Bookmark and Share

Israelis Warned to Avoid Bangkok’s Backpacker Haunt ::

Reported by Olly @ Trackitdown on August 20, 2007

Israeli authorities urged citizens to leave Egypt immediately and avoid visiting the country altogether this week in their regular six monthly updated travel alerts for global hotspots. The country’s National Security Council also renewed official advice to ‘postpone non essential travel’ to Bangkok, warning that backpacker institution Khao San Road poses a particular ‘continuing potential threat’.


The travel advice coincided with the launch of a new £100 a year insurance policy aimed at the 50,000 Israelis who go backpacking each year, the Observer reported, of whom over 2,000 experience mental illness.

The paper said the majority of people suffering breakdowns are highly educated former combat and intelligence soldiers, travelling after completing national service, who are falling ill as a result of drug-induced or spiritual collapse.

'Young people get involved in some kind of drug abuse in their travels and they lose contact with their parents, they contact us and we help get them back to their family,” Hilik Magnum, from Phoenix Insurance Israel explained,

“There's no coercion. They always come back with us. If they are in a psychotic state, there's no logic, you need special techniques which we have developed over years of experience,” he told the newspaper.

Skrufff man-in-Bangkok Bee from Futon was unimpressed with the Israeli alert for Thailand and equally unenthused about the backpacker haunt.

“My perception of Khao San never changes, it’s not Thailand, If that’s the only place you visit in Bangkok then you’ve never really been here, it’s as Thai and Camden Market is London,” he said.

“My advice to travelers is to stay away from there because it’s crap; get out and see the city,” he urged. “And if you can’t afford to pay more than fifteen quid (English pounds) for a hotel, you shouldn’t be traveling.

Bee suggested Israeli tourists have a ‘bad rep’ (reputation) with the Thais, ‘they’re often seen `as aggressive’, he said, though conceded Khao San is definitely risky for the incautious.

“If you play with fire . . .,” said Bee. “Of course, the hooker will rip you off but any fool that falls for their bullshit stories deserves to be fleeced,” he suggested.

“My favourite trick is ladyboys putting liquid on their breasts,” he laughed, “that knocks you out on their knockers.”

UK official travel advice also warns of sedative drugs in their own assessment of Thailand’s dangers on the Foreign Office website

"Be aware that drugs are sometimes used in rape. They are normally colourless and tasteless, and can make you virtually unconscious and defenceless,” they warn, “Once someone has added drugs to your drink, you will not normally be able to detect them.”

Futon are currently putting the finishing touches to their new album while Bee has just been confirmed to DJ at Recharge Revelation5 Global Gathering, a 30,000 capacity festival taking place in Melaka, Malaysia on October (alongside Blackstrobe, Simian Mobile Disco and Layo & Bushwacka).

Jonty Skrufff (