INTRODUCTION: The increase in violence by local criminals and the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) has plunged the tourist capital of Haadyai in southern Thailand into recession.
GV Border post at Sadao.
GV Customs post sign.
GV Malaysia customs post.
GV & SV PULL BACK TO GV Immigration check point.
GV People at Haadyai railway station. (2 SHOTS)
SV Train arriving at platform.
CU Sign on train Bangkok/Butterworth.
SV Police checking luggage with metal detector, carriage interior. (2 SHOTS)
SV PULL BACK TO GV & SV Train leaving platform. Exterior. (2 SHOTS)
GVs & SVs Shoppers in black-market. (5 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The increase in violence by local criminals and the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) has plunged the tourist capital of Haadyai in southern Thailand into recession. Communist guerrillas have been active in southern Thailand for some time and they are now preying on tourists in the area.
SYNOPSIS: Haadyai, once a favourite stopping point on the journey between Thailand and Singapore, has been hit by the upsurge in violence which has spread throughout souther Thailand. The city, famous for its hotels, food and nightlife, has lost most of its tourist trade.
The Bangkok-Butterworth train which travels through Malaysia used to provide the town with Muslim tourists from Malaysia who appreciated the five star hotels, and the general relaxation of Islamic laws. Now, armed police board the train at Haadyai and search passengers' luggage with metal detectors. They also open suitcases searching for smuggled weapons. Local gangsters have taken advantage of the police's pre-occupation with the Communists to increase their own activities. Tourists seldom stay in the town now, and the hotels have reported rarely more than a 20 per cent occupancy. Nightclubs and bars are patronised by mostly local gangsters.
The once thriving black-market was always full of imported goods, smuggled into Thailand to avoid stiff import duties. The local Chamber of Commerce is now meeting three times a week to try to think of ways of attracting the tourists back to the area. All agree that an end to corruption in local government departments and a strong crackdown on local crime by police would help to bring them back.