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Chaweng safety

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London, United...
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Chaweng safety

The following is taken from the British F&C O website today:

There have been violent assaults and robberies in Chaweng, Koh Samui. These attacks have occurred in places frequented by western tourists. Take great care when in this area, especially at night.

They also advise that tourists have been arrested in the past for failing to carry their passport at all times (Thailand in general)-----& then go on to say

"keep your passport secure at all times"

Somewhat conflicting advise!

Would appreciate the views of those "on the ground "in the area please.

Posting in Bophut forum,as that's where we will be staying.

Cheers

BWSW

Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Chaweng safety

As far as the passport issue is concerned, the law says everyone including foreigners must carry a proper form of ID. This is usually interpreted by police as requiring Thais to carry their ID cards and foreigners to carry their passports. Whether thats a correct interpretation is not really relevant as the police can interpret as they see fit, and will often accept a drivers license as ID.

There have been incidents of foreigners who don't have passports on them being detained, and in a very few cases, fined, but this has mostly been when police raid bars etc. However, its not common, and to carry a passport all the time has obvious risks. Some carry a photocopy of the relevant ID and visa page.

I can't comment on the specifics of Chaweng, or assaults there. I do know that Koh Phangan is considered lawless.

Edited: 8:46 am, January 26, 2011
London, United...
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2. Re: Chaweng safety

Thanks bbtony for (both) replies.

I'm a bit long in the tooth for Full Moon parties on Koh Phangan (or anywhere else!)

Passport photocopy seems the sensible route,though as stated in the Karon forum, a picky cop might prove awkward over the visa stamp.

Probably worrying over nothing anyway.

Cheers

BWSW

Suffolk
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3. Re: Chaweng safety

Hi BWSW,

I have to say that I have been to Thailand 4 times now and I have never carried my passport as a matter of course. I am now wondering if I should but quite honestly I doubt I would be doing anything I was likely to get stopped for.

I do usually have my driving photo card on me and a business card from the hotel I was staying in (useful for taxis, etc) so the police could verify I was who I said I was I guess.

Hummmm I wonder if there are many cases of people being randomly stopped? In fact

Regarding the violence and robberies I am sure that some instances have happened but I am sure that they happen everywhere in the world. As with all travelling, be aware of your surroundings, and if you don't feel comfortable in a place of with the company then leave. I have only stayed in Chaweng once, two years ago but I never saw any trouble, in the evenings we tended to stay on the beachside anyway and that was fab!

Bophut has a great feeling in the evening if you go to the fisherman’s village area, lots of bars and restaurants, great fun and again no trouble, certainly felt safer in Thailand than in my local town on a Saturday night!

I hope that you get some more detail which puts your minds at rest as my experience is limited and anecdotal and have a wonderful holiday - oh look out for small innocuous chillies in a Thai green curry now they are dangerous ;O)

Ko Samui, Thailand
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4. Re: Chaweng safety

I can only talk from a point of view of a local ex-pat, who I am. I never ever carry anything with me, maybe driving licence sometimes, but definitely not always. I don't actually know anyone who does on a regular basis. It is so easy to lose things when we go to the beach, or someone can steal your bag ( which is not common, but happens from time to time) and then you will lose your documents. It may start raining, then your documents will be wet. If you really want to carry something - have a photocopy as advised above. Police doesn't randomly stop people. Police doesn't really walk on the streets there. They may stop you once a month if you ride your bike without helmet, that's about it. Or if you actually come to police, then they may start asking you who you are. I live there more than 5 years, in Bophut, and I have never seen any violence or heard about it in Bophut. I know there are some cases of robbery in Chaweng occasionally, someone breaks into someone else's house or room, maybe laptop and money will be stolen. It happens everywhere, not only in Thailand.

Keep valuable things in a safe or ask reception to keep it for you.

But I doubt very much that you will see or hear about "violence assaults" in Samui, especially in a sleepy Bophut. Just keep an eye on your bag/wallet.

London, United...
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5. Re: Chaweng safety

Thanks for all the comments.

I guess the FO have to be a little over the top ,or risk being accused of failing to give due warning.

I've absolutely no doubt that we risk encountering violence in London far more than we ever will in Samui.

Off to Phuket this Saturday and then to Samui the week after---can taste the chilli already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

BWSW

AUSTRALIA
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6. Re: Chaweng safety

Hi Guys.

Have been to Chaweng on 6 previous occasions over the years and soon to be 7. I have never experienced being stopped by police anywhere in Samui. I don't carry I.D. with me all the time. Sometimes I may have my driver's license on me but that's about it????. During alll my times in Samui I have never seen any violence whatsoever whilst there. No doubt issues come up from time to time however I haven't seen any.

Just a bit of commonsense goes a long way I think to minimize trouble.

Regards Bob & Chris.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Dubai
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7. Re: Chaweng safety

The FCO website is overly cautious - as is all governments' travel advice in most cases.

I never carry my passport and in all the countries I've visited I've never been asked to produce it unexpectedly. I did lose it once however and wouldn't take the chance of that happening - much more likely than getting into trouble for not carrying it, IMO.

If you would feel reassured by carrying a photocopy of your passport and the page with the visa/entry stamp then it does no harm. It does make sense to keep a copy of your passport seperate from the original anyway.

8. Re: Chaweng safety

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