Sandal scandal: Thai temple thief swaps white flipflops for black in Chiang Mai (video)

A CCTV camera at Phra That Doi Suthep Temple in the southern province of Chiang Mai captured a Thai man stealing a pair of shoes from a South Korean tourist. The man entered the temple wearing white flipflops but left wearing black ones.

The leader of the security team at the temple, Porramate Ngamchuen, told Channel 7 that the theft took place on Monday night, February 5, when a group of South Korean tourists visited the temple. A tour guide reported to him that a South Korean man’s shoes disappeared from the shoe rack outside the temple.

According to the tour guide, only an old pair of white shoes was found near the spot where the foreign victim initially placed his shoes. This led Porramate to suspect theft, as similar incidents happened at the temple several times before.

Porramate said he checked the security camera and discovered a suspicious Thai man. The man was seen entering the temple with his girlfriend, wearing white flipflops. However, the footage when he left the temple showed that he selected black flipflops instead of his white ones before leaving the area.

Porramate provided spare shoes to the South Korean victim and encouraged him to report the incident to the police with clear evidence. However, the victim did not file a complaint to the police because he was in a hurry.

Porramate warned all shoe thieves to stop stealing from the temple’s visitors because there were three CCTV cameras at the place. He highlighted that such incidents tarnish the reputation of both the temple and the country.

In November of the previous year, Chiang Mai experienced a shoe theft when more than 300 pairs of shoes were stolen from hotels. Thai hotel owners revealed that most victims were foreign tourists who did not file complaints with the police.

Despite the lack of formal complaints, hotel owners urged the police to address the issue promptly, emphasising the potential harm to the tourism image.

As of now, there is no update on whether the police took action on the matter or not.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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