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Southeast Asia forum

High risk places people should avoid

Posted by MADMAC on 1/8/2009 at 12:20

We had some discussion on this recently reference southern Thailand. I recommend giving that area a miss - especially if you want to go hiking or hang out on remote beaches. The level one insurgency there has claimed over 3,000 lives since 2004.

I also recommend avoiding hiking along the Burmese border area (particularly on the Burmese side - but also the Thai side). There is consierable drug smuggling along this border, the Thai Army runs patrols on its side and there are active insurgent groups on the opposite side.

Any other areas folks recommend avoiding for security risks or other hazards?

#1 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 1/8/2009 at 13:33

John (MAC)

Staying out of harms way is a central precept in travelling. On that I have no qualms.

However, one also needs to balance reality with fear driven campaigns.

A couple of years ago, I was at a village aside the upper Mae Nam Moei and it was quite disconcerting to be under the watchful eye of a Myanmar machine gun post.

But, that post doesn't necessarily mean anyone will get shot anytime soon.

Similarly, I was wandering along the border area near Ban Thoet Thai and was at one stage prevented from entering an area by Thai Army due to their 'activities'. That I was in a car and accidentally reversed into the guard post with a loud bang, bringing out hordes of rifle toting militia from the nearby bunkhouse, merely made for a good story. I never worried that they'd take aim.

For mine, the Thailand gov't knows the issues along the border with Myanmar. Where tourists or locals may be involved with conflict, I suggest the Thai gov't is very mindful of the circumstances and will prevent entry to those 'conflict' areas.

There are some tourists that read fear driven Travel Warning statements from their (originating) nations' foreign affairs dep't (or whatever its called in each country), and decide not to go anywhere near a cited area (like 100's of miles). To me, that's dumb (but I do like the absence of dumb tourists in these remote regions, so maybe there is merit).

As I contributed above...

Staying out of harms way is a central precept in travelling. On that I have no qualms.

However, one also needs to balance reality with fear driven campaigns.

Cheers

#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


Posted by MADMAC on 1/8/2009 at 14:07

Of course, today in the news three backpackers were just arrested by Iranian border security for straying across the border...

I agree you shouldn't let fear dictate what you're doing, just apply common sense and do your homework. I would include in that avoiding places with active insurgencies.

There are doubtless some places with other hazards that are not human generated. Anyone know of any?

#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by SBE on 1/8/2009 at 15:09

"There are doubtless some places with other hazards that are not human generated. Anyone know of any?"

I was out snorkelling on my own when a tsunami hit. Does that count? ;-)

Other hazards, not man made ...hmm...snakes?...I found a king cobra on the floor of my beach hut once and almost stepped on a green pit viper on the way to the restaurant one evening.

Not hiking on the Burmese border reminds me of a guy I met who was working in a GH in Burma. I asked him why he was limping and he showed me his leg, or rather lack of one. He'd stepped on a land mine on the Thai side of the border when he'd tried to get into Thailand illegally to find work.

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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