Today's Independent carries this worrying story of a spate of sudden deaths in Thailand's northern city Chiang Mai which have not been properly explained.
A British couple, a 23 year-old New Zealander and a Thai tour guide have all died within 16 days of each other in adjoining rooms in the same hotel - the 3-star Downtown Inn. They all died in remarkably similar circumstances and whilst the local authorities are blaming it on food poisoning - and specifically to 'toxic seaweed', others believe that it can not be so straightforward.
My Chiang Mai Experience
But it would be in this case, a tragedy also if the good name of Chiang Mai as a tourist destination was irrevocably damaged because of these happenings. I can say that as one who has visited this wonderful city, back in 2008.
It was during my 2-week holiday of Thailand back at the start of that year that I visited, on my second stop having landed in Bangkok, the city of Chiang Mai. I've mentioned the holiday in passing before on this blog in a previous post here.
Having been rather underwhelmed by the overbearing experience of Bangkok, my friend Kendal and I who were travelling at the time decided to cut our 3 night stay in Thailand's capital city short and after two nights, caught a flight up north to our next destination on our world-wind tour of Thailand.
|More Hi-De-Hi than the Ritz!|
|Wales 2-0 Scotland!|
The night-life was a lot more relaxed than it was in Bangkok. An enjoyable recollection that I had was of bumping into a Scottish lad and an Australian woman who were in the town one night and the 4 of us met up later that evening for some drinks. He challenged me to a Celtic duel on a pool table in one particular pub (played on a half-sized snooker table!) and I'm glad to say that Wales beat Scotland 2-0!
Would I go back to Chiang Mai? In a shot.