Half of China now in Thailand
Half of China now in ThailandHalf of China now in Thailand
You've got to congratulate the Tourism and Sports Ministry and more specifically the Tourism Authority for the no-pain gain we're about to enjoy as tourists from China pour in to see how the Thais welcome the Lunar New Year.
Thailand's the destination of the moment for them thanks to the Beijinglywood blockbuster "Lost in Thailand". The Shanghai Youth Daily (which is more important than it sounds) reports that Chiang Mai is now the top overseas New Year destination for Chinese, and it's mainly because of that movie.
Travel-agency bookings have increased tenfold over last year, it said, due to the Bt150-million-grossing comedy about mainlanders finding greater meaning in their lives while stumbling around Thailand. Our Tourism Authority had nothing to do with the film, but it features temples, swank resorts, elephant rides and, of course, ladyboys, and who can resist that?
China was already Thailand's biggest travel market, dispatching 2.79 million citizens last year. Those coming this time can see the movie again too - it hits our screens on Thursday, just in time for the Year of the Snake. We ought to get the filmmakers over here as well for a thank-you party.
Actress Khemanit "Pancake" Jamikorn is envied as "queen of the celebrity presenters", earning a fortune on the side by flogging everything from cars to a skincare clinic. Then a burglar broke into her house and stole hundreds of thousands of baht worth of goodies.
No one failed to observe that, among the many products she recommends, Pancake touts a certain closed-circuit security system. How good could it be, then?
Easy, boys, she told smirking reporters. The house is being renovated and the system hadn't been reactivated. The security firm said that's right - she's got three houses in the same soi and the thief just targeted the unprotected one. "She also uses our CCTV system for her boutique." So there.
Needless to say, all three houses are fully protected now. And of course a very well-publicised challenge now awaits some enterprising prowler.