If you follow international news, you have probably heard about the messy political situation here in Thailand recently. There has been extensive coverage of the Thai Coup from top news outlets like the BBC, CNN, Sky News, and ABC, and the story continues to generate interest around the world. For those living outside of the country, it probably sounds like a dangerous place to visit, but the reality is quite the opposite and life goes on here much as it always did.
If you have been thinking about coming to Thailand for addiction treatment, you may now be worrying that this is just not the right time. Such concerns about personal safety are understandable, but it might be a mistake to base your decision purely on recent news reports. The reality is, the recent political events are not going to have any impact on your ability to break free of addiction at Hope Rehab Center.
Thailand values its foreign visitors highly, so they would never do anything to harm us or put our security at risk. We are highly respected and cared for.
Reporting of the Political Situation in Thailand
I appreciate how these news reports can trigger concerns about visiting Thailand. These media stories have created the false impression that the country isn’t safe for tourists, but this is simply not true. The people of Thailand always do a superb job of making foreign visitors feel welcome, and this hasn’t changed.
In fact Thailand has had many such political stand offs in recent years and we are well used to it.
Please read this article in the Bangkok Post about how foreign journalists and nations are distorting the facts when reporting about the situation in Thailand.
The Importance of Jai Yen in Thailand
‘Jai Yen’ can be translated as ‘Cool Heart’ in English, and it is probably the most admired character trait here in Thailand. This should not be confused with the western idea of a ‘Cold Heart’ which is used to describe a person who is uncaring and possibly even a bit evil. In this part of the world, a cool heart means you have the ability to stay calm no matter what is happening. The opposite of this would be ‘Jai Rawn’ (Hot Heart) which is considered a particularly unattractive character trait.
When I return on visits to Europe, it always comes as a shock to see people shouting or arguing in public. If I visit a supermarket, I’ll usually see at least one stressed mum or dad who has been pushed too far, and is now shouting at their kid. I’ve lived in Thailand for thirteen years, and I’ve never seen this happen even once. If you drive on the roads over here, you rarely hear anyone using their horn because this would be considered evidence of a hot heart.
The high value that is placed on having a cool heart is part of the reason foreign visitors find this such a welcoming environment. The locals have to deal with similar stresses as people living elsewhere on the planet, but the people here seem to have an innate understanding that getting angry about stuff isn’t going to help. There are times when the Thais need to force their smile, and there has been more of this recently, but mostly it’s because they know how to find fun in almost any situation.
There have been some unfortunate incidents in Thailand over the last few months due to politics, but this has mostly been away from the tourist areas. Most people are just getting on with their life like they always have, and tourists continue to be welcomed and made to feel at home. Political upheaval is not a new thing in Thailand, but compared to other parts of the world, these spectacular events are surprisingly peaceful due to the ‘cool heart’ of the locals.
Simple Precautions to Stay Safe in Thailand
It is extremely unlikely you are going to run into any problems during your stay here in Thailand, and you don’t need to avoid Thai people or speaking to them. Enjoy yourself, smile and just bear in mind the following:
- Getting into discussions with local people can be great fun, especially when you discuss how much you like their country. They are proud of their nation and love to hear people tell them how wonderful Thailand is, they probably don’t want to hear about the political situation, so why bring it up?
- The King of Thailand is adored by all Thai people, so obviously you should show respect when speaking about him.
- Crowds of people and demonstrations may appear like fun, however it is probably better not to get involved.
- If you are ever stopped by the Thai police do not worry, as they are usually very polite and always smile. Do the same and you will not have a problem.
- Religious tolerance is important to Thai people, so it is probably best to avoid saying anything nasty about religion (even your own religion). You should also be respectful of Buddha images and statues.
To put it simply, if you come to Thailand with the intention of trying to sort out the local political situation, you are probably going to run into trouble at some point. If you have just come to relax and experience the culture, or to get help with your addiction problems, you certainly have no need to worry.
Thailand Remains the Best Option for Addiction Recovery
The political situation in Thailand has had no impact on the suitability of this country as a destination for those looking to overcome addiction problems. You are still going to find the perfect environment where you can regain control over your life. Politics is messy the world over, but this is your opportunity to begin recovering from the mess of your past.