Vol. II No. 42 Saturday October 18 - October 24, 2003
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LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

How many tourists come to Chiang Mai?

How many tourists come to Chiang Mai?

A shower a day - would make me happy

How many tourists come to Chiang Mai?

Editor;
In your article titled “Volunteer Tourist Guides to assist tourists and visitors” (October 11), you state that Chiang Mai receives 3,400,000 tourists each year.” I was wondering where you got that number.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand’s “Statistical Report 2002” states (in table 6.10) that there were 1,608,718 visitors to Chiang Mai in 2002, and that 1,558,317 were foreign tourists.

TAT defines “visitors” as, “Any person going to or leaving a city or province which is not his/her usual place of residence...” They define “tourist” as, “Any person visiting Thailand...”

The Tourist Police are mandated to deal with foreign tourists and so the correct number in your article should reflect the number of foreign tourists, i.e., 1,558,317 (not 3,400,000 as stated).

David Nicolson Freidberg

Chiang Mai

Ed’s reply: Thanks for keeping an eye on us; however, we are still confident about the numbers published in the report. Last year, the total number of Thai and foreign arrivals to Chiang Mai was recorded at 3,460,886, and out of this figure 1,852,168 were Thais and 1,608,718 were foreigners. We received confirmation of this number from TAT Chiang Mai officials when they (TAT and Tourist Police) organized the training courses for volunteer tourist guides at Suriwongse Hotel. So far, for the first half of this year (January - June 2003) the total number of arrivals to Chiang Mai, both Thai and international, has been recorded at 1,652,854 tourists and visitors.


How many tourists come to Chiang Mai?

Editor;
In your article titled “Volunteer Tourist Guides to assist tourists and visitors” (October 11), you state that Chiang Mai receives 3,400,000 tourists each year.” I was wondering where you got that number.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand’s “Statistical Report 2002” states (in table 6.10) that there were 1,608,718 visitors to Chiang Mai in 2002, and that 1,558,317 were foreign tourists.

TAT defines “visitors” as, “Any person going to or leaving a city or province which is not his/her usual place of residence...” They define “tourist” as, “Any person visiting Thailand...”

The Tourist Police are mandated to deal with foreign tourists and so the correct number in your article should reflect the number of foreign tourists, i.e., 1,558,317 (not 3,400,000) as stated.
David Nicolson Freidberg
Chiang Mai


A shower a day - would make me happy

Dear Chiang Maians,
It is getting to be a habit to write nowadays about the many differences between here and there. A new question came up now: Why do I need to take shower if nobody else takes one?

I have actually a very sensitive nose, as my senses are highly developed, even now, while I have cold, caused by the permanent rainfalls in Myanmar during this Monsoon season. After blowing my nose, taking the first breath through the previously blocked path, I pick up smells surrounding me with greater awareness. That actually is not a good thing to do here.

Body odors rise and fall with the number of showers you take during the day, no sorry, I meant during the week, the number of days you wear your clothing, where the clothes are being washed and what you eat. These are many factors and one has to include all of these in your company’s policies in order not to harass anyone coming to visit you.

Once I had a visitor sitting in my office, punishing me with his smell and not wanting to leave after our business deal was concluded, but wanting to chat a bit more. He finally left, and I gave my secretary a pitiful look and without me having to say anything more, she rushed into my office with a spray can, pushing the lever all the way down and creating a gas chamber like surrounding smell of dozens of bouquets of roses. Never mind the coughing; it was still a joyful experience. One more policy came into effect immediately after that meeting; visitors are only to be received in public areas.

The entire fleet of company cars of the place where I work are now all equipped with dispensers, which makes a ride sitting behind the driver quite enjoyable, having your nostrils caressed by a smell of forest, green apples or fresh strawberries.

However, you can’t avoid it completely, if you cross the cloud of odor a worker left behind, or you walk behind someone on the market, you have to figure out if the smell comes from one of the many products displayed, fresh at the beginning of the day, but not so fresh after being exposed to temperatures of more than 35 degrees for many hours, or from the person walking in front of you.

Where do you complain? You can’t do it directly to the person hitting you with his or her odor. I just started to buy deodorants and place them as a nice present, with a ribbon around the neck of the bottle, on his or her working table. So far, it has worked, I’m just waiting for the day these bottles go empty and I have to look for the refill.

Like Bangkok, Yangon has a huge river going right through the middle of the city, called Hlaing River. It has the same color as its equivalent in Bangkok, maybe even a bit deeper in its darkness. On the banks of the river, clothes are being washed without the help of soap, but hit and tortured with a wooden stick, again and again to get rid of all the dirt and smell in the shirts and trousers; I wonder why this doesn’t work.

In the office and at home, I have surrounded myself with oil scent burners; what a wonderful invention. I have bought back in Thailand the romance, lavender, peach and other aromas, which I use according to my mood. I just came back from a shop where I bought scented candles, which in addition to the scent gives you sort of a romantic feeling in the evening. Now I’m only missing my partner to make the picture perfect. The smell in my places of privacy now certainly is.

Sincerely, your Internet reader and ‘reporter’ from Myanmar
Ike Burnett



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