Your Say: May 2013
• Conflicting Criticisms
I have to say I agree with some of the remarks made by Terry Reardon in February’s Citylife, although not his solutions. Your content seems to have lost its way, the articles headlined having little to do with Chiang Mai; they have become the sort of anodyne pieces that can be found in any magazine
Please focus on Chiang Mai, there are enough local problems and contentious issues to keep your magazine full to bursting. If I remember correctly Citylife used to be in the forefront of movements to reduce pollution, to deal with the traffic, to help people cross the road.
Get back on track editor, bring your magazine into the political foreground instead of starting to languish sadly in some tedious corner.
Your ads are still good though.
[Ed. Thank you for your comments. While we take all suggestions very seriously, I just wanted to point out that many of our more ‘newsy’ local stories are now available at ChiangMaiCityNews.com, our daily news site.]
• Fluff & Stuff
This note is to encourage more of the reportage you’ve presented us with recently. God is All-Wise, which explains why She allows the existence of www.dailymail.co.uk for the likes of your reader Terry Reardon, it’s the go-to site for fluff-buffs. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and thanks for it.
• Room for Improvement
Several years ago I wrote an article for Citylife pointing out what I thought were some very bad points about Chiang Mai that really should be addressed. I commented about allowing tourists to drink in the street and noted that motorbikes being allowed to race through Tha Pae Gate is very dangerous. We noticed an effort starting around two years ago toward controlling street drinking which has probably been reduced, but it should be enforced more rigorously. Young Western tourists dismiss the notices and we find beer bottles thrown away underneath the NO ALCOHOL signs. This shows total disrespect for Thailand and its laws. You do not need their money so badly that they should be permitted to treat this country and city disrespectfully. Good effort, but more needs to be done.
We did notice that a metal bar has been introduced at Tha Pae Gate to try to stop motorbikes coming through. However, it is already very badly damaged, suggesting that people still manage to get over it, putting pedestrians at risk. Raise the bar to around two feet in two pieces so that pedestrians can get through but bikes cannot, or maybe place three bars causing a zigzag effect to walk through.
After many years of spending extended stays in Chiang Mai we finally bought an apartment here and love our time here as always.
New subject: We are living in Nong Hoi and walk most days up to Wararot Market. Recently, the city has been improving the sidewalk running from the Iron Bridge to Nawarat Bridge which looks very nice and is a big improvement. However, to our amazement the finished article is already being destroyed by anglers leaning their rods against the seating and chipping off the new paint. Along with that, the trash that was strewn all the way along this particular part of the river by the public (not the anglers particularly) needs to be addressed. The Ping River is a great asset to Chiang Mai; don’t let them spoil it. Someone should try to stop the trash by issuing fines to anyone caught throwing or leaving it in public. Of course, Thailand is not the only place with this problem. Most people have no respect in most countries to keep the public areas clean and dispose of the trash in the correct manner. But it’s something that should be addressed.
All that said, we do love this city and my criticisms are meant only to alert the City Council in a helpful manner.
L. A. Murkitt
[Ed. Check out the new group Raks Mae Ping on Facebook. They are attempting to get support to keep the Ping River clean.]
• Learning to Love Laos
[Vientiane, Laos: How to Turn Your Visa Run into a Mini Vacation] is a great article. Thanks for providing helpful information that is useful to your readers. _ I have to go to Vientiane every six months and do usually see it as a chore. Now I am actually looking forward to my next run. Wish to check out that Buddha Park and COPE as well. Thank you.