Thailand Tourism?

Tell me a little bit about Thailand. I was considering going there this spring break or maybe during the summer or early fall. From the very limited research I’ve done so far, it seems like the hotels are really cheap and there are a bunch of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking and 4x4ing.

Everything in Thailand is very cheap, it’s a definite plus.

One thing I would caution, though, is the place is very HOT. It’s quite humid as well, so if you don’t do well in heat it might not be so good. Obviously they have air conditioning pretty much everywhere, but walking around outside (or going on hikes and such) you’ll be in that heat.

There’s a lot of stuff to do there. I don’t know so much about hiking and such, but the ocean is quite beautiful, lots of beaches and such, snorkeling, etc.

It’s also kind of a den of sin, I would warn you. All sorts of prostitution and drugs. My friends were there over winter break and they saw a big fat german dude with a young thai boy heading up to a hotel room… so yea…

Still, if you can go I’d definitely recommend it. Thailand is a great place and is a lot of fun. Get out into the countryside, too, very interesting scenary and people.

That’s why I will never go to Thailand. I don’t want to tell friends I’m going there and have them wonder if I’m going for the hookers.

Cheap, especially now with tourists scared away because of last year’s airport closures and the rioting and stuff. Hate to be lazy, but if you do a Search with my name and thread titles containing maybe Bangkok or Thailand, you’ll see a lot. I’ve gone over so much already. (Someone was asking specifically about Hua Hin one time, so try that for a thread title, too.)

I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that the fat German guy was in Pattaya. Otherwise, child sex has been cracked down on pretty heavily. There are still a few stupes who try to go for it, but the vast majority of pedos go to Cambodia these days.

And yes, it is HOT here.

Actually, now that I think about it, it’s very likely your friends did not see what they thought they saw. Thais love children of “mixed” unions, because they are considered the most beautiful. Just about all of the top entertainers and movie stars are such “half-breeds” (luk khreung, which literally means “half-breed” but is not impolite). However … the children do not always end up with farang (Westerner) features; many do end up with Thai features… My best friend here is a very heavy American who has two small daughters with his Thai wife, and while not looking completely Thai, they do look more Thai than farang. On top of that, many farangs adopt the children their Thai wives had from pevious unions.

I know farang guys here for which this is quite a problem. Thai pedophiles go largely unprosecuted – the police have cracked down on farang pedophiles because it projects a bad image abroad, but foreign news media don’t seem to care about Thai pedophiles – and Thais have been taught that a Westerner even looking toward a group of children could mean pedophile. My friends have received funny looks while with their adopted kids but their wives were not present, from Thais as well as from Westerners who want to believe the worst because that makes for a better story back home. Some of my friends say they don’t dare walk down the street hand-in-hand with their own biological child!

Also, with all the pressure on farang pedophiles, hotel staff have learned that this is a prime opportunity to make some money. Extort it from the farang or take a cut from what the police can extort from the farang once they’re called in.

The problem still exists but to a very small degree from before. Anything as blatantly open as what you’ve described I would honestly think was more likely to be a family situation without any further information.

Is this a US thing? In the UK, Thailand is up there as one of the #1 destinations for a vacation. Thousands of people go there every year - many for honeymoons - and nary a snook is cocked at them. Maybe friends who would assume that of you aren’t friends you want to have?

It’s a simply suberb country to visit - the best in the world for a vacation, in my opinion: great scenery, awesome food, wonderful people, and something to cater to every budget. There are activities galore, adventures, rock climbing, hillwalking, jungle exploration, kayaking, diving - or a place to relax, eat, drink, engage in cultural exchange or laze on a beach.

I disagree that it’s a “den of sin”. Yeah there’s quite a bit of vice in the country, but it’s a tiny distraction from the wonders that the country has in store, and it rarely seeks the visitor out, if you know where to avoid.

Go, go, go. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

My husband and I had an amazing time in Thailand. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. We went mid-range and spent maybe 7k (including airfare) for almost 4 weeks.

We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi. We went ATVing, white water rafting, rock climbing, snorkelling, and ziplining. There are so many activities to do and the surroundings are just beautiful. Chiang Mai was extremely cheap but I found that Phuket and Krabi were not much cheaper than Australia.

Actually, here in the Netherlands I would also have my doubts if I saw a (single)man of middle age walking around with travelbooks on Thailand. A friend and fellow doper who worked in a bookshop says he felt the same way when such a person came in tio buy a travelbook.

I understand that insulting the King is a crime. Is this a law that is the authorities ignore for foreigners, or could a visitor get in legal trouble for what they imagine to be a harmless remark?

Can’t speak about the other countries but I’ve heard of people (if you can call pedophiles people) getting arrested on their way to Thailand on the news here in the US.

YES! You really must be careful. A visitor can end up facing 15 years for what he or she perceives is the most harmless of remarks. They take this very seriously here. What usually happens with foreigners, though, is he (or she, but somehow it’s almost always a he) will be sentenced to some years, then pardoned and deported after a few weeks. But an Australian author who made a brief offhand remark in a book several years ago about a different member of the family was detained at the airport on his way out of the country last August and was just sentenced to three years, reduced from six years because he confessed. He could have gotten 15 years. Counting from his time of arrest, he’s been held for five months now, and the Australian government is trying to arrange his release. The one rule here is: Keep your mouth shut about A Certain Family unless you are praising it.

In fact, I feel squicky just discussing what I wrote above. I now feel the need to add extra locks to my door and wear a disguise when I go out.