The top news story in Thailand in the last couple of days has been the rape of a Dutch female tourist in Krabi a couple of months ago and the YouTube video her father has just posted. Apparently, he’s incredibly angry that a Thai man initially arrested for his teenage daughter’s rape has since been released on bail. The video, of course, immediately went viral, and now there is news all over the internet of western tourists cancelling holidays in Krabi as they believe it could be dangerous.
So, is visiting Krabi, Thailand actually a good idea and is it safe? Or is it a vacation spot where rapists are set free and foreign tourists should avoid?
Let’s put it this way, I’ve lived in Thailand for over a decade and been to Krabi many times. I’d go as far as saying not only is Krabi an incredibly safe place for tourists, it’s far safer than many destinations in Europe and America.
In fact, as a western woman who has traveled the length and breadth of Thailand, I haven’t been anywhere in the country where I’ve been in the remotest bit of danger, but particularly not in Krabi.
Of course, as a woman, I do get attention from Thai men and from foreigners living or traveling here. But that’s nothing more than typical male behavior, which you’ll get anywhere in the world. But, unlike other countries, I’ve usually discovered that if it happens in Thailand and you politely warn the Thai guy to “back off”, they do. Every time.
So, is it possible for a woman to be raped in Krabi? Of course it is. Just like it’s possible anywhere in the world. But the chances of a woman being raped in Krabi, unless the woman herself engages in risky or stupid behavior, are probably even lower than in many other holiday destinations.
Then we come to the Dutch man. A man who thought the best way to deal with his daughter being raped was to upload a video to YouTube and let the entire world know, as well as stand menacingly brandishing a gun and threatening Thai police. Not only is that man likely to be denied access to Thailand should he ever decide to come here, he must have a screw loose to think that is remotely normal behavior.
As for the Thai man who allegedly raped his daughter (and remember, this is still allegedly, as nothing has been proven or not proven in a Thai court of law yet), he was arrested and charged and was then let out on bail until his court case. Something that would happen in most countries in the world. He is also well known in the local community where he has lived for a long time, which means the court does not believe he is a flight risk. His court case is now awaiting a date and he will be tried, just like would occur in Holland or anywhere else. If he is then found guilty he will be given a jail sentence.
But a vigilante mentality, trashing an entire country’s reputation because of one rare incident and threats to Thai police is not likely to get the Dutch father any more satisfaction in this case. Nor should it.
Krabi police, however, have taken the matter one step further and have released a YouTube video of their own giving the facts about the investigation. Unfortunately, they released the video in Thai, which doesn’t help their reputation nor does it help the international community understand what’s going on. English subtitles would have been nice.
## In Addition — You won’t find a link to the YouTube video from the Dutch father here, but you are perfectly welcome to go and hunt for it on YouTube for yourself. But I will not give page views to someone whose anger has exploded into this kind of video — because it’s not acceptable. Period.
As for the response from the Thai police, do I believe it was a good one? No, not at all. But at least they are trying to defend themselves from uncalled for and unnecessary criticism from someone who is furious things aren’t being done on HIS time frame. And you can’t blame them for that.