Post # 1
My DH’s parents live in HK and we are visiting them next week. They also planned for all of us to visit Bangkok, Thailand for Christmas to see the new house my Mother-In-Law just finished decorating.
I have reservations about visiting a city where the airports were recently shutdown and is still in a state of political unrest, however, I tried to push my worries aside. I didn’t want to make them cancel vacation plans due to my fear since 5 other family members are coming as well. My parents voiced concern about us visiting Thailand to me today as well.
My Darling Husband feels there is no real immediate danger to foreigners and the worse that can happen is that we stay in Thailand longer than planned. I just figure since this is just vacation, why tempt fate and put us in a unstable situation?
Do you think I am overreacting? How best should I handle this situation?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Post # 3
good luck. The fact that you are traveling with locals (your Mother-In-Law has a house there so I assume she lives there at least part time) you should be better off. When with people who know the area and speak the language, I always feel safer. If you are really nervous, make your inlaws and Fiance listen to you. Maybe they will be able to comfort you but at least make sure your concerns are on the table before you make a final decision and if you still don’t feel safe, don’T go to please someone else, you won’t enjoy it and i something were to happen you will never forgive yourself for going against your instince. That being said, I feel there is a certain point where you just need to remember that there are so many things which could go wrong and are completely out of your control so sometimes risks are necessary.
Post # 4
Have you ever been to Thailand?
My Maid/Matron of Honor and I went to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, 1.5 years ago, right after the terrorist attacks in Bali. Two very white women alone and not once did I ever feel threatened or in danger by the locals, particularly in Thailand. The people are freindly, welcoming and helpful (even with the lack of English). It seems you are in a much better situation then we were as you will be traveling with some locals, always a huge plus!
I consider myself a world traveler and have been to many places during political unrest and have yet to have a problem. So I while I understand your unrest, I think there is no reason to worry.
If you get over to HK and still have a fear of issues there is no harm done if you decide to cancel the tickets. All you can do is travel when and where you feel comfortable as your trip will be that much more fun.
Good Luck and Enjoy!
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice!
I have been to Thailand before and other places with political unrest. I understand that things happen beyond our control, even in what we feel are "safe" places. I lived through 9/11 in NYC and I was quarantined in my apartment for 2 days, until the military had tested the air to be safe outside.
I just feel if we have a choice and it’s suppose to be a vacation why chose to go to Bangkok and why chose to go there now.
Anyways, you are right. The people of Thailand have been nothing but kind, friendly and helpful while I was there. My friend advised that I register my travels with the US Embassy and to bring a copy of our marriage certificate to prove our marriage just in case (DH is Canadian and I am American). Probably overkill, but it does help to allay my fears.
Thank you again for your advice! I really appreciate it.
Post # 6
The State Department does have a current Travel Alert for Thailand:
Personally, I would never consider travel to any area with a current State Department Travel Alert or Warning; in fact my company requires us to have all international travel approved, and generally will not allow travel to any such country. However, I don’t have any relatives in any of those countries, so it’s an easy decision for me. There are plenty of places in the world that you can vacation without putting yourself in any potential danger.
I do have friends who have travelled in Thailand, and had a great time, and who say (as does SpaceC06) that the people are generally friendly and pleasant. However, I think that your DH’s assessment that the worst that can happen is that you end up staying longer than you planned should be looked at a little more closely. How much longer can you afford to stay? Is your boss going to be understanding if you end up there an extra month (completely possible, look at the recent situation in Georgia) because the government closes down the borders?
It’s entirely possible that the political situation will be better by the, but it’s also possible that it won’t. However, you can keep track of how things are going by visiting the State Department website, and even calling the U.S. Embassy. There’s obviously nothing wrong with going to Hong Kong at this point in time, but I wouldn’t let your ILs talk you into a side trip to Thailand if it still looks iffy at the time. To me anyway, a side trip to see a house wouldn’t be a good enough reason to risk it, when you could stay in Hong Kong without any worries and still have a nice time with your ILs.