The Nation


Letters to the Editor

A clash of cultures?

The Chinese comedy movie "Lost In Thailand", which set a historic box-office record in China recently, has also been successful in drawing many Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai. During the Lunar New Year holiday alone, there were 26 charter flights from China into the city.

However, it seems there is a cultural clash going on. Local businesspeople are complaining that Chinese tourists are too boisterous. They tend to drive speedily on the wrong side of the road, and often go against traffic on one-way streets. Chinese tourists also often stop in the middle of busy intersections - just to argue among themselves about directions.

Some hotel and guesthouse operators are turning them away because they say Chinese tourists often rent a room for two, but stay overnight in a group of four or five. They also deplore their tendencies to litter and hang their clothing on the balcony railing.

Hence, the government should urgently cooperate with the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai to disseminate proper directives, so that accidents will be prevented and mutual understanding and tolerance be achieved. Only in that way will Chiang Mai thrive in tourism - instead of suffer from it.

Vint Chavala


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