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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai tourism plans to promote more outlying regions for 2019

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Chiang Mai tourism plans to promote more outlying regions for 2019 | The Thaiger

“The plan is to promote traditional, conservative activities such as temple routes, sightseeing tours in the old city and visiting craft villages.”

The Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) Chiang Mai Office has announced its performance for the past year and announced its plans for 2019.

Visroot Inhyam, the director general of TAT’s northern region outlined the main issues for tourism promotion in the region that’s clustered few areas that are already well known in the market.

“When events are held repeatedly in the same place, what happens is the destination is swamped with people. The question we, and business-people, need to ask is how to spread the crowds to other areas in the region,” said Visroot. He pointed out that income distribution is the ultimate goal for the local TAT office.

Chiang Mai has welcomed approximately 10 million visitors from January to August this year, a 4% growth from last year, generating over 95 million baht.

Visroot said the majority of tourists continue to be Thai while 30% are international visitors. Among Thai visitors, 40% are from the central region with a large number from Bangkok, and about the same ratio from northern Thailand while the other regions are less than 10%.

Chinese travellers remain the largest international inflow for 2018 followed by those from the US, Japan and UK, with an average stay of three days and spending about 4,000 baht per person per day.

Pakkanan Winijchai, the newly appointed director general of Tourism Authority Thailand Chiang Mai Office stated that the goals are to accelerate the spending of mass tourist, penetrating niche markets and spreading tourism destinations.

“This year’s target markets are the same groups – millennial who are below 30 years old, the silver age, female travellers and millennial families under the concept ‘amazing stories of the north & local hero’.”

“Millennium people love chic and cool crafts and Chiang Mai is so rich in that,” said Pakkanan presenting last year’s events and reported in the Chiang Mai City Life.

The most popular events include Sawassdee Craft, Chiang Mai Design Week, Baan Tawai Creative Craft Village and more. While the ‘silver age’ group who are retired people, the office sees that they have plenty of free time and less bound to their work.

As for woman travellers, next year the office will concentrate on local textiles, focusing on Mae Chaem and San Kamphaeng and as to the millennium families who enjoy hands-on kids friendly experience, the promotion will be on local farm stays.

The target for next year is to increase domestic travallers by 10% and international travellers by 12% with the revenue growth at 11.5% from this year.

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Chiang Mai

British man stuck in Thailand, facing jail for defending himself

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British man stuck in Thailand, facing jail for defending himself | The Thaiger

A British man, beaten up by a gang of Thai “thugs”, is facing jail after throwing punches in self-defence. 38 year old Luke Thornton was kicked and punched in the face and repeatedly knocked out in the assault. He was visiting his wife Sayforn Phetkajang in the village of Pai, north west of Chiang Mai.

At the time reports in Thai media say he was sitting in the road with a few friends when three men pulled up on motorbikes and started revving their engines. Luke then pulled his friends away, at which point the Thai men allegedly unleashed a savage assault on Luke.

Three Thai men have now been arrested, aged between 23 and 25. They claim the British man shouldn’t have interfered in a fight between “grown Thai men”.

“So he needed to be taught a lesson.” Read The Thaiger report about the attack HERE.

Luke’s wife told reporters that he had raised his hands in a wai to appeal for his life but says he was kicked and beaten unconscious and left for dead as the gang fled the scene.

“They had wooden sticks with nails pointing out. They were screaming they were going to kill me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. They punched me in the face and the back; they kicked my legs and smashed my face with their sticks”.

“I lost consciousness and then when I woke up again, they knocked me out with a kick to the head. This happened two or three times. At one point they picked me up and dragged me across the road, my face scraping along.”

One of the attackers eventually asked: “Where will he put his body?”

Luke was taken to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital with a fractured skull, fractured eye socket and other facial injuries. Over the following two weeks, he underwent facial reconstruction surgery and operations on his fractured skull and broken finger, with medical bills running to £7,500 (about 280,000 Thai baht).

He suffered a smashed eye socket and a smashed nose, with his left eyeball replaced by a piece of silicon and eventually re-inserted. The three men in question have been arrested but Luke now faces a trial for “fighting”.

British man stuck in Thailand, facing jail for defending himself | News by The Thaiger

Luke now faces six months of proceedings, along with jail time or a £10,000 (about 375,000 Thai baht) fine.

“I’ve been told I will have to sit in the dock with the three men who attacked me at my next court date in September. I am so scared they will have me killed. I have PTSD from that night, and I can’t stop replaying it in my head.”

Luke’s passport has been confiscated by Thai authorities and he is unable to return home to see his children.

Luke’s family and friends have set up a fundraising page to cover court costs and medical bills, which can be viewed HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times | Thai Rath | dailystar.co.uk

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Chiang Mai

Lamphun monks ahead of the trend to eliminate single-use plastic bags

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Lamphun monks ahead of the trend to eliminate single-use plastic bags | The Thaiger

Phra Samutnatthee Suvathato, the deputy Abbot of the Wat Pa Book, in the Pa Sang district of Thailand’s northern province of Lamphun, says their temple has been ahead of the trend to reduce the use of plastics for two decades.

Lamphun is just south of Chiang Mai.

They’ve already been using a portable kitchen cabinet to receive alms from Buddhist disciples for years.

Speaking to Thai PBS, the Abbot says the monks used to carry a Bento lunch box to receive alms from the local community but started using a portable kitchen cabinet placed on a push cart or a tricycle about 20 years ago.

“They say it’s more convenient and can carry more food.”

The senior monk said that, at first, people put food in plastic bags and gave it to the monks, but he asked them to put food on plates or wrap it in banana leaves. He admitted that, during the initial period, his advice wasn’t followed because most people in the neighborhood bought food at the market, because the alms were collected in the very early morning.

So he advised monks at the temple to start their alms round at 7.30am, an hour later, so people had time to prepare food themselves and present it to the monks without the use of plastic bags.

Besides encouraging people in the local area to stop using plastic bags, the deputy abbot said that his monks also work with the people in the area to turn food waste and fallen leaves into compost for cultivation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Chiang Mai

65 year old tourist from Finland found dead in northern Thai resort

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65 year old tourist from Finland found dead in northern Thai resort | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tourist Police Division 2 กองบังคับการตำรวจท่องเที่ยว 2

A tourist from Finland has been found dead at a resort in Pai, Mae Hong Son, yesterday morning, north-west of Chiang Mai.

The 65 year old, Kari Rajasolo, was found dead in his room by a caretaker at the small resort in tambon Mae Na Toeng about 8am. The resort is situated in the mountainous province in a valley famous for its gorges, hot springs and scenery.

According to the Tourist Police Division 2 the man checked in at the resort on Monday evening.

The manager told police the lights remained on so she knocked on the door to check if he was OK. She eventually opened the door and found the man laying unconscious on the floor.

Police inspected the scene and say they found no traces of a struggle. They also said there were no medications found in their search of the man’s room.

The manager told police the man was a frequent visitor to Pai. He usually travelled alone and had stayed at the resort. He arrived in Thailand on Sunday.

Thailand is very popular as a getaway tourist destination among Finns with over 8.2 million visits a year from a population of only 5.5 million.

SOURCE: Tourist Police Division 2

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