Festival of Errors
Central Festival: at least they know how to take complaints! And that’s the only plus point I can see from our first – and last – visit this afternoon.
Once you drive in along the (poorly signposted) route and actually get under the building, your problems begin. We did two laps of a totally full ground floor car park, looking in vain for signage to an upper level or any indication at all from the uniformed and uninformed men aimlessly walking about.
Having found one tiny, partly obstructed space which DID take a three-door Vitara, we then had to ask how to get into the place ourselves. We were directed to a distant glass house containing escalators. With the doors to it on the outside of the building, not the parking side!
Already put off by first appearances, we rode upwards and tried to find the toys. And/or the food court. We saw no listing of goods/floors in any language. By asking numerous staff in Thai we eventually found what we sought.
The volume of noise on the fourth floor food court/children’s play area was close to pain level. Throughout the building, especially in the food court and especially close to the windows, the air-con was so cold as to be extremely uncomfortable and we left as promptly as possible. Thanks to my wife we found the Information Desk on the first floor (US first floor) where I wished them to know about the inept car parking, hazardous noise levels, and the cost savings they could make by turning off that damned air-con.
The only good thing I have to add is that the young lady with fluent English (and two of her staff) were polite, attentive, and actually apologised to my wife and I over all three complaints. I pointed out that if I were a manager there I would need to have this feedback in order to improve the service. They understood and with polite thanks we left. Never to return.
Please, anyone, let me know if these problems are ever addressed. But I won’t be holding my breath. (And no, I can’t even be bothered looking up their website or e-mail).
The Real Deal
[Re: The Boxer, the Bargirl and the Blindfold, January 2014:]
Nice read. Amazing how Tia and his colleagues are able to survive their work patterns but hey, isn’t that a challenge for all of us?
Good article. Tia is a really good guy. However, it should be noted that all of the night fights at Loi Kroh are real. I just fought on Sunday and I can assure you that all my hard work for four months in preparation and the fear I had to swallow to get into the ring were VERY real.
The show matches like the one Tia sometimes participates in are just a part of a night of fights. Sometimes it’s a bunch of guys blindfolded and sometimes it’s something involving Tia. However, your article doesn’t make that clear.
I know that there are also fake show fights that they put on during the day for this tourist group that comes by because I also train at Loi Kroh and am there for most of the day. These are very obviously fake, though.
The fighters that compete at Loi Kroh may not be the best either, but they still deserve the credit they are due. I wonder where you got this information from?
Besides experiencing my own fight there, I also watched some of my friends fight, as well. One lost and the others won. One of my friends and myself both won in the first round to the obvious disappointment of the promoter, so I wonder what makes you think these would be fake.
Lastly, I should note that my fight and my friend’s fights were farang or international. Perhaps you are correct about some of the Thai fights, but I know from my own personal experience that you are wrong about that. I hope that you will correct that or do more research next time. This article was very good otherwise, so it is unfortunate that there is inaccurate information.
Rules of the Road
With reference to the letter headlined “Traffic Tragedies” in the January edition, the simple solution proposed by the writer may solve his little junction but would only move the traffic problem to another spot.
Building new roads or making old ones bigger does not work, as has been shown countless times in many cities. The better solution is to drastically improve public transport, encourage the use of bicycles and mopeds and make access to the city more difficult for cars.
In addition, restrict parking so that car owners seriously consider using a new public transport system. Whilst the red buses and tuk tuk have their place, a decent bus/tram/skyrail system is the best way forward. The past attempts at new bus routes have been half hearted and poorly thought out. Surely it is about time Chiang Mai found some experts to help them plan a new transport system.
[Re: Fatter Faster, Sicker Quicker, January 2014:]
Good article on an important topic. Readers might also be interested in a paper I wrote on the topic of obesity last year – see www.burning-bison.com/obesity.htm.
Many Americans never eat at McDonald’s and the US is still clearly the world’s leader in food production/safety. You want to buy from China; be my guest. Crops have been genetically modified for closer to 100 years than 10. It’s not rocket science as the Michael Moore fans would like you to believe. Heaven forbid we put the Euro trash in charge of the mess hall…bland, boring and expensive. Maybe try a story on why wine and cheese cost 300 percent more in Thailand than the US.
Today for the first time in my life here (I have been coming every year for nine years) I was sexually harassed by a Thai (young) man on a motorbike. He grabbed my bum from behind and squeezed as I was cycling along Ratchadamneon. I thought it was a cheeky friend (none of my friends would do that though!) but he was a total stranger and turned to grin at me, then drove off at speed. I am reminded of the horrific Italian male harassment of women in the 70s and 80s (yes, I am old enough to remember that). I would like to put out a warning to fellow female tourists and am not sure where I can do that. Maybe many women have experienced harassment but have nowhere to go with it. The police need to know this is happening if it is on a large scale and not a one-off incident. Thank you for reading this.