LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Boycotting Night Bazaar

Loss and fulfillment

Boycotting Night Bazaar

Dear Editor,

It would appear that the owners of the Galling (Sp) Center, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar are making a rather foolish mistake. They are more than doubling the cost for their rent spaces!
Many artisans and crafts persons renting there make a marginal living. Word is already out to most visitors that prices at the Night Bazaar are already higher than at the walking street markets. Such hefty price increases will surely hurt the vendors, prices there will rise again to cover the increased rental space.
It is a shame that personal greed is allowed to tear at the very fabric of the rich artistic heritage of Chiang Mai. It would be appropriate for the arts and crafts persons to boycott the Night Bazaar, to form a negotiation organization or even create a co-op a space of their own.
Dr. Elmo
(Art lover and lover of ancient Chiang Mai)


Loss and fulfillment

Dear Editor,

I have been living in Thailand for more than three years. During this period I have explored 18 provinces from the center, the north-east and the south of Thailand but I failed to visit Chiang Mai. The reason why I postponed my trip to the northern provinces was that everybody mentioned them. Almost every single taxi driver whom I started a conversation with asked me if I had been to Chiang Mai, and assured me that the girls there are suai and the food is aroi mak mak, while the weather is nau.
Being bombarded every day by such praises of beauty I felt that I had better stay out of that part of Thailand, probably full of tourists and scams. In the meantime, however, I read enough on Thai culture to realize that indeed, Chiang Mai is a special place, full of history and wonders of the past.

The deciding factor of planning a trip to Chiang Mai was the necessity of writing an article for a Romanian newspaper about the ancient capitals of Thailand.
The four days and five nights spent in Chiang Mai, with a day-trip to the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, proved to be one of the best holidays I have ever had. The city itself had a special charm that made my sojourn unforgettable. Being a person interested in languages, I was excited to learn a few words in the northern dialect, and to listen to the languages spoken by the hill tribes.


Iím not a night crawler, but a day walker, so most of the time spent in the north I was either walking in temple yards and on mountain paths, or riding the rot daeng (not the Bangkokian songthew) to the must-see national parks and other points of interest. At dusk, when I could barely feel my feet, I made supernatural efforts to drag my girlfriend and myself to the Night Bazaar and the numerous street and wat markets, where we enjoyed traditional Thai massage, northern food and bought handicrafts from the locals.


I parted with Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand with a feeling of both loss and fulfillment. I knew that there were so many other things to do, see and explore in this forest-covered part of Thailand that I hadnít even been close to in my short holiday. Nevertheless, I know that I will come back to the north again!
Mihnea Simandan
Assumption University Bangkok