Monks and mobile phones
I realize this may be a tad controversial and don’t want
to cause any offence to any Thai person, but this has been playing on my
mind for some time now and I really have to ask, What is it with the monks
in the mobile phone shops? Many times, there are more monks browsing for
mobile phones in the small phone shops in Kad Suan Kaew than there are
regular customers. It has perplexed me for quite a while now, but I don’t
ask them what they can be doing in the phone stores for fear of causing
A friend of mine flew in from Hong Kong last week and
told me the plane was quite empty. Immigration queues were short and quick.
Traffic from the airport not too bad until hitting the chaos that is Bangkok
under the Red Shirt occupation.
The lack of tourists can no longer be blamed solely on
the volcano. Other friends tell me they are changing their plans and going
elsewhere due to the neverending occupation of downtown Bangkok, the bombs
and fears of further unrest.
I greatly fear the current situation will do serious long
term damage to Thailand’s reputation as a destination for quality tourists,
if it has not done so already. For the sake of the country and the people
whose livelihoods depend on a functioning economy, this needs to be
This has gone on long enough
I recently signed up for the new 3BB service and while
its pretty good it has had two major outages in the past few weeks. Out for
hours. I called the service number and was told “all of Chiang Mai is out”.
For a brand new service, that’s not so good. It makes me concerned that this
will continue. But, friends complain TOT is even worse, AIS 3G is
outrageously expensive and not that fast. So, 3BB it is for now.
While I understand that life in Thailand has its ups and
its downs it would be nice to have something work for a change.
Ever the optimist in Chiang Mai
Public transport in Chiang Mai
As a recent visitor to Chiang Mai, I have to commend the
city on the relative efficiency and friendliness of its tuk tuk drivers and
songthaews drivers. I generally go to the beaches in the South and find that
the prices there are extortionate. Certainly, a taxi meter in Bangkok is
cheaper than one in Chiang Mai, but compared to Koh Samui where the meter
isn’t even turned on, it becomes tough to complain.
So, while I know that residents everywhere complain about
their public transportation, I have to tell you, Chiang Mai is a dream
compared to many other tourist destinations in Thailand. Drivers are fair,
and while some may overcharge, generally it is not that bad, and the drivers
I want my World Cup in English!
Considering how many English speaking fans will want to
watch the World Cup in English I find it absolutely appalling that True
Visions (why visions? They certainly aren’t visionary) refuses to offer
commentary for the upcoming World Cup in English. The South African channel,
I have been told, is going to be blocked from the end of this month as,
apparently, nobody is buying tickets if they can watch it for free.
Well, I am hardly going to spend my retirement savings to
fly to South Africa and face its crime and strike ridden public transport
just to watch a football match! And why can’t True acknowledge the fact that
while, yes, this is Thailand, a great number of people watching and paying
for their rather insipid programming are English speakers (or at least
Is there anyone to contact at True who would listen? I
have emailed, but of course, received no response. But then, to be fair, I
have never received a response from any of these kinds of “service”
businesses here in Thailand.
So, for those of us who would like to listen to the
commentary in English, how about bringing some in, True Visions? Try living
up to your name, for a change.
Not bound for the World Cup
A call to readers
Dear Chiang Mai Mail readers,
The Chiang Mai Mail would like to let our readers know
that we welcome their input. Any suggestions for stories, news tips, photos
and article submissions you wish to make are more than welcome for inclusion
in the newspaper.
Please be sure to include your real name and a pseudonym
if you wish and email to [email protected]
We look forward to hearing from our readers,
Shana Kongmun & Phitsanu Thepthong
Managing Editor and Editor of Chiang Mai Mail