I'm planning to travel by land from Langkawi to Ko Samui (which would include ferry to Satun, bus to Hat Yai and train to Surat Thani), but in Thai Railway Guide (effective 24th May 2014) we can read a scary warning about the violence:
Travel Warning - Southern Thailand
There are almost daily incidents of politically motivated violence in the far south including arson, bombings and shootings. Targets have included civilians and members of the security forces, government offices, tourist hotels, discotheques and bars, shops, marketplaces, supermarkets, schools, transport infrastructure and trains in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and in the Sadao district of Songkhla province. Since 2004, over 3,500 people have been killed and several thousand more injured. Security authorities can detain suspects without charge, censor the media, conduct searches and seize documents. The British Foreign Office and the United States Department of State recommend only essential travel should be made between Hat Yai Junction and Sungai Kolok. They also advise using hotels outside of Hat Yai’s central business district. Rail travel via Padang Besar has not been subject to attacks and is considered safe.
Therefore, I'm asking which parts of Southern Thailand are safe from violence (arson, bombings and shootings)?
Also in above warning, it's advised to use hotels outside of Hat Yai’s central business district where actually I'm planning to stay over the night in Hat Yai city central. Is it really the case? I thought staying in central city supposed to be safer than in rural areas.
- Thailand 'one of the most dangerous tourist destinations on Earth' at Daily Mail
- 2012 Southern Thailand bombings at Wikipedia
- South Thailand insurgency at Wikipedia