responses seem to get more and more and more vitriloic by the day. Personally thats not what I want out of an independent website that can provide up to date phone apps with the latest sleeping/food/transport info right at your fingertips.

    @Thomas you mention that this happens at almost every site I suppose thats why I don't visit those sites and maybe call me insular/ignorant (not your words of course) but I don,t visit Travelfish to indulge in this it's just I have had enough Isuppose.


    To all readers If you have a look at the headpage there are quotes that Somtam is obviously quite happy to quote from travel journo's about this being the best website/app travel intelligence website that you need for S.E.Asia I mean isn't that it's whats all about. The semantics of visiting gravesites shooting gallerys etc I mean surely this for the individual.

    @jnelson sorry mate when your going to use this forum to discuss the gun culture in america you have lost me. I realise you a have strong issue with what is happening there, but is that going to get me the best info on me getting a ferry from Koh Lipe to Langkawi f**k no.

    @Madmac thanks for at least acknowlging(sic) that the post has gone off the rails you must be missing Bruce Moon.

    I suppose the big issue that no one has raised is why is the OP post is in the trip reports. It has obviously been hijacked to the stage were it should probably be bumped to politics and jnelson/thomas/madmac am more than happy to see it deposited there from a great height into the septic tanks with all the diatribe than has gone there. Only joking!!

    #50 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 19:23

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Swag
    I do miss Bruce, but he emails me.

    I think the site does do an excellent job of informing people and answering questions. Look at the myriad of threads here where someone has asked for advice on where to go or what to do or how to travel to place "X" and gotten a lot of good info. A few vitriolic exchanges don't mar that. At least I don't think so.

    #51 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 21:37

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
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    @Madmac I'll doff my hat to your generous reply. I don't think I can add more to this

    #52 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 21:57

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Salam saxib

    #53 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 22:01

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    Ahhh what's a lil disagreement among family? I think some first timers are now aware that there are some issues from this thread. At least a few people will go in with their eyes OPEN.

    http://www.wildkingdom.com/nostalgia/classic_clips.html

    Used to watch as a kid.....got me to want to go places.

    #54 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 11:47

  • thatvaletguy

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2010
    Posts: 14

    ANYWAY!
    My trip is coming to a close. I'm glad I could spark a few of you into an interesting conversation on guns. Just for the sake of saying it, I did do the killing fields and the shooting range back to back without any regret or remorse. I'm with MADMAC on this one. YAY SEA!

    #55 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 13:32

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    Total reviews: 5
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    At least 2

    Did you manage to hit the cow?

    #56 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 16:49

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Aim center mass - one shot, one kill!

    #57 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 17:47

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    I pity that first time user looking for inspiration in the travel reports section....

    If you are that first-time user: don't worry, Mac apparently stays in Isan so steer clear of that area if you don't want to end up as target practice

    #58 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 19:18

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    I shoot tourists either. With the exception of firing a piece of crap .38 revolver at the Mukdahan fair, I haven't fired a weapon in four years.

    #59 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 00:49

  • renald

    Joined Travelfish
    5th November, 2011
    Posts: 15

    Its great to hear your trip experience. I hope you fully enjoyed the way.

    #60 Posted: 10/11/2011 - 23:41

  • inspiredbyk-
    rissi

    Joined Travelfish
    9th December, 2011
    Posts: 68

    I dont need to add much here, only that jnelson im feeling ya and agree with most that you are saying. There are so much better things to do and appreciate in Cambodia. It is a beautiful country and going to shoot guns left over from a civil war and one of the worst cases of genocide is no the best start.

    However, whatever floats your boat innit.

    Happy killing and shooting :)

    #61 Posted: 24/12/2011 - 23:15

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    "It is a beautiful country and going to shoot guns left over from a civil war and one of the worst cases of genocide is no the best start."

    It is if you like to shoot. Germany is a beautiful country, but I spent plenty of time at the ranges there too. Great place to target shoot.

    #62 Posted: 25/12/2011 - 13:05

  • letmeinplz

    Joined Travelfish
    6th August, 2012
    Posts: 15

    First of all, I'm not a gun lover myself.

    But now you've slightly changed your argument. Your original comment said and implied that after visiting S21 and kiling fields people would not want to fire a gun and that it is bad taste anyway.

    I do agree that it would be strange/tasteless to go shooting directly after those visits but the OP never mentioned that. He just posted it just like he could have posted that he loved Paintball, or driving carts.
    I don't see the harm in that.

    #63 Posted: 7/8/2012 - 06:35

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Neither did I Let.

    #64 Posted: 7/8/2012 - 12:15

  • john48

    Joined Travelfish
    26th September, 2012
    Posts: 12

    Hi, Guys I like travel tours my life is full of adventure because I love water and water games.I visit many countries and islands. I face many sad and enjoyable incidents. My favorite hobby is surfing and I am found of in surfboard.I Kite surfing is my most favorite, there is so much adventure in water games. To enjoy weather at beach kite surfing double your enjoyment.

    #65 Posted: 26/9/2012 - 23:33

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Ahhh John, ahmmmm OK, yeah right. Got it.

    #66 Posted: 16/2/2013 - 20:54

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Two points to make here.
    Firstly, the real atrocity is that the people who murdered their own countrymen are still out there free. Hardly anybody was brought to trial, unlike Germany. Shooting an AK isn't going to change that!
    Secondly, most of the people killed in S21 were not complete innocents. They were KR cadre who were as guilty as the rest of their share of murder. The Stalinist paranoia of their KR comrades got them into S21.

    #67 Posted: 16/2/2013 - 21:20

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    Please let it die.....this thread is dead.

    #68 Posted: 18/2/2013 - 17:50

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