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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Vol. 15 No. 7 July 2006


Letters to the editor is an open forum for you the reader to express your opinions. Write to: editor@chiangmaicitylife.com,
Subject: Letter to the Editor. Letters can be on any subject, and priority will be given to letters under 200 words.
Letters may be edited for clarity or conciseness. Name and contact details must be supplied.

Dear Editor,

Yesterday I was forced to go on yet another costly and time-consuming border run to Cambodia. I encountered a problem on the Cambodian side of the border. After crossing into Cambodia from Thailand, I went to the visa payment area and paid the requested 1000 baht fee for a tourist visa. I then went to the border check point and gave the officer my passport and immigration forms. He looked up at me and said “You must pay me 800 baht to enter Cambodia.” I told him that I had already paid. He then said, in a forceful tone, “800 baht!” I told him again that I had already paid a Cambodian police officer 1000 baht. He mumbled something to a colleague sitting next to him, stamped my passport and handed it back to me. I then crossed the street to the area where you exit Cambodia. I handed the officer my passport. He looked up at me and said “that will be 100 baht.” I told him that I had already paid all of the required fees and asked him if this was some type of new policy. He seemed surprised at my response and decided to stamp my passport and let me go.

Given that this is no doubt not an isolated event, I suspect that several corrupt Cambodian immigration officers are aggressively trying to extort money from virtually every foreigner that is trying to enter and exit Cambodia via Poipet. Border runs are frustrating enough. Border runs that result in extortion attempts are way beyond frustrating. Accordingly, if there is anything that the Thai government can do to help put a stop to this illegal behaviour, please do so. One simple solution would be to allow foreigners to pay the required visa fees at any Thai immigration office without having to exit Thailand.

Jopal Merob, Bangkok

Dear Editor,

I am surprised to be writing to compliment whoever is running the bus service!

Recently, the private company that has been running the busses on Route 10 discontinued the service. "Typically Thailand”, I thought. “This is the only bus route that is reasonably well patronised, so of course, they stop running." Someone in the municipality was apparently aware of this, and arranged to substitute red pickup truck taxis running the same route. At first, last week, the taxis seemed to run only every hour or so from the Warorot market. Now, this week, it seems there is a red taxi ready to go whenever I am. This is a vast improvement on the old Bus 10, which only ran every half-hour to 45 minutes. Kudos for whoever did this!

Franklin DuMoulin

Dear Editor,

The addition of James Austin Farrell as deputy editor has added a good dose of wit, vibrancy and esprit to Citylife. I can't remember having enjoyed a Citylife issue as much as the latest one.

Looking forward to the next issue to see if Farrell scores again!

Mark D. Flowers

Dear Editor,

I have been knocked down, and hospitalised, which cost me a fortune! This took place on the pedestrian crossing near Novotel some months ago. In addition, I have had many very near-misses on other crossings, both by car drivers, and mostly motorcyclists! My latest hospital visit was caused by the careless placing of a promotion board cable near 7/11 opposite Kad Suan Kaew. I am still recovering from this serious fall, and I am fit and not visually impaired. God help those who are less able!

The dangers that pedestrians face here are terrible, and photographic evidence is daily available. It is about time that something was done to address these dangerous factors! Would you like to expose this (again), in the hope that something might be done about the abuse of pedestrian access/usage? Uncontrolled crossings, wild dogs, dangerous pavements, vendors blocking pavements, dangerously low hanging cables, also strewing the pavement, poor lighting in some areas, not to mention the dreadful driving standards of Thais and farang.

There are many uncovered or corroded manholes. The complete lack of interest from the city authorities about these factors, and very poor policing, all are of concern to residents. This includes Thai people also, but is quite definitely a major disincentive to tourists.

I love this city, and have lived in Thailand for nearly 14 years. I have no intention of leaving, but the city is seemingly out of control! Are you interested in looking into this, certainly Dr. Pann, who has been my doctor for all my time in Chiang Mai, is concerned?

With the city growing at such a fast pace, why is nothing been done?


Dear Citylife

Thank you for your editorial, which touched my heart, last month. You are right, our relationship with the King of Thailand is very personal and something which foreigners, unless they have lived here for a long time, find hard to understand. It just is. Long Live the King!


Dear Editor,

[Regarding the column Retiring Attitude] We are enjoying your column and making notes.

Thai wife and I are planning retirement in July 2009. Saving our pennies.

Don & Pai

Dear Editor,

I read with amusement the letter by the ‘feminist’ in your last edition chastising you for Citylife’s April story on Sexy Nurses. Get a life! If the writer had bothered to read the article, she would have seen that the only person who was made to look a fool was the writer, and the only acts of sexism were against the drooling men who have such stupid fetishes. It is not the nurses (which the article made quite clear were competent and professional), but the silly men who can’t control themselves around them, which the piece pokes fun at. The feminist writer would do well to get a sense of humour and understand satire and wit before commenting.

The letter writer mentioned that the article was damaging to all the awareness she was raising about feminism. I can’t for the life of me think how that article or the cover was damaging to anyone. Do men see a cleavage-revealling nurse and suddenly think that all nurses are sluts? I think that is an insult to men’s intelligence. The writer did a very good job with the article and the photographer did a great job with the cover.
A Reasonable Feminist

Note from Editor
In Citylife’s May 2006 edition, we featured an old photograph of Sompetch Market lablelled with an incorrect date of 1867. In the June 2006 edition, Kenny DesPortes wrote in to point out that the photograph was actually taken in 1967, which was correct. However, Mr DesPortes went on to question whether anyone in Chiang Mai actually had a camera as far back as 1867. I have just come across Stephen White’s book, John Thompson: a window to the orient, which features two photographs of a Lao man and woman which was actually taken here in Chiang Mai in 1865.

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