I want to bicycle up the east coast of Malaysia and cross into Thailand at the Pengkalan Kubor crossing in January 2013 I was just wondering what the situation in far southern Thailand is like at the moment with the violence. Anyone crossed there lately ? thanks.
I read a report recently from a cyclist in this area and he had a very close call -- I can't find it at the moment as Monday is a bit hectic but will try and dig it up tonight. In the meantime, this report is quite interesting.
It is a beautiful area, Narathiwat and Yala in particular are beautiful, but the security situation is of concern -- though should point out at no stage are foreigners being targetted.
Will post the other link when I find it.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,798
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Tilapia had a link to a guy on a bike who was too close for comfort to a small bombing down south recently. I'll bet it is the same report and that Tilapia still has that link. It seemed like it was just random back luck to be where he was when the bomb exploded. Luckily he wasn't seriously hurt.
Yep, I've got the webjournal. Here's the link to the relevant page, though if you are going to cycle this route you should read more much of it. It's a fantastic and very up-to-date info package.
Here is a follow-up that I received from him as I expressed my interest in doing part of the same route in January or early 2014. Here is his response ...
"Obviously my current advise would be: Don´t go. I was talking to two the two SPU officers who were looking after me and they said they had more than 800 explosions only in Yala Province in 2011. Believe me I tried to be serious with my enquiries before I decided to take this route but the international press almost completely ignores the conflict. I believe the risk of cycling in the Provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat is unratable at the moment."
Over 800!!!! That number provides some pretty bad odds for an area that isn't exactly huge. He also told me that it would be a better idea to stay in Malaysia and cycle along the border and cross into SW Thailand rather than into SE Thailand.
I've also read several other journals by people who have done the ride without any problems at all, though nearly all described the large number of police check-points both disconcerting and annoying.
Hope that's helpful.