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Chiang Mai

Small guest-houses and hotels closing down across Chiang Mai

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Small guest-houses and hotels closing down across Chiang Mai | The Thaiger

Hotels, from small to medium size, are closing down across Chaing Mai following recent crackdowns and enforcement of the Hotel Act. Similar crackdowns are underway across the country this week, notably in Krabi as well. About 100 protesters have staged protests outside City Hall demanding that their issues be raised with the Tourism Ministry and the Thai PM.

Small and medium hotel owners say they have no other choice that to protest at the City Hall.

One of the protester’s signs said… “For 13 years we have paid tax on this hotel, but now we are illegal. This is what we get.”

Operators are also calling on authorities to designate Chiang Mai City as a ‘Special Economic Zone’ for Tourism and legalise them as an alternative to make them comply with the Hotel Act.

Since June 7 a large number of guesthouses and smaller accommodation providers around the city have been closing down. Amnard Duangsing, owner of a small guesthouse, told CityNews that police have been relentlessly enforcing the Hotel Act, forcing many entrepreneurs to shut down their businesses.

“We’re incapable of meeting the strict rules and regulations that are aimed at large, multinational hotels.”

ChiangMaiCityLife.com reports that a network of accommodation service entrepreneurs who already filed a petition last month to Lawyers Council Under the Royal Patronage, Chiang Mai Office, are now planning to file another request to several authorities including the Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Tourism and Sports and to the governor of Chiang Mai via the Damrongdhama Centre to postpone the enforcement and seek a solution.

Another of the small guesthouse owners, forced to shutdown, gave an example of one of one of the rules that were, in many cases, impossible to comply with. He said that the rules that requires every accommodation business to have at least 15% green space, but as small business operators in a dense town, there is hardly any space left, with many guest houses using town houses that have almost no green space whatsoever.

The operator said it was costly to renovate properties to meet standards, including 30 per cent green space and fire exits – and there was no guarantee that the improved facilities would get the state’s seal of approval anyway.

Many of the protesters remarked that having one Act covering all accommodation from 300 room hotels down to small guesthouses, was too restrictive and that the Act needed to be brought up to date to reflect the smaller hotels and guesthouses as well as the large multinational brands.

SOURCE: ChiangMaiCityLife.com



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Chiang Mai

Mae Sa and Tad Mork waterfalls in Chiang Mai closed

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Mae Sa and Tad Mork waterfalls in Chiang Mai closed | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mae Sa waterfall

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park officials in the north of Thailand have closed the Mae Sa and Tad Mork waterfalls after heavy rainfall have caused high water flows and slippery paths “that may endanger tourists”.

Mae Sa waterfall is approximately 30 minutes drive north-west from Chiang Mai and Tad Mork waterfall about an hour drive north-west of Chaing Mai.

The national park chief Wuttichai Soamwipark told Thai Rath that his office will continue to monitor the situation and urged tourists to remain safe, and follow the directions of park signage and officials.

The two waterfalls are very popular with local and foreign hikers who visit the park every year.

Mae Sa and Tad Mork waterfalls in Chiang Mai closed | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tad Mork waterfall

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Chiang Mai

Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of ‘toxic’ herbicides

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Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of ‘toxic’ herbicides | The Thaiger

Thai farmers say they oppose the proposed bans on herbicides paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.

The Thai government plans to phase out three chemical weed killers, widely used by Thai farmers, by the end of this year.

Farmers say they oppose the restrictions of use because the chemicals provide higher crop yields, according to Thai PBS who headed out into the fields to survey farmers’ attitudes to the proposed restrictions.

A recent field survey of farmers in Phrae, northern Thailand, indicated that many of the local farmers were unlikely to forsake the weed killers while an effective alternative is not currently available.

Thai PBS reports that the Phrae provincial governor Pongrat Piromrat says that the local government had been encouraging farmers to turn to organic farming. But he admitted the results had been limited because the organic produce is less popular among wholesalers and consumers and because the produce does not look as attractive or fetch the same prices as its non-organic counterparts.

The farmers say, because of their large farms and shortage of labour, they need to use the three herbicides and weed killers before and after cultivation to get large enough harvests to generate the incomes they need.

Organic farmer Mr. Ronnakiat Kamnoi, village headman of Tambon Mae Poong in Wang Chin district, said the government should use incentives to persuade farmers to stop using the toxic chemicals, and launch educational campaigns so farmers better understand the health and environmental risks from the chemicals and the merits of organic farming.

Starting in October this year, farmers who want to continue using the three chemicals must register with officials in their respective areas and undergo training on their proper use.

Retail sellers of the three chemicals are also required to register with authorities to obtain sale permits.

Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of 'toxic' herbicides | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS

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Chiang Mai

Lanterns grounded in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong world record attempt

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Lanterns grounded in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong world record attempt | The Thaiger

Enthusiastic enforcement of the TM30 form is one thing. Backing down on modern new public buses in Bangkok is another. But now the Thai government have gone too far!

Officials in Chiang Mai have ordered the cancellation of a major sky lantern event, including a Guinness world record attempt, planned for the Loy Krathong festival in November, caving in to local conservation groups.

The event, which was jointly organised by the Chiang Mai Tourism Industry Council and the Office Huay Toeng Thao reservoir tourism promotion project, was to be held at Huay Toeng Thao in Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai.

More than 20,000 Chinese tourists are expected to join the event and the organisers had hoped to set Guinness world record for the largest number of sky lanterns to be floated in the air at a single event.

The event, however, was slammed by conservation groups, claiming that the release of sky lanterns is not a traditional Lanna custom and they can disrupt air travel, cause fires and result in garbage.

It is reported that Maj-Gen Suebsakul Buarawong, commander of the 33rd Army Circle, has ordered the cancellation of the event and, instead, has ordered the development of army-controlled areas to be tourist attractions as well as recreational spots.

The Thaiger wonders why the 33rd Army Circle is making civic decisions following the return to civilian rule, assuming the flying lanterns were not a military hazard.

A coordinator for the Rak Chiang Mai community network has praised the army’s decision to cancel the aerial display and world record attempt.

Watch how the yearly mass display of lanterns in Chiang Mai inspired a favourite Disney scene from ‘Tangled’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTCbBi7unkg

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