Your Say: July 2018
Mass Accommodation Shutdowns
Many of these guest house owners have established their places over past decades and have poured their life’s savings into creating an accommodation business the style of which many tourists love.
These places are one of the very reasons tourists love to come to Chiang Mai.
It seems quite unfair that the government now enforces [the law, forcing them] to implement expensive and often impossible structural changes to their buildings, or face closure.
As well as wrecking the livelihoods of these businesses, tourism numbers and plans will be severely affected. This will be damaging what makes Chiang Mai a great place for tourists to spend their holidays.
I would appeal to the government to rethink their strict laws, implementing them like this will have very negative impact on our lovely town. The majority of us will lose something that is very special to both the accommodation owners and to many future tourists who will no longer want to come.
It is a myth that hotel business license applications are a mission impossible. Certainly, some essential building requirements have to be fulfilled. But the remaining building issues can be sort out in discussions with the authorities.
I don’t think Pugnatorius is correct. My inquiries show that the cost is significant and small accommodation providers can never meet the requirements for a hotel.
Many people we know have been affected by this and from their inquiries at District Office and City Hall the expense and time involved in getting everything completed, so that you can get the hotel license, is expensive and by no means easy or quick.
I wonder if the housing estate for government officials built on the mountain side had to adhere to such strict rules as hotels do. I expect if they did there would be no scar of Doi Suthep but here we are! I even saw the photos of erosion posted online and if speculation is to be believed, these homes are not only an eye-saw but a danger to those who live there (and they are not even supposed to be living there anyway!). It baffles me how one government can have such varying rules about things that theoretically are pretty similar.
Showing True ‘Can-Do’ Spirit in Chiang Mai
The historical term for those people unlucky enough to be afflicted by a serious and permanent physical impairment was ’disabled’. But thankfully, these days they are more often referred to as being ‘differently-abled’, a phrase that more positively represents what they can do, rather than what they may not be able to do.
Sometimes, your breath is taken away, in admiration, for just how much can be achieved by the physically-challenged. Deep admiration is engendered by their quiet courage, and the can-do spirit that they display so steadfastly. It is not easy to cope with life’s daily necessities if you are severely differently-abled, and not easy to find a job either: and that is true here in Chiang Mai, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
The other day, my songteaw ride to work was a bit slower than usual, and therefore much safer and more comfortable. And then, when paying at the end of my journey, I noticed that this excellent driver had no hands. He controlled his vehicle — and controlled it very well, I might add — with just the stumps of his arms! This admirable soul has put the ‘can-do’ spirit into practice, to earn a living in that way.
Another local Thai man I know works as a portrait artist. His highly-skilled artistic output is achieved by his holding the brush between the stumps of his arms, for he also unfortunately has no hands.
Being independent enough to earn your own keep in such ways is something desired by all, and is achieved by our differently-abled brothers and sisters through their brave efforts, which deserve the admiration of us all. Let us hope that more ways can be found to give them the chance to work, for the self-reliance that makes possible.
Memories of Vietnam
Fascinating article. I am from that era and remember the horrible affect it had on the US as a whole, in addition to the soldiers who were there. I visited VN a few months ago and was awed by the lack of anger. Several said something like, “we have had many wars and you were one of many”.