Thailand - Land Of Smiles Or Tourist Trap?
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Posted 2012-07-23 06:54:16
Thailand - Land of smiles or tourist trap?
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Two Canadian sisters die mysteriously in their rented bungalow on an idyllic Thai island, believed poisoned. Less than week later, a 60-year-old Australian woman is stabbed to death in botched robbery outside a luxury resort in Phuket.
Their deaths are the latest in a tumult of violence and intrigue to shake tourism in postcard-perfect Thailand, raising questions over whether it is squandering a prized asset by failing to protect travelers arriving in record numbers.
Other headlines are less dramatic but equally troubling: taxi driver mafias, transvestite thieves, pollution, tourist brawls, traffic accidents, and at airports, radar glitches, flight delays and long immigration queues.
"The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) think numbers are going up so people must like it here, but the problem is the quality of their visit has gone down," said Larry Cunningham, Australia's Honorary Consul to Phuket, an island described by travel guide Lonely Planet as "one of the world's most famous dream destinations".
The government has vowed to tackle "mafias" in tourist areas, while in February, Cunningham appealed to Phuket's government to stop jet-ski operators who hire thugs and demand compensation for equipment damage renters did not cause.
Last year, a German television show broadcast footage of sewage pumped into the sea at popular Kata and Karon beaches. [more...]
Full story: http://www.cnbc.com/id/48278695
-- CNBC 2012-07-23
Posted 2012-07-23 07:33:30
It is a tourist trap if you go to the tourist areas, otherwise it is the Land of Smiles. Go discover the real Thailand?
Posted 2012-07-23 07:55:06
I agree - the numbers are up but is the quality of holiday still there?
These young college kids seem to think all of their "Dreams can come true" in Soi Bangla Phuket.
Awesome filmclip promoting Soi Bangla and Phuket's crazy nightlife.
There is only one Thailand and with all its flaws and faults it will continue to draw tourists because no other Souteast Asian nation delivers so much "Culture Shock"in one punch. It's a heady mix compared to the stilted experiences on offer in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines. Seasoned travelers seem drawn back like moths to the flame...
You can't have the seeming chaos without some real danger... but for some this just adds to the experience.
Posted 2012-07-23 08:25:43
I've seen more life in a used condom ... hardly any people about plus bars are empty like everywhere eles ..
Posted 2012-07-23 08:46:59
The more the government fails to act, the worse the reputation will become.
News articles, movies such as Hangover 2, documentaries etc. Have all tilted the balance. The tourists coming here now are less and less family holiday seekers and more and more those looking to party.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:05:35
Yeah ok cute video, but really I could give a rats behind that some spoiled affluent kids might get there dreams to come true here.....most show up having paid no dues in life to teach them anything, what little they do know is usually some regurgitation of politically correct crap about social responsibility that their lefty college prof. has pounded into their mushy little heads.....they and the world they travel to would be better off if they were home washing dishes and digging ditches to unlearn all the years of crap their schooling has mis-educated them about before they venture overseas.....but hey, thats just me....always the romantic.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:06:00
Thailand is both a tourist trap for the unwary and also a land of smiles.
You don't need to look to hard to find either
Posted 2012-07-23 09:08:24
"The Land of Smiles": one of the most successful marketing slogans of all time.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:10:38
Yeah...I agree. Nothing angered me more then that piece of crap movie The Hangover 2. What garbage...and a complete disaster for Thailand in terms of attracting quality tourism. But I do agree that Thailand needs to step it up the safety and welfare of visitors in tourist areas. Some of this stuff is just getting out of control.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:13:28
I now live/work in Thailand so I look at the tourist areas of Thailand differently now than when I came here with family just for holiday. I guess the short 1 week visit to LOS playing tourist, staying in 4-5 star hotels sheltered me from noticing the scams, decay, and neglect of the tourist areas. Now that I have live here for 8 years, unfortunately I see how rapid growth of tourist areas such as Phuket, Pattaya,Krabi...(the list goes on)with no planning, no updating of infrastructure,and many of the Thais not trained properly in customer service and unfortunatelycrime is gradually chipping away at Thailand's reputation as a great tourist destination. True,Thailand is a popular place since it caters not only to the backpacker but also to the 5 star tourist with its wide variety of hotels and eating places (and being a cheaper place to visit than other countries in South East Asia). But a growing number of tourists seem to be more of the single male looking for a good time in Thailand--(clean beaches don't matter then). You would think a government that gets over 10% of its revenue from tourism have the desire to clamp down on hotel and resort developments that cause erosion, water pollution, and decaying of the coral reef and stick to regulations and a plan, but making a quick baht is more important than preserving the golden egg that brought prosperity.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:35:10
Wow. You must have had a rough life.
