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Chiang Mai: The good, bad and ugly

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Chiang Mai: The good, bad and ugly | The Thaiger

PHOTO: TakeMeTour

Post Magazine has published it’s ‘review’ of Chiang Mai, with the “good, bad and ugly sides to Thailand’s second city”. Here are some of their main points…

The good

There are more than 300 temples in Chiang Mai; they outnumber 7/11 stores, which takes some doing in Thailand. Situated in the heart of the old city, Wat Phra Singh is the most venerated and visited although it’s probably not the ideal place for meditative contemplation. For that, stroll 10 minutes west of the moat and ancient city walls to Wat Suan Dok, where visitors pad around the pagodas in a state of shoeless serenity.

Having attained inner equilibrium, sign up for an hour of Monk Chat. Despite sounding like a dating app for less-than-devout Buddhists, the initiative is an informal way for foreigners to interact with Chiang Mai’s saffron-robed residents. The monks are more than happy to enlighten visitors on topics such as their daily routine and plans for the future, and why they all have a mobile phone. In return, the monks get to practise their English.

If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon a boutique hotel down an alleyway you missed the first three times you walked past. Book a room, order a pot of iced tea and wave at the granny mending clothes on an old sewing machine below your balcony.

Chiang Mai: The good, bad and ugly | News by The Thaiger

The Bad

The digital nomads and retirees are an even-handed bunch. Many of their articles highlighting the advan­tages of Chiang Mai devote equal amounts of space to the drawbacks. Sure, the weather is great – but only in December, January and February, after which it gets hot, hotter still, then wet, and very wet. But it’s not just the stifling heat that causes expats to abandon the city for a month each year.

The Ugly

Thailand has just endured its annual Seven Dangerous Days – the period between Christmas and New Year when road accidents spike. Despite numerous safety campaigns, the nation’s streets are the deadliest in Southeast Asia, according to a World Health Organisation report. Not for the first time, hundreds died nationwide, many in alcohol-related incidents. Chiang Mai was named as one of the worst fatality black spots.

Read the rest of the article from Post Magazine HERE.

Chiang Mai: The good, bad and ugly | News by The Thaiger



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Chiang Mai

American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff

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American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff | The Thaiger

An American backpacker tourist, visiting Chiang Mai, had to be restrained after getting into a squabble with hostel staff after being asked to leave the premises.

The video of the altercation was shared on Reddit by ‘EatPrayFart’.

Following a night out, the backpacker brought a girl back to the mixed dorm room that he shared with nine other people. The report alleges the two had sex and were making a lot of noise.

The following morning the man was asked to leave the premises for breaking hostel rules. The staff also demanded he pay 200 baht for allowing the girl to stay in the dorm with him.

The man refused to pay and a fight followed, caught on camera, in the reception of the hostel.

In the footage the American man can be seen punching a member of the hostel staff before being restrained by another man. Some comments in the original post say that the man was also asked to leave by some of the other people staying in the dorm.

The report suggests the man was later taken into custody by Chiang Mai police.

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Air Pollution

Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai

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Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Sanook

Chiang Mai continue to suffer from a smog and haze crisis. Residents are suffering the affects of the poor air quality for the second week in a row in the northern Thai city.

A high reading of 176 has been recorded just north of the city centre but the areas all around Chiang Mai are registering high readings recorded as ‘Unhealthy’ today (midday). The readings are on the cusp of starting to cause health problems for people with long-term exposure to the polluted air.

Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai | News by The ThaigerThere are controlled plantation fires as well as some local scrub fires which are contributing to the city’s woes today. Helicopters are being used to stop the burning and bring the fires under control.

Random water spraying is also being conducted in the city area to limit the effect of PM 2.5 particles in the immediate air.

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Chiang Mai

Experts warn of northern faultlines as aftershocks rock Lampang

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Experts warn of northern faultlines as aftershocks rock Lampang | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wat Phra Kerd’s abbot leads officials to inspect the damage to the pagoda’s visibly tilted tiered umbrella top after Lampang’s Wang Nua district on Wednesday suffered a 4.9magnitude quake.

The recent tremors around Lampang slightly damaged a few dozen homes in six tambons, including the tiered umbrella of the Wat Phra Kerd pagoda in tambon Thung Hua.

The 4.9 magnitude quake also cracked some walls and knocked off tiles in the Tambon Rong Koh Administrative Organisation and Tambon Thung Hua Administrative Organisation buildings, prompting officials to evacuate.

Luckily the 25+ quakes and aftershocks in Lampang’s Wang Nua district on Wednesday and yesterday didn’t cause too much damage. But academics remain concerned about the North, as it has several faultlines scattered across the region.

Penneung Wanichchai, seismologist at the Asian Institute of Technology, who has served as head of the Thailand Research Fund’s quake-disaster prevention project, said that in theory, a 4.9 magnitude quake can be dangerous.

He says that the Phayao faultline should not be blamed for the Lampang quakes.

“In reality there are many more faultlines under the earth’s surface. These quakes may have stemmed from other faultlines. We may be worried about residents living near visible faultlines, but I’m worried about the entire region.”

“There can be a quake at any time, as seen in the May 5, 2014 earthquake in Chiang Rai. The Lampang quakes have made us realise that quakes can happen any where, so people should be aware,” Penneung said.

Experts warn of northern faultlines as aftershocks rock Lampang | News by The Thaiger

“Houses should be reinforced with metal and larger pillars,” he said, adding this team had reinforced four school buildings and were currently working on another four.

He says the government should add another 15 percent to the budget for constructing state buildings – especially schools and hospitals – so they could be suitable reinforced.

The Thai Meteorological Department’s Earthquake Observation Division has blamed the quakes on the Phayao faultline, which passes through Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Rai provinces.

So far, the 4.9-magnitude quake at 4.05pm on Wednesday in Lampang’s Wang Nua district was the biggest, while the latest 2.6-magnitude aftershock occurred at 6.07am yesterday, the centre said.

Teraphan Ornthammarath, who leads the TRF project for mapping out quake-risk areas in Thailand, said that though the Lampang earthquakes did not cause much damage, people should still stay out of risky buildings in case there are more violent aftershocks.

Citing the inspection of damages in Lampang’s tambon Thung Hua, he said the tambon administrative organisation’s building only suffered cracks in the wall, while the pillars and beams were unaffected. He said only one house in the tambon was coded “red”, as the metal interiors of a pillar had been exposed.

The Lampang quakes could be felt in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Phayao and Chiang Rai. Many Chiang Rai residents worried this might be a repeat of the 2014 6.3-magnitude quake, which had shaken Phan district, damaged buildings and caused “superficial” cracks to the Mae Suay dam.

Mae Suay district chief Kitti Chaidarun said the main dam was not affected by the Lampang quakes.

Experts warn of northern faultlines as aftershocks rock Lampang | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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