We don’t want you anymore?
Regarding the article: Cooperation is the key for city’s tourism industry,
CMM No. 28, page 4. Reading the article twice I still do not understand who
is the more stupid at that seminar - the speaker of the TTBA or the graduate
students of CMU Tourism Industry School? Chiang Mai does not like
backpackers anymore? They only want wealthy tourists?
And these wealthy tourists you put in the back of a
tuk-tuk and drive them through potholes in the rain. When I read this I
think it is a red alert to enhance the worldview of local youth, and local
leaders and to enrich their cultural kaleidoscope. To do so effective and
cheap is to force the ‘stuck up’ students, teachers and leaders to
participate in intercultural events, to be part of a ‘world community’,
to develop a vibrant environment and look at Chiang Mai with the eyes of a
It is by far not a town for 5 star tourists, but it could
easily be as the potentials are there. It is not a typical backpacker
tourist destination but it has all segments which are needed. And believe
me; one does not exclude the other. Some cities in Europe are heaven and a
must for backpackers but as well for the well paying tourist, like the
French Cote Azur or Rome. But the leaders should encourage dismissing terms
like ‘we don’t want you anymore’ to whoever. It could backfire! What
would Chiang Mai do without them?
Rather enhance the cosmopolitan image, attract overseas
tourists (normal backpackers, backpackers who fulfill their dream of youth,
and five star hotel tourists) and welcome them whilst retaining the northern
heritage and cleaning up the city.
By the way: Thank you Chiangmai Mail for giving us
these reports without overlooking these remarks and to report from these
kinds of meetings rather than just telling us how beautiful everything is!
Best from Chiang Rai,
Remy L. Craigs
Looking for “clear and comprehensive” instructions
I read with interest Dean Swift’s letter in the July 10 issue. I have been
applying for and receiving a one year’s visa extension for over seven
years based on first retirement and for the past four years based on
marriage to a Thai national. While I never “whined” about it, it was a
bit frustrating to have the rules and necessary documents changed every
Several months ago, I started collecting information from
various sources including the interview with the head of Chiang Mai
Immigration and articles published in The Nation’s Farang Affairs page.
Many differences. I thought I would get the real information from the
immigration police’s web site at www.imm3.police.go.th
It didn’t work out that way. On the web site, there are
words such as “a copy of passport”, “bank statement with a certified
letter”, “photo”, etc. When I learned the English language in The US
many years ago, I was taught that these words mean “one”. Figuring that
the web site must be correct, I went to Chiang Mai Immigration with one copy
of each document. I was told very politely that no matter what the web site
said, two copies were necessary.
In addition, although the web site was silent on the
issue, I was relatively sure that I would need some sort of proof of monthly
income, so went prepared. I will say that the application process took less
time than in the past; there is still the “application under
consideration” stamp in my passport with the instructions to return in one
month. I was under the impression that extensions were now approved at the
local immigration office and not sent to Bangkok. Perhaps not. I have no
information concerning the process at other offices, only my personal
experience here in Chiang Mai.
My only question to Mr. Swift is where did he find a
“clear and comprehensive set of requirements”, as I have yet to see one.
Let me close by saying that as always I was treated very
well by the immigration officers.
Thank you officer
I am most grateful to the traffic policeman on duty at the intersection of
Srimonklajan and Huay Kaew Road on Saturday July 10, at around 7 p.m. And to
a wonderful lady who appeared from nowhere to help me move my car out of the
traffic to the curb. It had stalled and then completely stopped at the
junction. I do not know the officer’s name. The very kind lady gave me her
card but in the confusion of the evening it was lost. I do hope both read
this and know they are in my heart as two of the many wonderful people in
H.C. Graves, Jr.
Hot times at Chiang Mai Airport
Reading your newspaper, it seems that Chiang Mai airport wants to be thought
of as the aviation hub of the north. It has a long way to go. Last Saturday
I flew from the airport in the afternoon. The air-conditioning was not
working in the departure lounges (if you can call the dirty, dingy areas
with seats as lounges). Did our aviation hub do anything about this? Were
there fans produced for the wilting passengers? Were there apologies
announced over the PA system? No there were not. We just sat and fanned
ourselves and boiled. This passenger boiled so much, I have written to you.
Aviation hub? Aviation backwater more like it!
Have a look; see who Chiang Mai’s tourists really are
I am sure the guest houses, noodle stands, local pubs and restaurants,
elephant riding camps, and trekking tour guides will be happy to hear that
those in charge of tourism only want the upper income tourist, not
backpackers to visit Chiang Mai.
Speaking as a business owner, the backbone of Chiang
Mai’s tourism is the backpacker! Well-heeled tourists stay in upscale
hotels that are sometimes foreign owned which means sometimes their tourist
dollar goes outside of Chiang Mai.
Backpackers, instead, spend their money with local
business owners. My business is located close to several upscale hotels.
Rarely do I see the well-heeled tourist walking the street. Backpackers are
young, educated, and most come from well-heeled families. My business and
others businesses surrounding me depend on them for our livelihood.
I suggest the graduate students of Chiang Mai
University’s Tourism Management School take a field trip and see exactly
who are Chiang Mai’s tourists!