Baby elephants in the streets
Greetings from the USA
We spent a wonderful two week vacation in your beautiful
city last February. We found the people, the food and atmosphere was one of
the most welcoming we have ever experienced.
We were planning a return visit this coming November but
are now not sure how much we would enjoy it. We have seen the news about all
the young elephants begging in the streets of Chiang Mai and understand that
this is against the law. Not only against the law but not something we wish
to see happening in your beautiful city. Elephants were the reason we
visited in November, to spend time at the Nature Park seeing elephants just
being elephants. Begging in city streets is a cruel and dangerous life for
this symbol of your country. We are hoping officials can find a solution to
this that will allow mahouts and elephants alike to live a better life.
Until then, we will have to postpone our next visit.
Sandra and Susan Goodwin
Excessive water and rationing
I note that the Director of the Irrigation Office claims that rice farmers
used ‘excessive’ amounts of water this year (CM Mail March 2nd). I believe
that the Director is not being completely transparent with the facts. I have
no doubt that rice farmers will use what water is made available to them -
but who makes that water available?
Normally irrigation water rationing occurs in this area –
the start depends on what storage has been made during the rainy season. In
poor rainy seasons this is usually begins at the start of the year but, this
year, there was no rationing until February! Since everyone concerned was
aware of the situation well before the start of the year, why was this so?
Only the Irrigation department can answer for ‘excessive’ use – not rice
Concerned water user.
Apology to Siam Ocean World
I apoligise to Siam Ocean World, to the editor of the Chiang Mai Mail and
its readers as well about informing you wrongly with regard to ‘double
pricing’ as to entrance fees of Siam Ocean World in Bangkok. I trusted the
rumor, but I checked it by myself, too late I agree, and it turned out to be
totally untrue. Every adult has to pay 850 Baht irrespective to colour black,
white, yellow, red or brown. So, everybody is welcome in Siam Ocean World on
the same conditions. And for me it is a lesson to check my information in
the future more carefully!
Double pricing continued
Regarding Nick’s letter in the previous edition re
pricing discrimination at Seaworld Aquarium at Siam Paragon, I would
encourage him to report the matter to the contact given below, provided by
the Tourism Authority of Thailand. I would also encourage others who have
similar grievances to do likewise. I have no idea how effective such
reporting will be, but at least an agency does exist to listen and (hopefully)
act. Current legal guidelines on pricing stipulate unequivocally that there
can only be one price charged for entrance/admission fees and that this must
also be prominently displayed upfront.
Businesses are, however, granted the freedom to undertake
marketing and promotional activities, and may for example legally offer non-discriminatory
Thailand abides by internationally-recognized consumer
protection practices. In the event that an individual consumer feels that
they have been subject to unfair business practices, these grievances can be
filed with the Consumer Protection Board for Thai nationals or the Ministry
of Tourism and Sports Office of Tourism Development for visitors to
Reporting unethical practice: Tel/Fax: +66 (0) 2216 6512.
mail: [email protected] tourism.go.th
No Red shirt news?
On the brink of the red shirt rally going to Bangkok this Sunday, March 14,
of which a large number will come from Chiang Mai, there is not ONE word in
the NEWS section about it. Not one story about how people feel. Not one word
about where the money is coming from to get people there. The town where
Thaksin started everything - okay, San Khaempang, but it is close enough to
Chiang Mai - has not one thing to say about the revolution that is about to
take place.Can you not see it? Do you not think this is news?
Please tell me. Is there another English language
newspaper I can read in Chiang Mai? This one has gone beyond missing the
point to being almost blind!
Dear Stan, thank you for your email regarding red shirt activity reporting.
The Chiang Mai Mail is a weekly and as such, reporting on such fast moving
news as the Red Shirt activity will generally result in the publication of
old news that has already been covered extensively in the dailies, on
television and on the internet. However, we are happy to cover more Rak
Chiang Mai 51 activity in the city when and as it happens.
Begging elephants in the city
I am writing to your paper in the hope that your
circulation may find willing participants in the efforts to correct a sad
and developing story on the streets of Chiang Mai.
I have visited your city four times now, and love the
lively and creative atmosphere that is so pervasive there. I am also a big
supporter of anything that will truly benefit your Nation, your City, your
culture, the people who live there and the elephants who have played such an
important role in your history.
Since last summer’s push by Bangkok to provide
alternatives for the street-begging elephants and their mahouts, there has
been a continued and most obvious increase in the numbers of elephants who
are coming in to Chiang Mai to ply the streets and pry the dollars out of
tourists’ pockets. Every night there are more reports of young elephants
hanging about, and in one case being abandoned, on the streets. These are
young elephants. They should be by nature still with their mothers and
families, and far from the dangers and mistreatment of the streets of any
city. It is happening though in a city that I love! I am so disappointed in
the inaction of the authorities there. I know that it is against Thai Law to
be using these babies within a city and in this way. I am well aware that
these young people who are with the elephants are in many cases hungry
themselves, and so fall prey to the irresponsible owners of these elephants.
These owners reap fine rewards for their cruelty and greed. The mahouts who
do actually own their elephants are sometimes ill-advised on the dangers and
the proper care for their elephants. There is a picture this morning of an
elephant having a lit cigarette held at the end of its trunk…its breathing
apparatus! There are reports of drugging the elephants, so that they can do
double duty in logging or in trekking camps. The situation is deplorable.
This is your National symbol after all. Why is that they are allowed to be
treated in this way in Chiang Mai? You should know better. The tourists who
support these activities are merely uninformed. I and many others are trying
to correct this! I am writing to you, and to the travel websites and
International news outlets, and also across my Facebook network, about the
There are alternatives! The City of Bangkok managed to
set them up and to find them. The Thai Government has been involved too. The
elephants and their mahouts need to be given the word about the alternatives
… and about the fact that they are breaking the Law. They need to see that
they can live with their elephants in a way that honours the traditions, and
that supports their families. The others “owners” need to be taken to task
for breaking the Law, so they will stop tearing the babies away from their
families, and putting them to work and at last to die in a terrible way.
Thank you for listening, and I hope that some action will
be taken very soon to stop this.