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kikenyoy

How dangerous is Yala for a Farang?

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Am following this topic with interest as I spent many weekends in Tak Bai and Betong whilst working for a number of years in Kelantan during the 90's.

 

I have been planning to revisit at some stage but will steer clear of Tak Bai. That being unfortunate as there was a very pleasant small resort - Tak Bai Lagoon - that was excellent as a place to chill out. It was operated by the wife of a Swiss guy but have no idea of the current set-up, if still operating.

 

Betong looks like a much better option and a visit should be very pleasant given past experience. I will likely travel via the Malaysian border as I note the comment of an earlier poster on the level of army checkpoints on the long winding road between Yala and Betong. I did see some articles about plans for an airport near Betong but have seen no recent news on any construction activity.      

 

During my time in the area it was a very laidback experience with no sense of animosity towards westerners. Really sad how the actions of a few impact on the lives and livelihoods of so many.

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On 2/7/2017 at 0:25 PM, kikenyoy said:

4evermaat,

Thanks. I'd be very interested to hear what the teacher has to say. But comparing it to a minivan sounds bad lol. Many of those drivers are total maniacs.

 

alanrchase,

Yes I like statistics. This was interesting.

15823066_1636399593040568_4864547944931901661_n.jpg

Can you provide a link to this graphic?

Insurgent activities in Summer of 2016 were particularly high due likely to the referendum on the 2016 draft constitution. It was possible that insurgents not only objected to the constitution's draft but to its legitimacy applied to Thailand's colonization of the South. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2pyqOBxb5goQ1htaGVqckZXa00/view

As such shown statistics above might not represent the "norm" of violence in the South.

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My wife has a family home in Yala and have visted 3 times in the lsat 3 years - the last time in January. We get picked up by family at Hat Yai and drive down in daylight to Yala through a number of army checkpoints where sometimes id is checked by friendly soldiers. It is a very beautiful small city with very friendly people. That said my Thai family only mix with Thais and the muslim population don't at first glance seem too friendly.

 

They also won't let me go out with my brother in law to have a drink as they regard it as unsafe (probably more to do with him than anything else.) He has a barbershop on the soi that was bombed and my wife lost a friend there a few years back and there are blast walls of painted concrete bollards and army checkpoints on that street. Thai monks do their almsround with two soliders in civvies in a pickup to keep an eye out for them. Insurgents have beheaded monks at temples here.

 

That said you would be very unfortunate to get caught up in a bomb - the most irritating thing is getting woken up at 5am every morning by the numerous amplified muslin calls to prayer. So worth a gander if you are curious  - just keep your wits about you and be aware that travel insurance is invalid there (or at least Uk is - as FCO advises against all but essential travel) - so if you got hit by a motorbike which is far morte likely than a bomb you wouldn't be covered.

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If you have lived in Thailand 11 years, and you have to ask this question? I WOULD NEVER GO TO/THROUGH THAT AREA.

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Are you afraid of being hit by lightning?  Being bitten by a shark in your bathtub?  Probably a greater chance of that than being killed by an insurgent in the south.  I have never heard a report of a farang being injured or killed by the insurgency.  As the other poster said, worry more about being on the roads.  Reminds me of when I first moved to Thailand.  There was some kind of disease in the news.  A few of my friends expressed concern that I was moving to an unhealthy country.  My reply was that about 500 people had been infected, 2500 had died. 65 million people in Thailand.  Do the math.  I was more worried about the drive to the airport.

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"If the only concern is bombs..."

 

How many people live in Yala.  How many have been killed by bombs?  How many have not been killed by bombs.  Do the math and have a nice trip to Yala.  :thumbsup:

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I have been following the insurgency very closely for a long time and can't think of a single instance when a 'farang' was  intentionally targeted by separatist insurgents.

 

Pattaya and Phuket are far more dangerous in my opinion and government statistics actually bear that out.

 

That said, there are some areas of Yala that don't feel much like Thailand. Bannang Sata comes to mind as just one example.

 

Betong is definitely worth a visit.

 

 

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According to statistics some parts of the region are safer for insurgency-related violence than others. This goes down all the way to village (moobaan) level. I know the town of Narathiwat has been safe from violence for over two years now, but some districts get hit harder than others. The aforementioned Bannang Sata (Yala) is probably the most dangerous district in the south and even there the chances of you getting caught in the crossfire are very small.

 

I have ridden my motorbike everywhere in Narathiwat Province, including the dense jungles and to small villages locals warned me to avoid. Have also ridden outside of town after dark, which one should avoid if playing it safe. I don't know which villages have which color code (red, yellow or green, depending on their safety) so I should have been into many red zones. And whadda ya know? I am still unharmed.

 

Seriously, there are much more dangerous things you can do in Thailand. Enjoy your time here and wallow in the fact that you are one of very few farangs brave enough to come here. And remember that your money goes a long way because life here is dirt cheap.

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On March 8, 2017 at 10:35 PM, dabhand said:

Betong looks like a much better option and a visit should be very pleasant given past experience.

Betong is not dangerous now and never has been. The road to get there, the infamous Route 410, has been risky at times over the years but feels safe enough these days, though I still wouldn't drive down it at night. 

 

In general the towns (Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat) are OK but you want to be careful poking around the more rural areas. There are definitely pockets of hostility, and while they have no particular interest in farang, you could conceivably become a target of opportunity. And if the locals tell you not to go somewhere, for heaven's sake don't.

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4 hours ago, Roota said:

Betong is not dangerous now and never has been. The road to get there, the infamous Route 410, has been risky at times over the years but feels safe enough these days, though I still wouldn't drive down it at night. 

 

In general the towns (Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat) are OK but you want to be careful poking around the more rural areas. There are definitely pockets of hostility, and while they have no particular interest in farang, you could conceivably become a target of opportunity. And if the locals tell you not to go somewhere, for heaven's sake don't.

Can vouch for dirt cheap - a large plate of chicken pad thai at my wife's friend' hole in the wall restaurant 20 baht , pumpkin pancake waffles cooked over charcoal 5 baht each - and super delicious.

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4 hours ago, Roota said:

Betong is not dangerous now and never has been. The road to get there, the infamous Route 410, has been risky at times over the years but feels safe enough these days, though I still wouldn't drive down it at night. 

 

In general the towns (Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat) are OK but you want to be careful poking around the more rural areas. There are definitely pockets of hostility, and while they have no particular interest in farang, you could conceivably become a target of opportunity. And if the locals tell you not to go somewhere, for heaven's sake don't.

Can vouch for dirt cheap - a large plate of chicken pad thai at my wife's friend' hole in the wall restaurant 20 baht , pumpkin pancake waffles cooked over charcoal 5 baht each - and super delicious. In season Durian is dirt cheap as well - paid 50 baht for two segments a year ago ...

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If you are dumb enough to ask this question, you are dumb enough to ignore the responses, so why ask?

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On 3/11/2017 at 0:42 AM, beautifulthailand99 said:

Can vouch for dirt cheap - a large plate of chicken pad thai at my wife's friend' hole in the wall restaurant 20 baht , pumpkin pancake waffles cooked over charcoal 5 baht each - and super delicious. In season Durian is dirt cheap as well - paid 50 baht for two segments a year ago ...

I don't think the question was about if this is the promised land for cheap Charlie's, suspect you will be buried in a cardboard coffin, or go up in smoke in one.

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