This post was written by Connor Balough
Millions of tourists visit Thailand each year to flood the beaches, historical centers or party cities of the country. Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya are all top tourist destinations, but Thailand’s southern three provinces are void completely of travelers both tourist and native Thai a like. “Don’t go to the south. Too dangerous.” Is the response you’ll get from thais if asked about it. Even Thai living in neighboring Songkhla province will not go there.
Violence is constantly broadcasted on the television or radio for thais across the country coming out of the region. Recently, the insurgency has decided to bring the violence to the heart of thailand’s tourist industry, detonating 11 bombs in August, 2016 across tourist towns in Thailand.
I met my friend from Narathiwat on the train from Bangkok to Hat Yai, Songkhla. He invited me to come visit. All of my thai friends warned against it, but how could I refuse?
My friend’s family took me to dinner in Narathiwat city first. There
After we ate, we drove home to where his neighbors and relatives all had made MORE DINNER to eat with me. Was so much good food.
The next day we went out to explore the area.
Overall it was a great trip to the area and there was never any violence that I witnessed once. There are army garrisons, check points, and patrols everywhere though so it’s hard to imagine how an insurgency could operate freely with so much security. However with the events of the past six months across Thailand it’s apparent that the army alone can’t stop attacks 100%. I would still however advise against doing this trip on your own, or by motorbike. You need some kind of locals to host you.