HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A possible solution offered

Public announcement from U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai

Enjoys our sub-heads

Worried and angry

A possible solution offered


Is there any solution in the near future regarding the abnormal rise on the visa fees for farangs?

Don’t get me wrong - I do not ‘bitch’ and complain and I do not want to go back to where I come from but ... As I wrote earlier - this is abnormal’.

If this ministry of interior or the PM gives an explanation why they quadruple prices that even at the immigration offices, the officers do not feel at ease anymore and almost try to look for excuses, than I will try to do my best to understand.

But last weekend - while sitting with friends who share my opinion - we thought about a solution:

Some of us live outside of town near Hang Dong. The Canal Road (which you can not really call a road anymore) is extremely dangerous with deep potholes, no safety lamps, dark at night and crazy drunk motorbike and truck drivers still speeding and overtaking.

If now all this extra money would be used to speed up the completion of the road plus the leftover in training of young drivers and finally freeze the raise of traffic police salaries until they do what they are supposed to do - get those suicidal drivers off the road - than we would say: Yes! Quadruple the prices and do something, but until then...

Still loving Thailand but afraid that Thailand loves only Thais,

Thomas Whyss

Public announcement from U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai

Planning to travel to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program? Starting October 1, 2003, you will need to have a machine-readable passport.

A machine-readable passport has two rows of digits running along the bottom of the biographic information/picture page, and all biographic information is in typeface.

You are eligible to enter the United States without a visa if you are planning to visit as a tourist (not study or work) for 90 days or less, have a round-trip ticket, and are a citizen of Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom.

Please plan ahead for travel after October 1: If you are otherwise eligible for the Visa Waiver Program but do not have a machine-readable passport, you will still need to apply for a U.S. visa.

Enjoys our sub-heads


I just came back to Chiang Mai after spending most of the summer holidays in hot Europe and the US. I am happy to have found the big pile of newspapers at home waiting for me and while getting rid of my jet lag.

Please allow me some comments:

The Queen’s Special edition was one of the nicest things I have seen in a long time. What a charming idea of so many companies to just send birthday greetings to the ‘Mother of the Thai nation’. It was a great way of showing respect for her majesty and it was a great way of your ‘still very young’ paper to think of something so lovely. It also reflected your concern for the country and proved once again that Chiang Mai does not have to rely anymore on the national newspapers but has really got a foot on the ground regarding information.

What I find most amusing are your bylines [read: sub headers] (they are getting better and better) and also the reading between the lines. Please keep that up. It does not hurt anybody and it shows a sense of humor which is lacking with 80% of today’s population. I especially mean the article Vol. 32 regarding the job opportunities for elephants and the last paragraph.

Please keep us readers informed and follow up if the salary of 10,000 baht is for single elephants or for couples and whether you get a confirmation if the patrol elephants will have to wear Wildlife Conservation uniforms and hats.

Your faithful weekly reader,

Simon McGee

Worried and angry

Chiangmai Mail:

I read about the rise of the charges at the immigration office, which is ridiculously high. Whoever or wherever can you quadruple prices?

Can people do anything to stop that?

Does the government want to chase tourists and long staying tourists away? Last year, all we read about was ‘Amazing Thailand’ and let old people come to spend the winter in Thailand, but - like this - it will never happen!

When was this new regulation at the ministry of interior signed? At 5 a.m., when nobody could think straight? It does not fit. How can you try to promote tourism on one side and just slap your tourists in the face with these kinds of unjustified regulations on the other side?

I am seriously thinking of spending my money in a country where I feel more welcome than here.

Worried and angry,

Hans Cobbs