Is Thailand Safe for Children?

Let’s say you have a kid. (Maybe you actually do.)

I don’t mean an infant or a teenager. I’m not dealing with that. Kid. Picture a kid.

Okay, now let’s say you asked me to look after your beloved child. I am totally trustworthy, by the way. I can teach the kid drinking games and undo most of their Sunday Schooling. Kids love me.


Now let’s say something unexpected happened. While I’m watching your kid, the heavens opened up. A god descends on his golden chariot and scoops up your child. “I am taking this child!” bellows the mischievous deity.

“Noooo,” I exclaim half-heartedly. I was getting bored with the kid anyway.

“Ah, but I’ll give you a choice!” says the sly god on his slick golden chariot. “I am going to abandon this child all alone, in the middle of a city! But I’ll let you choose which city.”

“Is this like a multiple choice deal, or–”

“YES!” The gods don’t have time for open-ended questions. They always use bubble tests. “Your choices are Saint Paul, USA; or Chiang Mai, Thailand! WHICH DO YOU SELECT!

Your child’s life depends on this. Give this some thought. Saint Paul is a respectable city, a little conservative, one of the lower crime rates for a major city in the US. It has a better reputation than its hipper sister city, Minneapolis.

But would you seriously leave your kid on the street there?

“Chiang Mai! Drop that kid in Chiang Mai!”

I just saved your kid’s life.

And that, my friends, is my answer to the question “Is Chiang Mai safe?”



5 thoughts on “Is Thailand Safe for Children?

  1. Too Damn Cute. The whole bubble wrap thing is very much a cultural perception of ‘danger is everywhere’. Most people are really good people, most everyone who travels and couch surfs understands this. It appears that fear is a cultural thing in the USA, if not ‘The West’. Your thoughts?

    • I think it is strong in the US, but I also think it is a natural human condition. We evolved to be afraid of outsiders. That natural urge is overcome in certain cultures if they have a strong tourist economy. I never experiences xenophobia in Ireland. I don’t experience it in Thailand either, but, like Mexico, there is a strong vibe of exploitation here – the locals view the farang as having a lot of money and fair game for any kind of semi-legitimate bilking, hawking or sales pressure. In the cities they are not exactly friendly, more just “welcoming for a reason.” In the countryside I find they are much more legitimately friendly and very fun to talk with, even across a language barrier.

  2. I have never heard of St. Paul, USA, but I had an image of people just walking by the abandoned child in that “respectable” city, not wanting to acknowledge the existence of that child.

    This was an interesting way to frame the answer to whether Chiang Mai is safe.

    • haha yes, that is about what would happen in Saint Paul…. 50/50 whether someone would finally pick the kid up in alarm and take them to the police, or if the kid would wander into trouble…

  3. I was going to try to resist commenting and liking this post, but I couldn’t! Too lovely, too cute, and too much like Drew reading me a bed time story. Thank you, buddy. This was very enjoyable. I CAN’T stop liking your words and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. :-)

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