PHOTO: Daily News
A Chinese tourist and three friends lodged an official complaint with the Chiang Mai police about the operators of a karaoke bar who allegedly overcharged them. They say they were ‘shocked’ after being presented with a bill for 14,000 baht.
The incident on Monday night resulted in the men seeking police assistance after being handed the bill.
The tourists drank a total of 27 bottles of beer and ordered a small selection of food (as we rush for our calculators).
Daily News is reporting that the men also requested to enter the ‘VIP’ section of the bar and asked for four female staff members to serve them with drinks and food throughout the evening.
When presented with the 14,000 baht bar bill they are reported to have been ‘shocked’ and refused to pay. Witnesses say there was a minor altercation between the men and bar staff.
Local police were called in and ‘invited’ all involved back to the Chiang Mai police station where the incident was finally resolved.
Result: The Chinese men reluctantly agreed to hand over 7,000 baht in payment. Case closed.
Daily News reports that this incident is just the latest episode involving foreigners allegedly being overcharged by the operators of Chiang Mai’s karaoke bars.
In 2013, a Swedish man claimed one such bar overcharged him by more than 50,000 baht and earlier this year a group of Malaysian tourists said they were charged 114,080 baht at the Pink Lady bar, now closed.
SOURCE: Daily News
Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials
PHOTO: The Thaiger
Thai Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa were in Chiang Mai yesterday to give provincial governors and state agency officials a ‘heads up’ in preparation for another looming season of forest fires and haze.
The North suffers perennial choking smog from approximately February to April, and Prawit passed on a message from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who, he said, was fretting over the impact on people’s health.
He said the Environment Ministry would take the lead in coordinating with neighbouring countries and related local authorities to monitor the fire problem both in and outside Thailand.
The fires are lit in northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar, as burn-offs to prepare for the next year’s crops. Last year’s choking smoke haze was headline news for months.
SOURCE: The Nation
Chiang Mai hotels face a quiet end to 2019
PHOTO: Spice Roads
Chiang Mai hotels are bracing for a quiet end to 2019, along with other Thai tourist hotspots, due to the strength of the baht, an over-supply of rooms and the growing popularity of home-sharing accommodations like Airbnb.
Hoteliers in the northern city are also suffering the fall-out from the smoke haze crisis earlier in the year which put off a lot of forward tourist bookings.
Occupancy rates have fallen in Q3 20%, compared to an 80% rate at the same time last year. Hoteliers say that, usually, this is a relatively busy time for the northern city with school holidays in Europe and China. This year’s Chinese ‘Golden Week’ (October 1-7) was also very quiet compared to previous years.
They predict the average occupancy rate of less than 60% may be the ‘norm’ for the rest of the year. At the same time the number of rooms in Chiang Mai has risen an additional 10,000 rooms to 60,000 rooms in just two years, so there is a glut of rooms competing for dwindling business.
The rise of home-sharing accommodation in northern Thailand is further exacerbating the problem for the traditional hotel market. Hoteliers are also blaming this year’s negative publicity about the smoke and haze during March and April.
According to the Bangkok Post, in the first eight months of this year Chiang Mai welcomed 6.38 million tourists, down 2.2% compared to the same period last year.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
Burmese man arrested for dealing in methamphetamine pills
PHOTO: Naew Na
Naew Na reports that a joint operation between Lamphun immigration and the Muangjee police has resulted in the arrest of a 27 year old Burmese man. Lamphun is just south of Chiang Mai and has a large population of Burmese migrant workers.
‘Thun’ was arrested yesterday along with drug taking equipment and 206 methamphetamine tablets. He was charged with possession of an illicit drug with intent to sell, and using the drug.
He has now been handed over to the Muang Lamphun police for processing and probably deportation.
SOURCE: Naew Na
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