Are you often awe struck, bemused, puzzled, or shocked by some of the amazing feats you see in Thailand. How many times have you seen 5 or 6 people on a motorcycle, people transporting what would appear to be the entire contents of their house on a motorcycle ?. How many times have you thought to yourself “Thailand is one crazy place” or even “surely, that cannot be safe”. I’m not about to start turning in to a whining farang, but do you find yourself sort of going with the flow, taking a few chances and generally doing things you would never dream of back home.
It all looks great fun and very carefree don’t you think (photo above), and let’s face it that’s one of the things we all love about Thailand.
The photo (above) is a Pattaya to Koh Lahn ferry, before the disaster of November 2013 when 6 people died and numerous were injured after the ferry capsized. Like other notable disasters in Pattaya, the ferry disaster could have been avoided or at least the consequences might not have been so drastic if regulations and operating procedures were more strictly applied.
Sometimes you have to be your own safety officer: In western countries, ferries and transport in general are more effectively policed, simply because we are not very good at policing ourselves. As already stated, one reason we all love Thailand so much is because it’s much more carefree and laid back than our western homelands. But mainly in our western homelands, we would not be allowed to place ourselves in such a precarious position as you see in the photo above. There are a few observations you should make when boarding a ferry in Thailand, where are the life vests ?, is there a life boat ?, is there a muster station ?. Most importantly, don’t leave your common sense on the quayside.