Posted 2012-07-23 09:53:15
'Land of Amazing Smiling Tourist-Trap Miracles" might cover most of the bases ?
Posted 2012-07-23 09:55:01
Thailand-land of smiles----------------my answer is simply-mostly WAS
Tourist trap-------------------------------my answer usually IS.
How many times do the TAT need to be reminded of necessary changes have to be made --simply like TAKING CARE OF WHAT YOUR GETTING, you will not always have the CHINESE coming in droves.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:01:36
As the old saying goes Sometimes it is better to be clueless about what is happening around you, than to know every bit of information that would kill you.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:03:48
Posted 2012-07-23 10:07:05
Well, the "real" Thailand does not have facilities to accomodate the tourists Thailand seeks. Most of those tourists do not want to spend any time in the "real" Thailand as that would necessitate staying in accomodations without beach access, and without the amenities of the typical hotel found in the EU/Aus/North America. Do you really think the tourists would come if they were obliged to sh*t in a hole and use a bum gun etc? The real Thailand includes alot of impoverished regions. What would you like? Bus tours to stare at the poor farmers? How about a visit to a refugee camp where the tourists can take photos with the sick? Perhaps a visit to an Aids hospice to see some of the thousands dying? How about Pattani and Yala? That's part of the "real" Thailand too.
The fact of the matter is that Thailand promotes itself as a beach vacation destination and that's what the majority of tourists want. Do really think the typical visitor in high season is leaving -30C frigid weather to go and hang out in Issan or Chiang Rai with the mosquitos etc? Please don't lose sight of what the majority of tourists want after working all year and saving up for a vacation: They want to relax and sit and get some sun. They want to play golf etc. Parents want a beach that is safe and clean for their kids.
Edited by geriatrickid, 2012-07-23 10:12:56.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:29:21
Why is this awesome? Bangla is an embarrassment. I walk that street regularly and it is terribly sad to see the old guys sitting in the bars early in the day drinking. Coming home at night I pass the McD with the drunkards being rude, sloppy and littering. I see the usual altercations between the hookers and their johns,and the arguments with the tuk tuks. Never a cop to be seen to protect the tourists.
Have you ever looked into the faces of the assorted prostitutes and touts that work that strip? As much as I despise them, I still have pity and compassion for them. Women well past their prime and that have aged beyond their years work the bars and everyone is exploited by the entrenched oligarchy that controls the strip. It's all about people chasing a dream and losing their money, and their dignity. Hardly anything to celebrate. It's nice to see once or twice, but that's it. The bars are loud, the clubs suck and it attracts the lowest of the low that prey on the visitors.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:30:59
Thailand land of scams liars cheats and theives, home of poluted beaches covered in deck chairs and filth plenty of better places to go in the world
Posted 2012-07-23 10:36:09
It is impossible to have a money-generating tourist area with crime happening. Statistically I think it would be impossible to have zero murders in such a place, and that there are so few is actually a good sign. I mean, if you take a scale of crime, there must be some exceptions to the mean, and the mean here in Thailand is very safe compared to other areas with similar tourist population density. As Thailand "grows" into a larger tourist attraction, crime will grow too accordingly.
As for "the land of smiles", the obsequious smiles of the Thais is pleasing to people who want to feel gratified.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:37:02
"long immigration queues" should be listed as about problem # 10 billion
Posted 2012-07-23 10:38:09
Thailand sold its soul a long time ago, sure many people are happy to come or live here and enjoy it ...but sadly they are oblivious to the real truth of Thais....bottom line Zenophobic Corrupt Racists
I use Thailand just as they Use me, and when I no longer get what i want I will be gone with NO regrets
Posted 2012-07-23 10:40:15
You know something?....after 42 years of living in South East Asia I'm still looking for the "real"
anywhere here in S.E.A....not just Thailand. Every time i get close to what I reckon is the "real"
something else pops up and I have a re-think. That said a wise old geezer once told me this;
"If you go looking for trouble you'll find it pretty darn quick. If you go looking for a good time
and leave the trouble at home...you'll find that quicker.
In other words...having still not found the "Real Thailand" yet I have resigned myself
that the Real Thailand must be the same as Margaritaville...."Anywhere you want it to
be"...Heck...it could be in your neighbourhood or 600KM's away...depends on your
state of mind I guess.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:42:30
I have only one question...with your statement....If you're here in LOS...why are you here?
If you don't like it, airports are close with planes leaving LOS regularly...be on one.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:46:05
There's plenty of them in any country, not just Thailand, look at the UK Government, you will never find a better example. and I am not referring to deck chairs or pilluted beaches.
Posted 2012-07-23 10:46:08
I believe most "destination" resort towns do suffer similar problems. Look to Mexico or even Waikiki in Hawaii.
Tourist trap - but still not that bad. Pretty easy to obtain info these days.
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