Connect with us


Island View: Treacherous Thais? I don’t think so.



PHUKET: Thailand is to Asia what Vegas is to America, or at least it’s thought to be. The sin-capital of Asia where ‘anything goes’, or at least that’s what I was told.

When I first decided to visit Phuket, it set off alarm bells for everyone around me. I received calls from friends and family members who I hadn’t heard from in years. My Facebook profile became cluttered with over-the-top articles on everyday calamities tourists face in Thailand, which also included ‘meeting’ women who I’ll eventually discover are not really women. Drugs were to be slipped into my pocket and I was going to go to jail for a very long time. My friends started teasing me with chants of ‘massage, massage, massage’, every time they met me.

I didn’t know what to make of all this and, with the same stigma on every travel website, I began to seriously question my own decision. Hundreds of people could not all be wrong, could they?

Then I landed here. With an overwhelming sense of apprehension, bags clutched to my body, I looked at every local as if they were out to get me, ready to prove everyone who warned me right. I was pleasantly surprised at how wrong they were.

The Thais smiled their warmest smiles at me and welcomed me everywhere I went. They were more than happy to guide me in the right direction or offer me a ride to my destination if I looked lost.
I rented a bike and began to discover the island myself. The crisp morning air always put me in a good mood. I rode to beaches, national parks, road-side cafes and the like, always greeted by the most pleasant staff and hospitable locals, not to mention the breathtaking scenery.

Yes, I was asked by beautiful women if I wanted a massage more times than I can remember. And yes, many vendors offered me ‘special prices’ for a variety of items in the market. But if I didn’t want a massage, I politely refused. If I thought something was overpriced, I bargained.

So yes, hundreds of people can be wrong about Thailand, and they’re definitely wrong about Phuket. You are free to get what you want out of it, but you can always move away from what you don’t. It’s that simple, really.

— Mark Patterson


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel18 mins ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Phuket28 mins ago

Phuket’s governor Narong braces for storm Noru

Politics50 mins ago

Royal defamation case dropped against Thai activist

Sponsored4 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Myanmar1 hour ago

OnlyFans star sentenced to six years in prison in Myanmar

Protests2 hours ago

Activists plan protests across Bangkok

Crime2 hours ago

Woman kidnapped in Malaysia found in southern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Singapore2 hours ago

Singaporean food hawker centre makes NYC debut

Politics3 hours ago

The Russia-Ukraine conundrum and US interference

Thailand3 hours ago

VIDEO: 500 year old Buddhist stupa collapses in Chiang Mai revealing hidden treasures

Cannabis3 hours ago

Marijuana growers dazed, confused by legal smoke and mirrors

Crime3 hours ago

64 Thais deported from Cambodia after scam crackdown

Thailand4 hours ago

Tropical Storm Noru continues to wreak havoc in Thailand | GMT

Election4 hours ago

Exit Prayut? Court rules today on PM’s future

Hot News5 hours ago

11 provinces on alert as tropical storm Noru pushes Chao Phraya to the brink

Hot News5 hours ago

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi jailed for three years, along with Australian adviser

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11