Episode 5 : Is Thailand safe for travelling alone?

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The rape of the 19 year woman vacationing in Krabi has created a social media frenzy, and great misunderstanding between the Thai officials and the foreign community.

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Mia wanted to talk about this. I didn’t. I don’t like to talk about unpleasant things if I can help it. But this case has affected me more than I anticipated. I think part of it has to do with the fact that some folks still believe that if a woman acts or dresses a particular way then she is “asking for it” or is considered somehow less than a human being.


Date rape cases were brought to mainstream attention when I was living in the United States. I’m thinking around the time when I was in college, the 1990s. I’m sure this is not Thailand’s first case but if any good can come from this, I hope it will be that just because a woman goes out with a man, it doesn’t mean she wants anything else.

On November 9th, The police video countering allegations made in the youtube video “Evil Man from Krabi” has, for some reason, been posted without an English translation and was removed on November 14th, you can see the translation here.

But Thai society, at large, sees things differently. And this has caused a lot of misunderstanding and problems, exacerbated by Thai authorities wanting to “save face”.

Apparently the Thai government or powers that be thought the “Evil Man from Krabi” video that the girl’s father posted was too strong (the language used), and too damaging. Damaging in the sense that the police thought the father was talking about ALL people from Krabi being evil and horrible.

So the Krabi police and government were trying to block the video. Their plan to “protect” Thailand’s tourism, however, backfired as tourists have cancelled hotel reservations.

Business drops in Krabi over ‘rape’ clip

 As Westerners, the idea of “protecting” an industry especially when held up against the rape is absurd and extremely insulting. I wish the Krabi officials and government had stopped for a moment, stopped thinking in terms of fear and simply apologized.

Because it doesn’t matter how a woman or man acts and dresses or dates, nobody deserves to be beaten and raped. We know that not all people or men from Krabi are evil and protecting our interests is natural and understandable.

However, I would like to say to the Krabi police and officials that we need to protect our women, our sisters, daughters and mothers too. We are not second class citizens.

” อย่างไรก็ตาม เราอยากจะบอกกับตำรวจที่กระบี่ว่า ไม่ว่าหญิงหรือชายคนไหน จะประพฤติแต่งตัวอย่างไรก็ตาม ไม่มีใครที่สมควรที่จะถูกทำร้ายร่างกายและข่มขืน เราทราบดีว่าไม่ใช่คนกระบี่ทุกคนเป็นคนร้าย และเราเข้าใจในการปกป้องชื่อเสียงของกระบี่”

These are not old times, these are modern times. A woman can be whoever she wants to be, and act however she wants, just like you, and you cannot touch her unless she tells you it is okay. Remember the Dutch woman is your daughter, your sister, and your mother. Remember to treat her with respect. You don’t have to understand her all the time but she has 2 ears, 2 eyes, and a heart, just like you.

“ไม่ว่าจะอดีตหรือปัจจุบัน ผู้หญิงมีสิทธิเสรีภาพที่จะเป็นตัวของตัวเองเหมือนเช่นกัน ผู้ชายไม่มีสิทธิแตะต้องผู้หญิงโดยที่ผู้หญิงไม่ยินยอม กรณีเหตุการณ์ของสาวผู้เป็นเหยือเคราะห์ร้ายนั้น เธอก็เป็นเหมือนลูกสาว พี่สาว น้องสาว หรือมารดาของเรา การให้เกียรติจึงเป็นสิ่งที่ความปฏิบัติต่อผู้หญิงทุกคน เพราะผู้หญิงเหล่านั้นก็เป็นมนุษย์ที่มีจิตใจเหมือนเราทุกคน”

At the beginning of the podcast Mia said she wanted to talk about this because this incident brought up the question “Is Thailand safe?” We agree, overall, Thailand is safe. But like any place, anywhere, be conscious of your surroundings, dress appropriately, and use common sense. Hopefully, we can help change the laws, broaden people’s opinions and gain a greater understanding through our cultural differences.

- Blog post written by Lani (Thai by Mia). For more on her life in Thailand visit Life, the Universe and Lani

3 thoughts on “Episode 5 : Is Thailand safe for travelling alone?

  1. Young western females are assaulted and raped every night of the week in the southern Thai beach resorts. Most such incidents go unreported as it is generally known that:

    1. The rape victim will have to endure an humiliating “rape examination”,

    2. The culprit will almost never be arrested, much less tried and imprisoned.

    In addition, very few young western females who are assaulted and raped in Thailand want to remain in Thailand for months, maybe a year or two, waiting around to testify at the trial if it ever actually takes place.

    It’s expensive to hang around for so long. It’s keeps them from getting on with their lives. They might be subject to physical threats by the culprit, his friends and family. The police and court are subject to being bribed or “influenced”.

    • You raise some valid and interesting points. The reality of the situation is made even more grim. Let’s hope the “Evil Man from Krabi” video and the Dutch woman’s plight does more than just raise awareness…let’s hope something positive actually gets done. Thanks Robert.

  2. I just started learning Thai a week ago. I am travelling to Bangkok for the first time on June 6th. Coming across your website as I studied has been wonderful. It has helped me learn so much so fast. As a first time speaker and traveler I want to respect the culture by showing I have attempted to learn the language. Thank you for such a wonderful podcast! Also thank you for having your language lessons with the male polite particle krap mentioned frequently!

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