Causing a small commotion on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree

     Traveling around the world with a 1961 Quebec license plate was not my intention

A small ruckus arose when I posted this (I thought) innocuous post on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree:

Hello from Bangkok everyone,
     I flew to Bangkok from Milan for only 174 euros including all taxes and I show you how to find these deals on my new website: “ The Science and Philosophy of One-Way Travel” where I encourage people to travel around the world on one-way tickets and give details about how to approach it:
     I also have a blog where I give my favorite things to do in Bangkok that most people wouldn’t include, but it’s a big city with a lot to offer.
     I have traveled for most of the last 24 years and I like to think I have good practical information or at least some ideas to mull over. In fact, it would be tragic if I didn’t after all that traveling!
     I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your time,

And then I got these four comments:

#1 “so you advocate everyone should print a fake onward ticket to gain entry into Thailand? an interesting concept of which I admire you greatly for your tenacity and bravado – I suggest you read about Frank Abagnale Jr.
By the way – he did go to prison eventually for quite a long time.
here’s my advice:
people like you are a nuisance. You think the system is there to be circumvented, that the rules are there to be broken. What you actually do is provide terrorists with new ideas and ways to blow the rest of us up.
looking for cheap travel is one thing, but telling people to break the law?
I think you’re a (f—–) idiot”

#2 “thought I would speed up your travel process for you Kent, I have sent (your) link to immigration. I suspect they may be interested in talking to you. wouldn’t it be funny if they cancelled your passport?”

#3 “Maybe Kent spelt his name wrong!”

#4 “I hope they cancel his passport.Its losoers like him who misguide youngsters into illegalities. Kent youre a prick.”

     I feel the love! This is the link. Either Lonely Planet censored the post and took it off or you have to register to view the thread or I don’t know what happened.
     It is disturbing to see how many Thais use whitening cream for their skin. White skin isn’t my idea of beauty especially if you have to unnaturally make it white. The girls I see using these creams, it gives them an unhealthy-looking, ghoulish pallor. It’s a shame that TV commercials and print ads perpetuate this sense of beauty by always showing Thai women—often with faint western features—with their whitened faces.

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Causing a small commotion on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree — 7 Comments

  1. hahaha I find some thorn tree forums to be quite ridiculous.
    People wishing they were traveling or pretending to know it all, and arguing about who knows best and has seen more. Rather than providing helpful tips.
    I find this blog entry of yours HILARIOUS!!
    I hope you laughed really really hard when they responded to you like that!

    I love reading your blogs and tips. great stuff!!

  2. Wow. It is not only the old lady next door, but people really are paranoid.
    I fail to see the connection between the e-ticket and terrorism. If this was a way to raise the danger level, we would all be dead by now. For me it is in the same cathegory as going to immigration, pointing to the sky crying out “hey, what on Earth is that!” and slipping past security while they are trying to see what you are pointing at. This is how cunning this scheme is. But I may be wrong. Maybe this is such a great weapon, that we should use it in catching the terrorists.

  3. I don’t understand why people on the forum were so dramatic about that. In Thailand, I was nervous about the onward ticket thing. My onward plane ticket was a little more than 30 days after I arrived. I was leaving Thailand overland to travel in other countries before flying out of BKK at the end of my trip. But I had no bus ticket (official or otherwise) to prove that, I just had an itinerary to show them if they asked me when I was leaving. Thankfully they didn’t ask, but if they did, I’m not sure what I would’ve done.

    I know many people are in the same position where they are traveling overland out of Thailand and don’t want to look like they plan to overstay their visa when they arrive in the country. Maybe if you were sharing info for how to overstay your visa, I could understand people getting worked up about it, but the having an onward ticket thing can be a hassle for people who happened to get questioned who are actually trying more to adhere to Thailand’s laws.

  4. Thanks for the comments, everybody.
    Lonely Planet said they took the post off their website because I was promoting a link that would send people away from their website, but people link to their blogs all the time on the Thorn Tree. The one way ticket is a reaction against airlines charging unreasonably high fees to change dates on a reservation as well as for the situation Ekua describes.
    The spirit of the requirement is to prevent people from overstaying their visa and trying to work or becoming a problem of the government.
    I like the comparison of one rant to me and Frank Abagnale. Wasn’t he forging checks? I don’t know how you can compare the two.

  5. Frank Abagnale now works as a financial consultant for some of the biggest international companies in the world, and makes millions of dollars a year.
    I use fake onward tickets, can *I* be like Frank, too? Please pretty please?

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