Nine shopping malls?
A friend told me there are 9 shopping areas going up, not all of them
mega-malls like Central Festival but shopping malls of some sort or size.
Goodness, don’t we have an abundance of these as it is? If they build them
on the outer ring roads then what will happen to the many small businesses
in town? Do go the route of the sadly generic United States with its row
housing and strip malls that makes every town and suburb for 3000 miles look
the same? I hope not! I retired to Chiang Mai to get away from that very
same ugly sameness. Chiang Mai is so pretty and quaint, with its historic
temples and city walls. A friend of mine came to visit and was thrilled by
the fact we have a moat!
Please, Chiang Mai people, don’t sell your community out for the sake of
another McDonalds. As an American who has seen my country go down this road,
I can tell you ahead of time; It’s not worth it.
Loy Krathong traffic
I enjoy Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai and visit here regularly. I live rather far
out in the middle of nowhere in Northern Thailand, retired with my wife so a
trip to the big city is a pleasure. But, I must say the traffic this past Loy
Krathong was tremendously bad and picked up early.
Imagine my horror to come up Loi Kroh one late afternoon to find a giant tour
bus just stopped in the lane, blocking an entire lane in what is already a very
narrow road. Imagine my second surprise when a local traffic policeman came up
on his motorcycle to straighten out the traffic situation and get it moving
I must add this was the second such incident I encountered that day, perhaps the
Chiang Mai police have figured out that sending our roving teams of traffic
police to unknot gnarled traffic is effective. I hope so as it was a welcome
surprise to see someone come and get things moving again.
Well done to the Chiang Mai traffic police in this case.
However, I should say not so well done to some of the drivers. I saw many
drivers doing very crazy, irresponsible things and some even acting
aggressively. I heard of a friend who lives here who was followed by some man in
his car honking aggressively because my friend dared to turn into the turn lane
inside the moat, not even cutting the car off but clearly he felt that he was
entitled to drive wherever he felt like it, regardless of traffic signs.
Most of these aggressive and irresponsible drivers appear to be local. Perhaps
they are already fed up with the traffic but if so, do not take it out on others
around. Do not put others lives at risk due to your own frustration. I hope the
traffic police will do more than just solve traffic jams but also enforce
traffic laws and fine offenders. It would go a long way towards solving some of
the traffic problems if people here learned to follow the laws.
Thank you so much for publicising the JJ Market Christmas Fair. I have tended to
avoid past fairs held at City Life because of the complete lack of parking. I
went once and got trapped in by some person who parked immediately behind me and
did not respond to calls to come move their pickup truck.
However, the Fair at JJ Market was not only well organised, but also had
abundant parking and was also very big! It was great to see so many vendors and
to be able to stroll around the fair comfortably. I enjoyed sitting in the shade
of the trees sipping some delicious tea from the Chedi but must confess it was a
bit disappointing to have the food in a separate building. I wasn’t really sure
what was back there until I saw a friend eating a delicious looking kebab who
then pointed me in the right direction.
However, other than that very small complaint I would just like to say, “Well
done” to the organisers of the event. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves
If I may, I would like to offer a small rant at the declining quality of We TV.
I know that you get what you pay for and at 330 baht a month, it is not going to
be on a par with True Platinum but honestly, they have two English language TV
series channels, both of which repeat the same shows over and over and over.
Then there are two English language movie channels. Many of the films on there
are B movies, or repeated regularly as well. There is Australia Television which
has some programming of interest.
Finally, the news and sports channels seem to be the strongest. Thank you for
bringing back BBC News, that was a welcome relief. But Channel V seems to be
mainly for children. Perhaps that is the nature of music channels of late, but
the constant barrage of K-Pop on that channel has me quickly changing channels.
So, a few requests, please bring back the Food Channel in English, it was one of
the highlights of your line up. National Geographic in English would be more
than welcome as well.
I am getting to the point of finding even the measly 300 baht monthly fee to be
a waste of my money. I do hope they will revamp their line up soon.
I own a small restaurant down a side soi off of Nimmanhaemin road and while the
torrential rains of last night were unavoidable the floods that ensued may have
been lessened were the streets around here cleaned regularly and the drains
cleaned out. I cleaned out the drain next to my place which was clogged with
leaves, debris and garbage. However, the main street of Nimmanhaemin was a river
with water very deep from one side to the other.
I see the street sweepers around the moat but surely they could send a few
people and a few machines to this very busy part of the city.
While I am at it, I must say that the state of the road here is very horrible.
It is broken with many giant potholes, even more dangerous when the water is so
I realize that Nimmanhaemin is just one road but it is a popular one, it is
heavily used. Please, do try to include it in the maintenance list for street
Peace in Thailand
By Shana Kongmun
I confess that while I do hold some rather decided opinions on the
politics of Thailand I generally do not publicly air them. Thai politics are
quite complex with so many undercurrents and intricate past relationships that I
understand that even more than 20 years of following Thai politics still leaves
me with a rather superficial view of the whole thing. Perhaps not as superficial
as many others but still, given the depth and historical references that only a
seasoned insider could know, superficial nonetheless.
However, more than 20 years of watching politics in Thailand has given me enough
understanding to see that there seems to be a sea change in the way people view
each other, how they view their politicians and how they react. And frankly, I
am not convinced it’s a good change. There seems to be an abundance of
intolerance to other people’s opinions coming from all sides. Just the fact that
there are actually “sides” to anything is something different. Thai people have
never had a this ‘us vs. them’ mentality in politics and if you had asked me ten
years ago what ideology a particular party followed, I could not name it. It
didn’t seem, to me, to be about ideologies but about personalities and again,
historical relationships. It didn’t seem so much that you were pro or anti one
particular party but that you followed the person and ultimately the party they
belonged to, which could change like the wind as alliances shifted.
So, I ask myself, why does it feel like things have changed when the alliances
still shift like the wind? Violence in the political scene is certainly nothing
new in Thailand, although it must be noted that it is not really all that common
unless it’s at a local level and is one politician bumping off another. What to
me seems to different is not just the scale of events but also the virulence
each group feels for the other, as if they were enemies at war rather than
countrymen and women who all just want what is best for the people of Thailand.
The recent violence in Bangkok leads me to ask, why can’t everyone allow each
their own opinion? Why can’t a peaceful discussion of those differences take
place? If Thailand’s road to modernization has it end up with same bitter
divisiveness of my own country’s politics, then this is, to me, not the best
road to follow.