This is Thailand

 |  October 29, 2010

For those of you with any questions regarding Thailand, Thai culture, history, tourism, laws, rules, food, nightlife, sub-cultures, dating; generally anything as long as it is relevant,
we have a panel of three experts who will respond to your enquiries.

1. A friend of mine will be coming to Chiang Mai in about two months, and he wants to have some really good clothes made, and especially a tuxedo. Would you be able to recommend the top tailors? Cost is not a factor for him.

In the Night Bazaar there are lots of places where you can have suits made. You can just pick a suit from a fashion magazine and get them to copy it. Best to – if your friend has time – try making one item first and if you are happy with the quality then go for the tux. I am sure they all can do a tux, why not try Frank at Fashion King 081 928 4575.

Neramit at 91/2 Ratchwong Road has been advertising in Citylife for 19 years and we have only heard good things about his custom tailoring – I have no hesitation in recommending him. 053 251 494.

I wore a suit last for my son’s wedding. I bought the ready made suit from BSC, for about $90. Worked okay. Loved the wedding, hated wearing the suit. That is why I live in Thailand. I haven’t even worn a pair of regular shoes more than four times in the last four years.

2. My wife (also farang) and I are both retirees and have lived here in Chiang Mai for four years. From time to time we’ve read about and experienced disparities in the prices of visiting tourist spots. If we show our Thai driving licenses, which we both have, will we get the locals’ price?

If you are retired I would guess you are over 60 years old. Lots of discounts for us oldies (Ex. Admission to the Chiang Mai Zoo is free for us. Golf at many places is about half price, etc). Showing that you live here is a must. A driver’s license should work. But even better is if you speak Thai, smile, and play on your senior status (in Thai: ‘phu soong a-yu’ meaning ‘a person with the high age’).

Yes, you should. Anyone with some kind of residence or work permit will get the lower price. Search for the story ‘The Price of Being Farang’ and you will find a piece I wrote on this issue.

3. I would like some information. I won’t mention any names as yet. If a school that is part of a large educational institution in Thailand offered me a course with an education one year visa and then during the year they did not give me the visa (and I had to pay 10,000 baht overstay fine as they told me I would get the visa) and then they canceled my classes and just told me ‘tough luck’ we have no money left. What can I do?

I asked a lawyer. He said you may have to take them to court. Remember that under the Consumer Protection Act you have every right to a ‘fair contract’. Even though TIT, you do have rights, and there are working laws which will protect you. If someone has breached those laws you have every right to sue them.

4. An old (83) friend of mine recently fell asleep at the wheel and had a horrendous car accident but survived with very minor injuries. As he has paid his taxes this brought him face to face with the other of life’s inevitabilities; death. He asks if Citylife’s gurus know of a Christian Church of any denomination that will conduct a funeral service and cremation.

The Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC) will conduct a multidenominational service. They meet in the premises of the Chiang Mai First Church, just over the Narawat Bridge. You can call them at 053 244 820. Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral will also conduct a funeral service: 053 271 859. I also tried this website that says they give Christian burials in Chiang Mai but the ‘contact’ link in the site was not working. Also worth booking a plot at the Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetary.