Is safe crossing the entire peninsula by public transport? (from the border with malaysia to bangkok)
I WILL BE TRAVELLING WITH MY BOYFRIEN THAILAND AT THE END OF SEPT- START OF OCTOBER, ARRIVING BY LAND FROM MALAYSIA.
IS THE SEASON OF RAINS AT THIS TIME?
WE HAVE 14 DAYS TO GET TO BANGKOK. WHERE DO YOU RECOMMENDED TO STOP?
IS SAFE CROSSING THE ENTIRE PENINSULA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT?
the far southern states of Thailand, those bordering Malaysia - Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkla - are in the grip of a long-running and violent dispute with separatists. There are daily bombings, shootings and other acts of violence. The targets are often public places and transport hubs. The separatists don't care if visitors are involved (although they're not deliberately targeting them). Consequently there are many travel alerts from foreign governments advising against travel to these provinces. You would have to be terribly unlucky to be involved in one of those incidents, but the risks are pretty high. Think carefully about that before deciding to go.
The rest of Thailand to Bangkok does not suffer the same threat of terrorism, however, the roads are notoriously bad, and the public transport system poorly regulated. Instances of drivers falling asleep at the wheel are common. Traffic accidents are a regular occurrence.
You can reduce the risk by picking private coach operators rather than government buses, and ask around with locals about which ones have the best safety record.
Again, it's a lottery (with about the same chances) but be aware that there is a risk and you need to keep your wits about you... you're not in Kansas anymore Toto.
Check out some of our other tips here:
Phil at the safety hub about 6 years ago
The violence from the discontented ethnic groups near the Thai-Malaya border is not aimed at visiting tourists. I have lived in Hua Hin for almost a year and read the Bangkok Post almost every day and have not seen any stories which mention tourists being targeted. Thousands cross the border daily freely and without incident.
If you are nervous, I would take the train and cross at Hat Yai on the western side of the peninsular. Avoid the border on the Eastern side.
The more adventurous crossing is by sea. Make your way by public buses to Kuala Perlis. Find the "ferry" to Tammerling. This is a tiny boat with a passenger capacity of about 12 that you can touch the water with one hand. It travels down an estuary and across a small piece of open water for 40 minutes to dock in Thailand.
I would not agree that 'the roads are notoriously bad'. The roads are OK but the standard of driving is poor. The safest choice is a train but they are SLOW and almost never run to schedule. Next safest is government buses. They are also slow and quite often in a state of disrepair. Slightly less safe are large private buses. They are quicker, sometimes dangerously so. They have the benefit of size and comfort. Least safe are the minibuses. These people movers regularly exceed the safe driving parameters and when they crash.......Around town there are songtheaws (Pickups with two rows of seats) and motorbike taxis.
Here in Hua Hin 3 hours south of Bangkok it has rained for short periods every day for the last six weeks. In October they are predicting 400mm of rain. Given that, the rain comes in sweeping thunderstorms and has the delicious effect of reducing humidity.
Itinerary? Krabi, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Chumphon, Bangkok. about 6 years ago
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